The UK Government’s Department of Health and Social Care has announced £18.5 million in funding across four long COVID research projects.
It’s hoped the four studies being given a funding boost will help improve understanding and address the causes, symptoms, potential treatments and long-term physical and mental impacts of the condition.
According to gov.uk, there are 69 specialist clinics for people with long-term COVID symptoms across the country and approximately one in 10 people with COVID-19 still experiencing symptoms after 12 weeks.
It’s also reported that there may be over 50 different long-term effects related to long COVID, with common ones including fatigue, breathlessness, headaches, coughing and cognitive impairment, as well as evidence that some people experience organ damage.
Following a UK-wide call for research projects to address the long-term, chronic symptoms of the disease, four projects were selected by an independent panel of researchers and long COVID patients.
The four selected projects are:
- REACT long COVID (REACT-LC) – A study involving people who took part in the REACT study, focusing on analysing data to find any common factors relating to why some people get long COVID and others don’t.
- Therapies for long COVID in non-hospitalised individuals: from symptoms, patient-reported outcomes and immunology to targeted therapies (The TLC Study) – Research to identify which treatments benefit different symptoms and can improve people’s quality of life.
- Characterisation, determinants, mechanisms and consequences of the long-term effects of COVID-19: providing the evidence base for health care services – A study of data from over 60,000 people to help define long COVID, improve diagnosis and inform development of treatments.
- Non-hospitalised children and young people with long COVID (The CLoCk Study) – Research to find out more about long COVID in children, as well as how to diagnose and treat it.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England and Head of the NIHR, said: “This research, jointly funded through the NIHR and UKRI, will increase our knowledge of how and why the virus causes some people to suffer long-term effects following a COVID-19 infection – and will be an important tool in developing more effective treatments for patients.”
There is also a major study being funded by the government, via the NIHR and UKRI, ‘to characterise acute and longer term disease in hospitalised patients’.
The Post-HOSPitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID) is looking into the long-term physical and mental health implications of the condition.
To find out more about the studies, visit www.gov.uk.