‘We are only beginning to know what it is’: Why doctors struggle to identify treatments for long COVID

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Although long COVID clinics have popped up in nearly every state, there's still very little solid science about the condition. Medical care consists of trying to address each troublesome symptom on its own.

PHOTO OF LIZA FISHER BY CALLAGHAN O'HARE FOR USA TODAYan international flight attendant and yoga instructor before COVID-19 pneumonia landed her in intensive care. With two stimulators implanted in her spine, she's relearned to walk and is finally advancing from a wheelchair to a walker.

TOP: Pam Bishop, at her home in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Sept. 6. Her long COVID has led to a host of neurological and vascular problems that forced her to retire in April from her job managing an institute at the University of Tennessee. BOTTOM: Cynthia Adinig, 37, of Vienna, Virginia, and her son Aiden, 7, at home on Sept. 8. The two have lasting side effects from long COVID, making it difficult to go out because of an increased chance of sudden reactions and flareups.

So, how to find effective treatments for a condition that includes a constellation of different problems, with symptoms that overlap other health issues, among millions of people, some of whom can't confirm they were actually infected and are at different stages of recovery?More than a year after COVID diagnosis, debilitating symptoms remain

Pharmaceutical companies have little incentive to launch research until the condition and measures of improvement can be clearly defined. And many of the existing drugs that might be useful are off-patent, with no promise of earnings for a company. So, there's little money to study them. Typically, federally funded research takes about 17 years to change medical practice, he said. "We need changes in clinical practice to come much faster than that in long COVID, but the NIH has not sufficiently changed their process to rise to the challenge."

has already enrolled more than 8,100 adults and more than 750 children, toward a goal of about 17,500 to 19,500 respectively, both with and without long COVID symptoms.Adult enrollment should be completed by the end of the year or early next, with childhood enrollment some months behind.

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These Drs seem to know quite a lot about it:

Please let your medical experts watch this and contribute. You can never say you didn’t know. replay link

Or, as the case may be, not trying

What are you talking about There? There are over 3000 peer-reviewed biomedical studies on Long Covid showing a vast number of profound biological abnormalities in Long Covid patients vs controls: Immunologic, endothelial, autonomic, metabolic dysfunction & much much more...

Very little solid science? 'HiP-CT' tomography, USA Health editors?

Lol. 2.5 years and 1.2 billion later and they haven't even finished recruiting. Nothing remarkable about that. We are fighting for our lives here man this isn't your thesis.

Thank you for helping to tell this important story. I would quibble with your wording here. There's been a fair amount of solid science on longcovid. But: small, fragmented, and on varying subset populations. So very little settled science.

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