Long-lasting link between COVID-19 and autoimmune diseases, Canadian study shows

Some COVID patients who suffer from symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath show signs of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, according to a Canadian study based on similar findings elsewhere. suggests.

Manali Mukherjee, who led the study and is a respiratory researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, said that two specific abnormal antibodies known to attack healthy tissue and cause autoimmune disease, or Autoantibodies persisted after one year in about 30% of patients, he said. they got infected.

The study is based on blood samples from patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and treated at two hospitals in Vancouver and another in Hamilton between August 2020 and September 2021.

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Autoantibodies persisting for more than a year indicate that patients should see a specialist who can screen them for signs of autoimmune disease, she said, including type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. said about the condition.

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“If you have long-lasting COVID symptoms, consider getting a rheumatology test to make sure you haven’t had a trajectory to systemic disease 12 months after having COVID,” Mukherjee said. said.

The study, which also included Dr. Chris Carlsten of the Department of Respiratory Medicine at the University of British Columbia, was published Thursday in the European Respiratory Journal and involved 106 patients.

Mukherjee said the study supports new research into long-term COVID that primarily affects women.

A study of 300 patients by US researchers published in Cell earlier this year was the first to show that autoantibodies in patients infected with the virus can lead to long-lasting COVID symptoms. , which was limited to 3–4 months after recovery. said Mukherjee.

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A Swiss study of 90 patients published last April in the journal Allergy suggested that 40% of patients may have autoantibodies one year after infection.

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“However, this study confirms the presence of specific autoantibodies, which are further associated with persistence of fatigue and shortness of breath, the two main COVID symptoms at 12 months,” she said.

Mukherjee, who contracted himself with prolonged COVID in January 2021 after starting to study the disease, said he experienced fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches and brain fog.

“I used to have terrible headaches, but they come back. I feel fine, but suddenly they come back,” she said, adding that her energy levels were back to about 75% of normal, but she felt more pain than working long hours. I’ve learned to prioritize my health and make sure I get enough sleep.

Mukherjee is currently studying long-term COVID patients for two years to see how their autoantibody levels change over time.

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Calgary resident Sarah Olson says COVID has prevented her from returning to work as a kindergarten teacher for a long time after falling ill in January 2021.

“There’s no pushing through,” said Olson, who has a 9-year-old son and an 11-year-old daughter and is dealing with symptoms like brain fog, fatigue and shortness of breath.

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“Until this spring I couldn’t sit still, but now I can walk slowly. Now I can’t do it anymore. I need a walker. I turn 41 this Saturday.” So I need a walker.”

Olson said he has also been diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome, but Mukherjee said no definitive link between the debilitating long-term condition and long-term COVID has been established. said it was not.

Olson said her main concern is that she’ll never recover from COVID for the long haul.

“If you can’t manage your symptoms by resting and pacing as much as you need without stressing yourself out, you have good reason to believe that they will continue to get worse,” she said through tears.

“They are still trying to understand what the underlying cause is, so research needs to achieve some breakthroughs.

“We are almost three years old and we are still in the dark in many ways.”

© 2022 Canadian Press

Long-lasting link between COVID-19 and autoimmune diseases, Canadian study shows

Source link Long-lasting link between COVID-19 and autoimmune diseases, Canadian study shows

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