University of Lincoln launch £1million research project to help long Covid sufferers

The University of Lincoln has launched a £1million research project to investigate support for long Covid patients.

Six universities will work together on the research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to understand and tackle long Covid.

Long Covid refers to the continued symptoms of coronavirus that occur for long periods of time after the initial illness. Close to one million people in the UK were suffering with long Covid June 2021 alone.

Professor Niro Siriwardena, the University of Lincoln’s representative in this research, said: “Long Covid can go on for weeks and months and because it’s such a new condition we don’t really know how long it could go on for.

“We do know that about 10 per cent of people will have symptoms for six months or longer.

“These symptoms could include fatigue, muscle aches and pains, chest pains, palpitations and breathlessness.

“Then in terms of psychological symptoms, it can affect memory, concentration and sleep. Sometimes people call it ‘brain fog’.”

Professor Siriwardena said he hoped that the research by the University of Lincoln, along with five other universities, will help people to recover from long Covid.

“The research will co-design an interventional treatment or therapy for people with long Covid, by working with people with long Covid and getting therapists to figure out what might work best,” he said.

“The physical treatments could be rehabilitation from physios or occupational therapists, or things that people can do themselves like exercises.

“Then it’ll be tested through a clinical trial, or a randomised control trial, to see whether it works, to what extent it works, how it works and what affects it has on physical and psychological wellbeing.

“If it proves to be affective, and cost-affective, it will be rolled out much more widely.”

The research will last two years, with the first year being dedicated to developing the therapy and the second year to the trial itself.

“The trial involves almost 600 people with long Covid and we’ll be observing them over time.

“Using the treatment that has been developed as part of this process, and then comparing the observations in people that are undergoing this new form of treatment with those who are getting the usual care.”

The research is still in its early stages, but they will be looking for participants in the coming months.

Kingston University London, Cardiff University, King’s College London, Swansea University and St George’s University of London join the University of Lincoln to help carry out the research.

To sign up for the Lincolnshire Live newsletter click here

LincolnshireLive – Lincoln News