New studies will expand research into diagnosis and treatment of long COVID

treating long covid
© Evgenii Mitroshin |

15 new studies, backed by £19.6 million through the National Institute for Health Research, will expand research into diagnosing and treating long COVID

An extensive programme of 15 new research studies will help better understand long COVID, improve diagnosis and find new treatments.

The projects will involve over 4,500 people and focus on:

  • Better understanding the condition and identifying it
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of different care services
  • Better integrating specialist, hospital and community services for those suffering with long COVID
  • Identifying effective treatments, such as drugs, rehabilitation and recovery to treat people suffering from chronic symptoms
  • Improving home monitoring and self-management of symptoms, including looking at the impact of diet, and
  • Identifying and understanding the effect of particular symptoms of long COVID, such as breathlessness, reduced ability to exercise and brain fog

Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid, said:

“Long COVID can have serious and debilitating long term effects for thousands of people across the UK which can make daily life extremely challenging.

“This new research is absolutely essential to improve diagnosis and treatments and will be life-changing for those who are battling long-term symptoms of the virus.

“It will build on our existing support with over 80 long COVID assessment services open across England as part of a £100 million expansion of care for those suffering from the condition and over £50 million invested in research to better understand the lasting effects of this condition.”

Professor Nick Lemoine, Chair of NIHR’s long COVID funding committee and Medical Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN), said:

“This package of research will provide much needed hope to people with long-term health problems after COVID-19, accelerating development of new ways to diagnose and treat long COVID, as well as how to configure healthcare services to provide the absolute best care. Together with our earlier round of funding, NIHR has invested millions into research covering the full gamut of causes, mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of long COVID.”

The projects include:

Developing and testing the best ways to diagnose, treat and provide rehabilitation for people with long COVID – Dr Amitava Bannerjee, University College of London – £6.8m.

Optimising standards of care for long COVID in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and at home – Dr Manoj Sivan, University of Leeds – £3.4m.

Explaining why long COVID patients experience breathlessness and a reduced ability to exercise – Professor Fergus Gleeson, University of Oxford – £1.8m.

Understanding and treating ‘brain fog’ – Dr Dennis Chan, University College London – £1.2m.

Co-designing personalised self-management for patients at home – Professor Fiona Jones, Kingston University – £1.1m.

ReDIRECT: Remote Diet Intervention to Reduce long Covid symptoms Trial – Dr David Blane, University of Glasgow – £999,679.

The immunologic and virologic determinants of long COVID- Professor David Price, Cardiff University – £774,457.

Quality-of-life in patients with long COVID: harnessing the scale of big data to quantify the health and economic costs – Dr Rosalind Eggo, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – £674,679.

Percutaneous Auricular Nerve Stimulation for Treating Post-COVID Fatigue (PAuSing-Post-COVID Fatigue) – Dr Mark Baker, Newcastle University – £640,180.

Immune analysis of long COVID to inform rational choices in diagnostic testing and therapeutics – Professor Daniel Altmann, Imperial College – £573,769.

Understanding and using family experiences of managing long COVID to support self care and timely access to services – Professor Sue Ziebland, University of Oxford – £557,674.

Development of a robust T cell assay to retrospectively diagnose SARS-CoV-2 infection and IFN-γ release assay as diagnostic and monitoring assay in Long COVID patients – Dr Mark Wills, University of Cambridge – £372,864.

Using Activity Tracking and Just-In-Time Messaging to Improve Adaptive Pacing: A Pragmatic Randomised Control Trial – Professor Nicholas Sculthorpe, University of the West of Scotland – £317,416.

Impact of COVID-19 vaccination on preventing long COVID: a population-based cohort study using linked NHS data – Professor Daniel Prieto-Alhambra, University of Oxford – £224,344.

Long COVID Core Outcome Set (LC-COS) project – Dr Tim Nicholson, King’s College London – £139,619.


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