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Long Covid, discovered the mechanism that leads to chronic fatigue


Covid, the researchers point out, will be difficult to eradicate and the new emergency is precisely long Covid, which affects 1 person in 3, even among young people. (HANDLE)

Discovered the mechanism of action that leads to the state of fatigue, or disabling exhaustion, linked to Long Covid which affects 1 in 3 people who are victims of the SarsCoV2 infection: it is triggered by a deficit of arginine, an amino acid naturally produced by the body.

This is demonstrated by a study on long Covid conducted by the Agostino Gemelli IRCCS University Polyclinic Foundation - Catholic University Campus of Rome, according to which the chronic fatigue of the post-Covid syndrome is associated precisely with an alteration in the metabolism of arginine.

Currently, in the absence of large-scale available therapeutic approaches against long Covid, restoring arginine levels, the researchers say, could represent a new effective integrative strategy against chronic fatigue.

Fatigue, one of the main and most widespread symptoms of long Covid, on which the scientific community of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics (SIGG) is working, may therefore no longer have any secrets.

The biomolecular alteration process that underlies the extreme fatigue linked to the post-Covid syndrome is described for the first time and the results of the study are being published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Covid, the researchers point out, will be difficult to eradicate and the new emergency is precisely long Covid, which affects 1 in 3 people, even among young people.

In fact, according to estimates by the World Health Organization, there would be 65 million in the world and 17 million in Europe the people struggling with the Coronavirus infection queue.

However, the knowledge and progress of the scientific community on the therapeutic treatments available against the post-Covid syndrome, characterized in many cases by fatigue, which causes prolonged and disabling exhaustion associated with muscle weakness, insomnia and tachycardia, are few.

The new study, coordinated by Francesco Landi, past president of SIGG and director of the Department of Orthopedic and Rheumatological Sciences of Aging at the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome, has highlighted that in patients with long Covid there is an alteration of the metabolism of arginine , which stimulates nitric oxide, a key enzyme for proper immune and vascular function.

The researchers also demonstrated that the administration of 1.6 grams of arginine and 500 mg of liposomal vitamin C for 28 days restores the metabolism of arginine to a normal level and effectively counteracts fatigue.

The study involved 57 people, 46 adults with long Covid eight months after diagnosis and 11 people matched by sex and age with no evidence of previous Sars-CoV-2 infections.

The patients with long Covid were divided into two groups: 23 received the mix of arginine and liposomal vitamin C and the other 23 a placebo for a period of 28 days.

"Before starting the treatment we measured the concentrations of arginine in the blood, observing significantly lower levels of arginine in the patients with long Covid - says Landi -. At the end of the 28 days we discovered that the concentrations of arginine in the blood of the patients with long Covid has risen, reaching 'healthy' levels such as those detected in patients belonging to the control group".

"We have demonstrated for the first time that arginine metabolism is altered in patients with long Covid compared to people without a history of Sars-Cov-2 infection", adds Matteo Tosato, co-author of the study and head of the post-operative day hospital. Covid of the Gemelli University Hospital.

Currently, "in the absence of available treatments against a syndrome of which we still know very little, restoring arginine values ​​could represent a new effective integrative strategy against Long Covid fatigue, which can be associated with immune and vascular dysfunctions, which times increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease," concludes Landi. 

Source: ansa

All life articles on 2023-01-30

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