Home / News / India /  Long Covid-19 symptoms? Researchers find a key clue
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Long covid is making it hard for millions to return to normal life. Yet medical efforts to figure out how best to help these patients are proceeding only slowly. However, a Canadian research trial has reportedly found an answer that why some people continue to experience Covid symptoms months after contracting the disease.

According to a report by Global News, a team of researchers has zeroed in on a microscopic abnormality in the way oxygen moves from the lungs and into the blood vessels of long Covid-19 patients in their trial.

The abnormality might explain why some patients feel breathless and are unable to perform strenuous activities after Covid. The study evaluated about 34 patients for about nine months--12 who had been hospitalised with Covid-19 and 22 others who had not been hospitalised. The patients were still experiencing a number of debilitating symptoms.

The researchers used an MRI technique developed by Western University and found tiny branches of air tubes in the lungs that were moving into the red blood cells of their patients.

"Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Any disruption in the flow of this oxygen to red blood cells will trigger the brain to say, ‘breath more’ — resulting in a feeling of breathlessness,"lead researcher Grace Parraga said.

All 34 of the patients who participated in the study were experiencing problems in the level of oxygen being absorbed by their red blood cells. Therefore all patients had faced breathless issues.

“All these patients had this abnormality. They all had really serious symptoms, so their exercise scores were low, they were breathless when they exercised and when we measured the oxygen levels in their blood in the tips of their fingers after exercise, that was also low," the study noted.

The research team acknowledges the sample size of this study, which has been peer-reviewed, is small and therefore that results should be considered “exploratory and hypothesis-generating."

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