£9.6 million for UCL 'long Covid' research

UCL researchers have been awarded nearly £10 million to look at ‘long-covid’

The award is over half of a total of £18.5 million of funding announced by UK Research and Innovation to tackle ‘Long Covid’ in the community.

Professor Nishi Chaturvedi of UCL will be leading a project looking at the long-term effects of Covid-19 in a bid to provide an evidence base for healthcare services.

The aim is to define what ‘Long-COVID’ is and improve diagnosis, by looking at why some people get the condition, the effect on their health and ability to work, and factors in their recovery. Researchers will also look at how best to ensure patients can access the right treatment and support.

The researchers will use data from more than 60,000 people drawn from a combination of anonymized primary care records and longitudinal studies of people of all ages across the country.

People reporting ‘Long-COVID’ and comparator groups will be asked to wear a wrist band measuring exercise ability, breathing and heart rate and to fill in online questionnaires on mental health.

They will also be invited to a clinic for non-invasive imaging to look at potential damage to vital organs, such as the brain, lungs and heart.

‘Long-COVID’ describes the symptoms and impaired quality of life beyond 12 weeks, that one in 10 people with Covid-19 experience. It may take the form of clusters of symptoms, often overlapping or fluctuating, including breathlessness, headaches, cough, fatigue and cognitive impairment or ‘brain fog’.