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CURRENT RESEARCH

Dysautonomia International has funded millions of dollars in cutting-edge dysautonomia research since our launch in 2012. In 2020 and 2021, we received numerous grant applications from researchers seeking to study the relationship between Long COVID and various forms of dysautonomia. After a rigorous peer-review process, which includes physician and patient input, our Board of Directors selected three Long COVID grants to prioritize for funding. Your donations will help us fund these studies and future Long COVID research.

Characterization and Intervention Studies in Patients with Dysautonomia and Long COVID

Principal Investigator: Marcus Stahlberg, MD, PhD, Karolinska Institute

The overall purpose of this project is two-fold. First, the researchers aim to describe the biological mechanisms and identify potential novel therapeurtic targets in Long COVID patients with cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, inappropriate sinus tachycardia, tachycardia not meeting the POTS or IST criteria) and microvascular endothelial dysfunction. Long COVID patients from clinics around Sweden will be screened using tilt table and other autonomic testing, mast cell activation syndrome biomarkers, lipidomics, proteomics (mass spectrometry), stress-perfusion cardiac MRI, assessment of endothelial function, 6 minute walk test, quality of life and other self-reported screenings from the time of Long COVID diagnosis until four years after diagnosis. The second stage of the study includes randomized placebo controlled, double-blinded clinical trials assessing the efficacy of various interventions, including ivabradine, naltrexone, fulvic acid and enhanced external counter pulsation (EECP).

Autonomic Complications of Post-COVID Syndrome (Long COVID)
Principal Investigator: Mitchell Miglis, MD, Stanford University
This study will assess the incidence of post-COVID autonomic nervous system dysfunction through a large population-based survey using COMPASS-31, a validated survey instrument that can identify autonomic dysfunction. A smaller cohort of Long COVID will be evaluated in person at Stanford's autonomic neurology lab, for autonomic function testing, skin biopsy, salivary analysis and serological testing. People with Long COVID autonomic dysfunction and people with Long COVID who don't have autonomic dysfunction will be enrolled in the in-person part of the study.The goal of the study is to broader our understanding of why some people develop autonomic dysfunction after viral infections and help us understand how autonomic dysfunction contributes to disability in people with Long COVID.

Investigation of the Platelet and Activation of the Innate Immune System in Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and Long COVID
Principal Investigators: William Gunning, MD and Blair Grubb, MD, University of Toledo
The purpose of this project is to test the hypothesis that post-infectious POTS and Long COVID associated orthostatic intolerance/POTS are T-cell mediated autoimmune disorders, similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Prior research indicates that innate immune system cytokines/chemokines are elevated in people with POTS and Long COVID patients; we believe the platelet is integral to activation of the innate immune system. This study will enroll people with post-infectious POTS, people who have recovered from POTS, people with Long COVID who have developed orthostatic intolerance or POTS, and healthy individuals. Various immune markers will be tested, along with a careful medical history and detailed symptom profiling. If the hypotheses proves correct, this will help us identify potential target proteins or immune cells to treat in post-infectious POTS and orthostatic intolerance triggered by COVID-19 or other infections.

FUTURE RESEARCH

Dysautonomia International issues calls for proposals annually, which will be open to Long COVID researchers in any country. Future calls for proposals will be distributed on this website, Dysautonomia International's social media channels, and to our email list. Researchers and others interested in being notified when our next call for proposals is announced are encouraged to sign up for our Long COVID Research Fund email list

                           
If you are a researcher who would like assistance with recruiting for IRB/ethics board approved Long COVID research studies, if you would like to collaborate with us on Long COVID research, or would like patient input on your study design from experienced Long COVID or dysautonomia patient experts, please email research@longcovidresearchfund.org

Our ability to fund research is entirely dependent on the generosity of private donors, large and small. Please consider making a donation to support Long COVID research today! 100% of your donation will support Long COVID research.