Local study tests possible treatment for long COVID symptoms


The RECOVER study seeks to recruit more people with long COVID symptoms in the New Orleans area.

NEW ORLEANS – There is still no medically accepted treatment for people who experience persistent symptoms after COVID.

Some estimate that could be as many as a million people in Louisiana.

Now a researcher thinks there is something simple that can help.

Months or even a year after people overcome COVID infection, symptoms persist for at least half of patients.

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • physical exhaustion
  • Mental health problems

Some are so severe that they are unable to work.

It’s been called the long COVID, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, along with Tulane and LSU Health in New Orleans, are looking to enroll the thousands of people with persistent illnesses in a nationwide study. called RECOVER.

Until we learn more, Pennington’s Dr. Candida Rebello thinks exercise can help people with a long set of COVID symptoms.

“Depression and diabetes have what is called a two-way relationship. One condition affects the other,” said Dr. Candida Rebello, a Pennington research scientist and registered dietitian.

His scientific hypothesis has just been published in Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, a publication of the American College of Sports Medicine. Some people experience higher blood sugar and symptoms of depression post COVID due to inflammation.

“Along with exercise, it will kind of counteract the effects of infection and prevent the long COVID,” Dr. Rebello said. “That’s the assumption, but we know that exercise improves insulin sensitivity.”

She says exercise can break the vicious cycle of inflammation that can lead to diabetes and depression months later.

“When it comes to insulin sensitivity, we know that aerobic exercise is better than others, but the point is to do what works for you,” she explained.

She understands that people with long COVID symptoms may feel too tired to exercise, but she says start anyway.

This includes just starting to walk. Next, she recommends ideally working up to at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.

If you have had COVID for a long time and want to join the RECOVER study:

More information about the national study, you can find out more by visiting their website here.

  • LJS Health: 504-568-2266
  • Tulane: 504-988-0642

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