Corona Calls

Corona Calls for 10.23.2023 – Serotonin and Long COVID

Discussed in this episode:

  • A new article in the journal Cell finds Long Covid associated with reduced levels of serotonin circulating in the bloodstream. (The authors’ explanation: the persistent presence of the virus, and/or its fragments, causes the body to crank out more type I interferons. The interferons cause  inflammation in the gut that reduces uptake of serotonin, and hypercoagulability (micro-clots) in the blood that make it harder to retain serotonin. The lowered serotonin levels cause symptoms like brain fog and chronic fatigue.) Why it matters: if serotonin’s the problem, then those forms of Long Covid may have a treatment: Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), like Prozac. Reference: Wong, Andrea C. et al.: Serotonin reduction in post-acute sequelae of viral infection
  • The CDC’s presented results of a new case-control study with mixed results for Paxlovid’s potential to reduce rates of Long Covid. The agency’s data confirm the anti-viral cocktail reduces Long Covid rates among people over 50, show no statistically significant benefit for adults under 50 and, counterintuitively, show it may increase the incidence of Long Covid symptoms in adolescents.

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Podcast music credit:  Now Son by Podington Bear, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.