Study finds significant overlap in neurochemicals from long COVID and ME/CFS patients

The National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED) at Griffith University continues to build upon its novel discoveries in long COVID and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS). 

Researchers at NCNED directly compared brain neurochemical levels in long COVID and ME/CFS patients with healthy controls using MRI.   

The study’s first author Dr Kiran Thapaliya said “People with long COVID and ME/CFS have significantly elevated neurochemical levels, compared with healthy controls potentially causing multiple symptoms in both conditions. 

“Long COVID and ME/CFS have a remarkably similar neurochemical signature, providing further evidence for a significant link between the two conditions.   

“This novel study reveals the level of neurochemicals in the brain were associated with symptoms such as cognitive impairment, unrefreshing sleep, pain, and physical limitation in long COVID and ME/CFS patients.”  

Director of the NCNED, Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik, said: “These findings build upon our published novel findings in ME/CFS and long COVID. 

“These latest findings published in the American Journal of Medicine, provide greater insight into how neurochemicals may play a key role in the development and progression of these conditions. 

“The NCNED has a critical mass of exceptionally talented researchers and clinicians who are committed to these patients.  

“We are incredibly fortunate to have access to state-of-the-art technologies that enable us to produce wonderful scientific discoveries.     

We are uniquely positioned internationally to undertake scientific laboratory and MRI research in long COVID and ME/CFS in tandem, and monitor the health and economic impact of the patients as well as undertake clinical trials.” 

The study ‘Imbalanced Brain Neurochemicals in long COVID and ME/CFS: A Preliminary Study using MRI’ has been published in the American Journal of Medicine.