A clinical study, led by Dr. José Alegre, coordinator of the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Unit of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and principal investigator of the Rheumatology group of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), that aims to deepen the knowledge of the persistent COVID-19 will be funded by the Mutua Madrileña Foundation. It has been one of the 21 projects selected in the XIX Foundation’s Health Research Grants, which allocated two million euros to this call.
The goal of the study will be to characterize the main symptoms that SARS-CoV-2 leaves in some people who suffer from the disease, such as disabling chronic morning fatigue (post-exertional fatigue), memory/concentration disturbances, non-refreshing sleep, orthostatic intolerance. It is the called Persistent Covid, a chronic fatigue syndrome after SARS-CoV2 infection. "This condition is a chronic disabling process that causes severe impairment of functional capacity and quality of life, both at work and in the personal and social spheres, so it is urgent to have personalized therapeutic targets for the development of effective drugs that modify the evolution of the process towards chronicity," explains Dr. Alegre. "SARS-CoV-2-induced chronic fatigue syndrome is an excellent clinical and experimental model of post-viral syndromes, useful to understand the neurobiological mechanisms involved in chronic fatigue after infectious processes," he adds.
Dr. Alegre took part in the award ceremony for the Health Research Grants held in Madrid on Wednesday, June the 29th. The ceremony was presided over by the Minister of Health of the Community of Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, the president of the Mutua Group and its foundation, Ignacio Garralda, and the president of the Scientific Committee of the Fundación Mutua Madrileña, Dr. Rafael Matesanz. With these grants, the Mutua Foundation contributes financially to the high quality medical research carried out in Spain. In total, taking into account all the hospitals that will participate in the collaborative projects, the Mutua Foundation will support the research teams of 19 hospitals. From Barcelona, there were also recognized two IDIBAPS studies focused on rare diseases and transplants. In addition, four Catalan teams from Vall d'Hebron and IDIBAPS are participating in other collaborative projects led by other hospitals in Spain, in the areas of rare diseases in children and lung cancer, which have also been awarded funding.