Today I listened to Dr. Bruce Patterson discuss his research on Long-Covid.
Bruce Patterson was director of a virology lab at Stanford before establishing Incelldx, a biotech firm in the area of virus diagnostics. Bruce was interviewed today (second half of the program) on The People’s Pharmacy (NPR). The transcript and podcast will be available tomorrow at PeoplesPharmacy.com (show #1273)
Utilizing AI and data from over 10,000 patients, Incelldx has developed diagnostic tools to characterize the immune system dysregulation associated with long covid. According to Dr. Patterson’s research, Long-Covid involves “non-classical monocytes” that are reacting to remnant virus proteins (not RNA or DNA), producing a vascular inflammatory process. That was the missing link. Researchers were looking for RNA, but the problem appears to be in the monocyte reaction to remnant viral proteins that stimulate these specialized monocytes, producing a chronic vasculitis.
Here is a link to the Long Covid clinical program based upon this research.
The program involves immune testing by Incelldx and based on the results, treatment recommendations are made.
So far 2 drugs repurposed for long-Covid appear effective when used in combination.
A CCR5 antagonist (maraviroc) which has been used to treat HIV and a Statin medication which blocks binding of the monocytes to artery walls.
According to Dr. Patterson, Long Covid in many patients is a vascular inflammatory process, mediated by non-classical monocytes which are activated by viral remnant proteins.
Dr. Patterson has seen many patients respond to this drug combination. He uses an old, early statin drug (pravastatin) which has a low side effect profile compared to the more commonly used atorvastatin (which gave me severe myopathy, notorious for that problem but understated by drug company reports).
This is cutting edge, most physicians, even in university settings, are not aware of this diagnostic/therapeutic approach.
This is still considered experimental but appears to be very promising.
In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic I will close with the usual summary.
- Avoid alcohol consumption (alcohol wreaks havoc with your immunity)
- Get plenty of sleep (without adequate sleep your immune system does not work well )
- Follow good sleep habits
- Exercise, especially out of doors in a green space, supports the immune system
- Get some sunshine and make sure you have adequate Vitamin D levels. Supplement with Vitamin D3 to get your levels above 30 ng/ml. (read this Open Letter)
- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in micronutrients.
- Practice stress reduction like meditation and yoga which improves the immune system
- Eliminate sugar-added foods and beverages from your diet. These increase inflammation, cause metabolic dysfunction, and suppress immunity.
- Eliminate refined-inflammatory “vegetable oils” from your diet, instead eat healthy fat.
- Clean up your home environment and minimize your family’s exposure to environmental toxins by following recommendations at EWG.org with regards to household products, personal care products, and organic foods. (https://www.ewg.org/)
- If you are over age 12 and eligible for vaccination, consider protecting yourself and your neighbor with vaccination.
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Eat clean, drink filtered water, love, laugh, exercise outdoors in a greenspace, get some morning sunlight, block the blue light before bed, engage in meaningful work, find a sense of purpose, spend time with those you love, AND sleep well tonight.