German doctors have cured four patients affected by so-called “long” COVID-19 for the first time using a new heart drug, which relieved them of symptoms such as “brain fog” and loss of taste – in some cases withing hours.
Doctors at the University Hospital Erlangen in Germany used an active ingredient known as BC 007 developed originally for heart conditions to treat four patients suffering from long COVID.
According to the NHS, long COVID results in dozens of symptoms including extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, chest pain or tightness, brain fog and depression.
The patients reported that in some cases it was within hours that the “mental fog” that had descended on them after recovering from COVID-19 had lifted following taking the drug.
Bettina Hohberger, an ophthalmologist at the hospital, told the news site RTL: “It was like a miracle when we noticed that the patients were free of symptoms.”
“Brain fog” is a common symptom of long COVID.
The patients were once again able to concentrate on tasks, and even their sense of taste and smell recovered.
Hohberger explained that the patients did not recover immediately from everything, and that other symptoms of long COVID were reduced gradually over the course of several weeks.
But within weeks they were no longer suffering from exhaustion, depression or breathing difficulties.
The University Hospital Erlangen decided to trial the drug after observing the effect COVID-19 has on the blood circulation in the eyes of patients who had recovered from the virus and found that the virus had a long-term negative effect on blood circulation in the retina.
They found that this symptom is similar to the effects of glaucoma, leading researchers to conclude that as BC 007 helps glaucoma patients, it could also help long-COVID sufferers.
Hohberger said: “We have submitted an application to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research so that we can carry out a study with this drug on long-COVID patients,”
There have been no further updates on whether the Ministry has approved the application for the study.