Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) said they might have found the possible cause of lasting COVID-19 symptoms, and it might have to do with an antibody.

Per Arkansas local news site THV-11, the researchers said they discovered an antibody that will appear weeks after the initial infection.

  • This antibody then “attacks and disrupts a key regulator of the immune system,” the researchers told THV-11.
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In a press release, the researchers said the antibody will cause problems for the immune system by attacking an enzyme, which looks to fight COVID-19. The attacking antibody will disrupt the enzyme, which causes long-COVID problems.

  • “Everything that we’ve found is consistent with this antibody as the instigator of long COVID, so it’s an exciting development that merits further study,” said Dr. John Arthur, professor and chief of the Division of Nephrology at the UAMS College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, according to THV-11.

Some COVID-19 survivors often have long-lasting issues weeks to months after infection. Researchers from Stanford University recently found that the most common long COVID-19 symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath and “an inability to concentrate, often referred to as brain fog,” according to CNN.

A recent study found that the COVID-19 vaccines, though, can cut the risk of long COVID-19 symptoms, especially for fully vaccinated people, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Specifically, the study said people had a 50% less chance of having long COVID-19 symptoms after getting fully vaccinated, BBC News reports.