background image

Long COVID clinical trial

Help advance treatments for Long COVID. Helping you and helping others.

Who is leading this study?

The George Institute for Global Health

This trial is being led by Professor Craig Anderson, from the George Institute for Global Health.

Complete the questionnaire to see if you qualify

What is the STRONGER clinical trial?

The George Institute for Global Health is undertaking a clinical trial to investigate if statins are effective in treating specific neurological symptoms in adults with long COVID. This clinical trial is called "Statin TReatment for COVID-19 to Optimise NeuroloGical recovERy (STRONGER)."

By participating in this trial, people may gain access to the latest thinking in medicine and closer medical follow-up to help manage neurological symptoms associated with long COVID. Also, with contributions to advancing knowledge of long COVID from trial participants, the findings from this trial may help pave the way for more safe and effective treatments for others. This will help others living with long COVID maintain their quality of life and brain health, and improve the medical care given to future generations.

What is long COVID?

Emerging research from scientists and medical professionals around the world has shown that three-quarters of people who had previously developed COVID-19 reported at least one symptom several months after infection. This is referred to as “long COVID.” The most common symptoms of long COVID are fatigue, muscle weakness, disturbed sleep, and anxiety/depression. Approximately 5-10% of people with long COVID report neurological symptoms, such as “brain fog,” headaches, poor concentration, and dizziness.


How does COVID affect the brain?

Evidence suggests that COVID-19 can affect the brain by causing general inflammation, activating certain parts of the immune system that may impact the brain and may impact brain health. As in other injuries to the brain, full recovery may take several months or years after the initial COVID-19 diagnosis. However, there are also emerging concerns about the long-term effects of COVID-19 and how it may impact the risk of specific neurological conditions, such as stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

What are statins?

Statins are a medication most commonly prescribed for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Early-stage research indicates that statins have an effect on inflammation and in Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, there are clinical trials currently investigating statin therapy as a way to reduce the risk and/or delay the progression of cognitive decline and degenerative dementia in individuals. With this link drawn between statins and brain health, it is possible that statins may reduce the medium and long-term consequences of COVID-19 on brain health.

Am I eligible?

People who are 18 years old or over with a history of COVID-19 that is confirmed by a positive polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) test and/or rapid antigen test (RAT), and are experiencing ongoing neurological symptoms (such as “brain fog,” headaches, poor concentration, and dizziness) as a result of COVID-19 are able to express an interest to participate in the study.

Where will this clinical trial be conducted?

In Australia, this clinical trial will be mostly conducted at The Brain and Mind Centre of the University of Sydney (New South Wales), The Alfred Hospital and Monash University (Victoria). If you are unable to attend in-person visits, Zoom based (or telephone) interviews will be undertaken, where possible.

Will there be any reimbursements?

Participants will be reimbursed for their time (AUD$100) at the baseline and end of study visits, and any reasonable travel expenses for these and other visits.


What does participation involve?

Participation in this clinical trial involves:

  • A preliminary screening (approximately 30-45 minutes) that will be conducted by via telehealth (telephone or videoconference) for

    • Informed consent
    • Assessment of key inclusion and exclusion criteria

  • An initial visit (approximately 3-4 hours) to the clinic for:

    • Completion of the screening process
    • Baseline assessments, which may include:

      • A health and medical review that involves questions about demographics, lifestyle, medical history, health service use and current medication
      • Measurements of height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate
      • Taking a blood sample
      • Health, physical activity and cognitive assessments
      • MRI scan (if you are allocated into the sub-study group)

    • Provision of actigraphy watch (a wearable device that monitors movements)
    • Random allocation to receive standard care (treatment that is accepted as a proper treatment by medical professionals and widely used by healthcare professionals) or standard care and study medication

      • If you are allocated to the standard care and study medication group, you will be dispensed the study medication

  • A follow-up phone call 6 weeks after initial visit, which includes:

    • A review of your progress in the study

  • A second visit (approximately 2-3 hours) to the clinic 6 months after initial visit for:

    • A review of your progress in the study
    • Assessments, which may include:

      • Any updates about lifestyle, health service use and current medication
      • Measurements of height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate
      • Taking a blood sample
      • Health and cognitive assessments

    • Provision of actigraphy watch 
    • If you are allocated to the standard care and study medication group, you will be dispensed the study medication
  • Another follow-up phone call 12 months after initial visit

    • A review of your progress within the study

  • A final visit (approximately 3-4 hours) to the clinic 18 months after initial visit for:

    • A review of your progress in the study
    • Assessments, which may include:

      • Any updates about lifestyle, health service use and current medication
      • Measurements of height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate
      • Taking a blood sample
      • Health and cognitive assessments
      • MRI scan (if you have been allocated into the sub-study group)

    • Provision of actigraphy watch

Check your eligibility to participate in this clinical trial.

Pre-qualified for clinical trial

Can be conducted remotely

background image

Complete the questionnaire to see if you qualify