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CLocK ticks as researchers examine 'Long COVID' in young people

A study looking at the effects of so-called long COVID in young people, supported by Clinical Research Network North Thames, is recruiting strongly nationally.
The CLocK study, funded by the NIHR and UK Research and Innovation, is being led by experts from the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and has nearly recruited 6,000 participants since recruitment began in early April.
The researchers are aiming to recruit as many possible young people between the ages of 11 and 20.
Researchers aim to enrol children and young people in the study, in two equal-sized groups, consisting of those who have had a positive COVID-19 test and those who have not.
Participants who have had a positive COVID-19 test are asked whether they still have physical or mental problems at three, six,12 and 24 months after infection. Comparisons will then be made between the two groups, or cohorts.
Long COVID can present with clusters of symptoms that are often overlapping and/or fluctuating. A systematic review has highlighted 55 different long-term effects but common symptoms of long COVID seem to include breathlessness, headaches, cough, fatigue and cognitive impairment or ‘brain fog’.
According to some studies, approximately 1 in 10 people with COVID-19 continue to experience symptoms and impaired quality of life beyond 12 weeks (‘long COVID’).
Professor Terence Stephenson, who is leading the study, said: “We are thrilled that we have been able to recruit so many young people in such a short space of time to this important study, which will give us an important picture of the symptoms of long COVID in children and how it might be treated.
“We are very grateful to CRN North Thames for their ongoing excellent support in helping us to deliver this study.”   
Potential participants to the study are randomly selected and contacted by post to see if they want to take part. It is not possible for individuals to volunteer to take part in this study.