Major donation boosts five-year study on COVID-19’s impact of the brain

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AUGUSTA (WJBF) – A local philanthropist has joined forces with small group of donors to pool resources and provide major funding to a groundbreaking study being done at Augusta University on the long-term neurological impacts of COVID-19 – so-called “Long COVID.”

The group presented $300,000 to the school for the 5-year study. The check was issued by the TR Reddy Family Fund and the donors included the namesake of the Fund, T.R. Reddy and family, as well as University System of Georgia Board of Regents member James Hull, New York-based infectious disease physician Dr. Michael Phillips, and Ronnie Powell, owner of Appling-based Powell Construction.

Earlier this year, Dr. Elizabeth Rutkowski, Neurologist at Medical College of Georgia and AU health, told WJBF, “A lot of people are reporting getting onset headaches, people who didn’t have headaches before. People are noticing brain fog or cognitive issues. Some are reporting higher depressive & anxiety symptoms, as well as loss of taste and smell.”

Doctors Rutkowski and McCluskey and their research team are planning to track the medical progress of study participants for the next five years and learn what long-term post-COVID syndrome looks and feels like.

It was recently announced that the study would be adding 1,000 more participants to the study. They will interact with the researchers both through a combination of in-person and virtual checkups.

Augusta philanthropist and business man T.R. Reddy told medical researchers Dr. Elizabeth Rutkowski and Dr. Lynnette McCluskey that he was a fan of their work and thanked the University for the opportunity to contribute to the study.

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