New published research shows amygdala & insula retraining significantly reduces long COVID fatigue

July 20, 2023
Low-cost and widely available intervention could help alleviate prolonged fatigue in long Covid.

A new study conducted by Luther College finds that a neuroplasticity-based treatment using an online amygdala & insula retraining (AIR) program significantly reduces fatigue and increases energy levels among Long COVID patients when compared to a general wellness program.

Patients in the AIR group reported four times the reduction in fatigue and almost double the increased energy levels of the standard wellness group. It is a peer-reviewed study demonstrating the effectiveness of a neuroplasticity brain retraining program in addressing Long COVID-induced prolonged fatigue. Long COVID affects approximately 10-30% of individuals after an acute COVID-19 infection.

The findings of this randomized clinical trial were published online by the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal.

Participants in the study were divided into two groups: one receiving an AIR program (commercially available online as the Gupta Program and now also via a smartphone app) and the other engaging in a general wellness program (commercially available as 12 Weeks to Wellness) as a control. The study evaluated the outcomes based on objective measures of fatigue reduction and energy level improvements. Key findings include:

  • Patients using the online AIR program experienced almost twice as much improvement in energy levels and demonstrated a fourfold increase in effectiveness in reducing fatigue when compared to the wellness program. The AIR intervention employed neuroplasticity techniques designed to create new neural pathways and retrain the amygdala and insula so the immune and autonomic nervous systems can return to homeostasis.
  • The study’s results on the effectiveness of AIR are consistent with previous research demonstrating its effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of other chronic conditions, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia. Other published research has supported this theory of immune conditioning in the insula, reinforcing the concept of using neural retraining to reduce stimulation in the nervous and immune systems.   

Luther College release on Newswise