Florida researchers investigate COVID impact on lung tissue

University of Florida researchers believe a better understanding of lung function with COVID-19 among various patient populations can ultimately lead to better treatment therapies.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Researchers at the University of Florida are working with human lung tissue to gain more insight into COVID-19 and how it impacts people differently.

Since July, researchers have gathered a library of samples from more than 33 donors representing numerous risk factors, such as smoking obesity and diabetes.

“What makes our system unique is that we were able to cryopreserve that lung so we were able to freeze it back and then thaw it out again and it’s still viable and living and able to be infected so that makes a scalable model because we can repeatedly go back and assess the same donor over and over again,” said Dr. Matthew Schaller, assistant professor in the UF College of Medicine’s division of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.

A better understanding of lung function with COVID among various patient populations can ultimately lead to better treatment therapies, depending on someone’s health status.

Studying antidepressants

And a report in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests getting off antidepressants causes most people to relapse into depression.

Researchers in the U.K. followed almost 500 patients there who have chronic depression.

They said that more than half the participants who went off their meds reported symptoms within a year.

Current medical guidance is to continue antidepressants a few months after depression symptoms stop.

The study authors said they hope their findings will help inform decisions about longer-term medication use.

About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.