GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Spectrum Health, Michigan State University and researchers from several hospitals along the Medical Mile teamed up to conduct a new study focused on COVID-19 and the different responses patients had to the disease.

Dr. Surender Rajasekaran is a research medical director and pediatric intensivist at Helen DeVos children’s hospital.  As the senior author of the study, Dr. Rajasekaran says understanding the patient’s response to the infection is key to treating them.

He, co-author Jeremy Prokop and assistant professor at Michigan State University college of human medicine determined that COVID-19 patients fall into two main groups: one with a highly overactive immune system, and the other with immune suppression.  They studied 51 patients, taking a close look at each patient’s RNA within the blood. Dr. Rajasekaran says RNA could be used to uncover a body’s response to illness and could change the approach to the medical treatment of a patient.