According to a study published on medRxiv, brain fog is one the most common symptoms of Long COVID. Brain fog consists of memory loss, attention problems, and inability to find the right words. Dr. Andrew E. Budson, a cognitive behavioral neurologist from Harvard Medical School, says lingering symptoms that long haulers experience may be due to permanent organ damage from COVID-19. Organ damage or lingering symptoms can cause memory issues and brain fog.
What if I’m experiencing COVID-19 brain fog?
Record your symptoms and consult your doctor for further help. Remember to record symptom severity and duration so your doctor can get a fuller picture of your overall state. Symptom trackers or symptom journals can be especially helpful for this.
What might help clear brain fog?
Dr. Elkind, an attending neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center recommends avoiding anything that is potentially harmful, like smoking or drinking alcohol.
Dr. Merkler, an assistant attending neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center emphasizes the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices in the post-COVID recovery process. Physical exercise and puzzles may help.
Dr. Budson recommends trying activities that are known to improve memory:
Mediterranean style meals
Engaging in social activities
Cognitive stimulating activities (listening to music, mindfulness, and meditation)
Jennifer Wethe, the neuropsychologist director of the concussion program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona recommends considering cognitive rehabilitation. Cognitive rehabilitation is what is typically used for traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and concussions. Cognitive rehabilitation can help the brain recover from brain fog. It is basically "physical therapy for the brain" and aids with making the thinking processes more visible.
Where are we now with research and treatments for Long COVID Brain Fog?
Brain fog is considered one of the most debilitating symptoms experienced by long haulers. Approximately a third of all COVID-19 patients experience lingering symptoms for nine months or longer. As of now, treatments and research for Long COVID has been slow. Since there is not much research on brain fog and Long COVID yet, please consider signing this petition to help accelerate treatment and research for Long COVID.
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A centralized reliable source of information for COVID-19 Long Haulers.
A space with easy access to a support community ranging from other Long Haulers to health professionals.
A quantitative approach to tracking and studying Long COVID.
Or help us launch our platform by donating! Any donations are greatly appreciated, and they will help improve the quality of life for Long Haulers.
Budson, Andrew E. “The Hidden Long-Term Cognitive Effects of COVID-19.” Harvard Health Blog, 4 Mar. 2021, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/the-hidden-long-term-cognitive-effects-of-covid-2020100821133.
Budson, Andrew E.. “What Is COVID-19 Brain Fog — and How Can You Clear It?” Harvard Health Blog, 4 Mar. 2021, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-is-covid-19-brain-fog-and-how-can-you-clear-it-2021030822076.
Crist, Carolyn. “Fatigue, Brain Fog Most Common in ‘Long COVID.’” WebMD, 5 Jan. 2021, www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210105/fatigue-brain-fog-most-common-in-long-covid.
Fishman, Levi. “Can COVID-19 Cause Brain Fog?” NewYork-Presbyterian, 3 Feb. 2021, healthmatters.nyp.org/what-is-causing-covid-brain-fog.
“Why Does COVID-19 Cause Brain Fog?” Henry Ford LiveWell, 9 Dec. 2020, www.henryford.com/blog/2020/12/covid-and-brain-fog.