Brain Fog due to COVID 19
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is itself not a disorder but it includes a group of symptoms that are related to many other diseases and are responsible for sluggishness or numbness of the brain. Brain fog is seen more commonly in people with anxiety, depression, after menopause, during pregnancy, lack of sleep, due to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Fabry disease, hormonal imbalance, hypothyroidism, vitamin B12 deficiencies, etc. Recently, Patients suffering from long covid syndrome have shown symptoms of brain fog. Its symptoms last for a minute or so each time and it has a negative impact on daily tasks.
Brain fog after COVID 19:
As we know, COVID 19 affects the respiratory system most but it also has many neurological symptoms such as loss of olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) senses. Due to low oxygen in all systems of the body, COVID 19 has many negative impacts on brain and multiple organs of the body. Brain fog is not considered a major symptom of COVID, therefore, it has not been reported in many patients as other symptoms of COVID are much more deadly and critical to take care of. Some of the stats from French hospitals have shown that 28-30 percent of the patients recovering from COVID 19 have brain fog symptoms. It shows a low percentage because it has not been reported yet on a greater scale.
What are the most common symptoms of COVID 19 brain fog?
It includes a diverse variety of symptoms as it is related to different disorders but the most common symptoms are:
- poor concentration
- lack of focus
- no clarity of thoughts
- memory problems
- zoned out feeling
- a constant feeling of drowsiness or numbness
There has been little research on post covid brain fog but according to a proposed mechanism, SARS-CoV-2 develops a mitochondrial infection in the brain which further leads to inflammatory reactions and speeds up the replication process. brain fog shows psychiatric symptoms because of the viral genome that inserts itself in the mitochondrial DNA and hence overtakes the functions of mitochondria. As mitochondria are involved in energy production, so the energy-requiring functions of the brain are impaired and hence the symptoms of brain fog prevail The most sensitive organ to hypoxia is the brain and due to the rapid replication of the virus, there is a more prolonged effect of brain fog than the respiratory problems.
Autopsy reports of COVID 19 patients have shown that instead of showing symptoms of inflammation in the brain by the presence of lymphocytes, there are megakaryocytes present in the brain capillaries. That is very strange because in normal inflammatory responses there is an elevated number of lymphocytes present in capillaries. Megakaryocytes give rise to platelets (involved in blood clotting) and other blood cells in the bone marrow. Megakaryocytes, are large in size and affect the flow of blood in capillaries. Because of their size, they clog the capillaries and it can be a reason for brain fog in COVID patients but it is still a mere assumption, their unusual presence may be linked to wider neurological and psychiatric symptoms and complications seen in COVID-19.
How COVID 19 brain fog can be treated?
Check your sleeping schedules and take adequate sleep. it might help you cope up with brain fog symptoms.
Exercise helps the brain and body to recover speedily and it’s, more importantly, healthy for the brain and its wellbeing. So, it might help in subsiding brain fog symptoms.
Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet helps with the recovery process and the symptoms of brain fog disappear quickly.
Recently, it has been shown that NAD+ infusions are helpful for brain fog as it is essential for the maintenance of cellular metabolism and has a role in energy production.
Avoid Alcohol Consumption:
Alcohol is not good for the body after an illness and slows down the process of healing. Refrain from Alcohol after covid 19 for a while.
Many people suffer from post covid 19 brain fog for weeks or even months. These symptoms include confusion and difficulty in thinking. It can be recovered properly within a few weeks by taking adequate sleep, proper diet, etc. it’s not a disease but a manifestation of other underlying causes. You should consult a doctor if it does not subsides even after weeks or 2-3 months.