Coronavirus is still rampant in the world. Now, to make matters worse, a report suggests that survivors are suffering from brain fog in the aftermath.
It turns out COVID-19 survivors do not necessarily go back to normal after recovery. Many cases have emerged where former COVID-19 patients have noted a “brain fog,” significantly affecting their ability to work and endangering their overall well-being.
For those not familiar with the term, “Brain Fog” is a condition that hinders cognitive functions and clouds your mind. In this condition, you are unable to focus or remember things you usually would.
Life After COVID
People who successfully recovered from the virus are now experiencing its detrimental after-effects. The main culprit here, the COVID-19 Brain Fog, has dumbed down their brain with partial memory loss, impaired functioning, and the inability to do even the most basic tasks.
As per The New York Times, vascular specialist Michael Reagan has not been fit to cook or even go out without supervision because of brain fog. Even more horrifying is that he has no recollection of the vacation he went for not so long ago. Fortunately, Reagan is on leave for now and trying to retain his old self.
However, there are survivors who don’t have the luxury of taking time off until they fully recover. They are still precariously trying to fulfill their roles in society. One such person is Lisa Mizelle, a nurse practitioner, who recovered after contracting the disease in July.
According to Mizelle, she has not been able to work efficiently at her clinic since recovery. She noted she no longer remembers the daily procedure at work. Moreover, she doesn’t understand the terminology she habitually used before falling ill with the virus.
The veteran nurse now relies on one of her colleagues to assist her at work. She also finds relief in avoiding the land mine of mistakes that comes with a foggy brain. “As far as I know, I have not made a mistake … I haven’t killed anybody yet,” she says.
What Causes This Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a peculiar neurological issue with no apparent cause, making it difficult to trace it back to a particular factor. However, some experts believe the COVID Brain Fog might result from the body’s immune system misfiring.
Dr. Serena Spudich of Yale School of Medicine thinks the body’s immune response might be causing inflammation of the veins, resulting in brain fog. She says the bodily chemicals involved can negatively impact the brain and act as “sort of toxins.” Not only that, Spudich remarks that the survivors’ antibodies could also be working against their cells, disrupting neurological function.
Supporting this theory, Dr. Dona Kim Murphey, a neurologist and neuroscientist who is a COVID survivor herself, recounted experiencing an uncanny neurological malfunction, the Alien Hand Syndrome.
At the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Dr. Avindra Nath reveals his take on COVID brain fog. “The simplest answer is that people still have persistent immune activation after the initial infection subsided,” he says.
Reports highlighting brain fog in COVID survivors have brought forward an important residual effect of the virus. With subsequent studies and research, we should get a better understanding of the condition in the future.