With COVID-19 under control, people returned to traveling and maskless living. Nonetheless, a segment of the population remains affected by “brain fog,” enduring persistent symptoms like impaired concentration and memory loss.
Taipei, Taiwan (ADH News) – Amidst current times, travel photos without masks hint at COVID-19’s distance. But in fact, some people are still deeply affected by long-COVID and cannot get back to their life. Brain Fog is a problem that many people still can’t get rid of until now, which leads to an inability to concentrate and memory loss in diagnosed persons. The latest British research has found that “brain fog” can make people feel “10 years old” and may also cause cognitive impairment.
Previous research published in “Neurology Clinical Practice” pointed out that in addition to causing respiratory damage, COVID-19 can also cause underlying neurological problems, such as dizziness, headache, and fatigue. Many infected people also experience symptoms such as difficulty concentrating and memory loss. Statistics show that about 30% of people diagnosed with COVID-19 still have difficulty concentrating and memory loss three months after the virus infection
This new study was led by King’s College London in the UK. It mainly used 12 cognitive tests on memory speed and accuracy to investigate the subjects’ working memory, reasoning ability, concentration, and motor control ability. The study found that the brain fog phenomenon caused by new coronary pneumonia is equivalent to the state of aging the body by 10 years. If it is positive after infection and the symptoms appear for more than three months, it is more likely to cause cognitive impairment. This study has been published in the international medical journal “The Lancet”.
The subjects were divided into two groups. The first group of experimenters is 3335 people, and the test time will be between July and August 2021. The test results found that his cognitive test scores were low, and their symptoms were similar to those of people who were 10 years old and had mild and moderate psychological problems. Especially those with COVID-19 symptoms lasting for more than 12 weeks are more obvious. The study also mentioned that people with low education levels and higher fatigue than average have a higher impact on cognitive impairment than those with COVID-19 infection.
A total of 1786 subjects will be tested in April and June 2022. Its test data showed that those who fully recovered after COVID-19 infection had less obvious cognitive impairment. So the lead author of the study, a Senior Postdoctoral Data Scientist at King’s College London, Nathan Cheetham thinks this is good news. Because they can focus on detecting and assisting people whose brain function and nervous system have been severely damaged by the COVID-19 virus to provide long-term rehabilitation treatment.
What is COVID brain fog? After integrating the main symptoms of patients, neurologists define “brain fog” as long-term neurological fuzzy troubles that begin to appear after the typical respiratory symptoms of new coronary pneumonia have recovered, such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and inability to express words, they are difficult to load daily life and had different degrees of cognitive impairment.
Doctors believe that the main reason that may cause brain fog or cognitive impairment is that when the virus invades, the immune system is activated, allowing it to play a role in fighting the virus infection. But sometimes it overreacts or produces a molecular mimicry effect, and attacks healthy cells or brain proteins similar to viral proteins. Then it damaged the nervous system and caused brain fog. It could also be said that the immune system has accidentally mistakenly attacked the brain.
Therefore, when you observe after infection that your memory continues to deteriorate, you cannot concentrate on doing things, you are tired and weak, your body is numb, or your expression is impaired, you should see a doctor for an examination to confirm whether the brain nerves have been damaged. If no obvious abnormalities are found in the MRI, it may be because the virus invades the brain in a way of micro spreading or affecting the function of the neurotransmitter. Of course, it may also be caused by other diseases. If the source of the disease can be found early, it will be beneficial to subsequent treatment.
Professor Claire Steves, who participated in the research, mentioned that it has been proved that some people have not fully recovered even after being infected with the COVID-19 virus for 2 years. Further research is needed to clarify the reasons and which methods are more helpful to improve the problem of brain injury. The census data of the British government as of January this year also shows that about 2 million people are experiencing the impact of Long-COVID, and they still have symptoms such as shortness of breath, inability to concentrate fatigue, and soreness.
Although there is no complete and clear cause and treatment for brain fog, neurologists suggest that it can be improved by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising appropriately, and reducing alcohol and tobacco intake. At the same time, you can do more activities that are beneficial to the brain, such as continuous regular study and normal work, and choosing puzzle games that are beneficial to brain thinking, can activate the brain, and fight against aging problems caused by brain fog.