The Covid-19 pandemic is no longer restricted to the virus itself but has brought along several post-Covid complications which have become a major concern. One out of many such associated concerns includes brain fog, a neurological symptom affecting up to 25% of people who are contracting Covid-19 virus, shows PubMed Central database.
Speaking with Neo Science Hub said, “Dr. Shiva Kumar R. (Senior Consultant – Neurology & Epileptology, Sakra World Hospital Bengaluru)
While not many are aware of what brain fog is, it is essential to understand that brain fog is not a medical diagnosis but a general term used to describe the feeling of being mentally slow, fuzzy or spaced out.
Memory problems, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration, headaches, confusion are some of the common signs of brain fog. One may have faced brain fog and felt mentally sluggish after a poor night’s sleep or under quite a bit of stress”.
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Covid-19 and brain fog: Connecting the link, Why Covid cause brain fog?
It could be attributed to both physiological and psychological factors. Covid-19 virus, it enters cells via an enzyme known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. This virus is neuro-invasive in nature which means it can seep inside one’s brain tissue. As a result, several people who get infected by Covid develop altered consciousness or encephalopathy that refers to damage to the brain in general.
Also, a latest study found increased levels of inflammatory cytokines in the fluid surrounding the brain of those who have been affected by Covid and the levels remain high for weeks after the Covid-19 contraction. Cytokines which are molecules generated from the immune system encouraging inflammation prevent the ability of the neurons to communicate with each other, thereby leading to brain fog. The brain fog may last up to several weeks and months post Covid-19 infection and its various symptoms among Covid-19 patients post recovery include mood changes, fatigue, headaches, visual disturbances, etc.
Treating Covid induced brain fog faster
If one wants to get rid of brain fog post Covid-19 recovery quickly, one has to do the following :
Sound sleep: Getting good quality sleep will help the body repair and recover soon.
Daily exercise: Staying physically active not only amps up one’s heart and lungs but also enhance brain function.
Eat healthy: Having a well-balanced diet and healthy meals provide adequate nourishment to the body that is needed for speedy recovery.
Abstain from tobacco and alcohol: Consumption of tobacco and alcohol enhances brain inflammation which could worsen the brain fog. Hence, it is required to stay away from tobacco and alcohol.
When one must report to a doctor regarding brain fog?
If one contracts Covid-19 virus and has any of these signs like difficult breathing, ongoing pain or pressure in the chest, rapid heart rate, new mental confusion, trouble staying awake or difficulty walking, bluish fingernails or lips, one must immediately report to the doctor. It is important to be aware of this condition and know the appropriate ways of treating it and the appropriate time to reach out for clinical help in order to quickly overcome Covid-19 induced brain fog.