They are called long haulers, people have recovered from the Coronavirus infection but have lingering symptoms. Some call the headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Brain Fog.
Neurologist Dr. Michele Longo says, “I’m seeing healthy people that did not have these serious manifestations of Covid. People that are athletic don’t have underlying health conditions that are reporting symptoms. She continues with patients have:
Short Term Memory Loss, Problems Focusing, Problems Concentrating, Problems Finding words, and Trouble with Daily Thinking. But I don’t think that there’s been evidence so far of direct involvement of the brain cells from the virus itself.”
So the question is, what causes it? Here are the theories:
People who have had severe complications are more at risk, Respiratory problems caused lower oxygen, other organs have been affected, inflammation from the immune response, fatigue from fighting the infection, and in a small number of cases problems with blood clotting.
Dr. Longo says, “The brain is very hungry for oxygen. 20 percent of oxygen is going to the brain if it doesn’t get oxygen for three to five minutes there can be irreversible changes.”
So what can be done? Have a doctor check for any underlying medical conditions, Are other medications, or behaviors causing it, like diet of lack of sleep or exercise, are there emotional factors? Or a vitamin or hormone deficiency?
Longo tells us, “Covid is scary and there are people that are out there that have survived what has been a life ending illness for many and that’s left us with a lot of anxiety, depression, some people even have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.”
Even though little is known Dr. Longo has this encouraging prognosis, “we can reassure these patients the way we do our patients that had concussions that most people will improve.”