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Researchers looking into 'Brain Fog' being lingering symptom of COVID-19

Researchers looking into "Brain Fog" being lingering symptom of COVID-19 (Photo: SBG)
Researchers looking into "Brain Fog" being lingering symptom of COVID-19 (Photo: SBG)
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As researchers continue to learn more about the COVID-19 virus, another long term effect could be added to the list: "brain fog."

A local neurologist spoke with ABC 33/40 about what she's been seeing in some recovered COVID-19 patients.

Covid-19 has been proven keep effecting the heart and lungs after recovery, and now research shows the brain could be impacted too.

Many patients have been referred to Dr. Shruti Agnihotri, a neurologist at UAB.

"Often times these patients may have even recovered from the initial fever and shortness of breath symptoms and they continue to have very severe headaches and tend to often complain about memory loss, often referred to as a brain fog," says Agnihotri.

The lingering symptoms, sometimes continuing weeks and months later, are very similar to what people feel after a concussion.

"Patients often times describe difficulty with attention, focus, just not feeling right, not as sharp as they have otherwise been. We sometimes see these symptoms in many other conditions, during post-concussion, and we also see them after various other infections too," says Agnihotri.

In rare cases prickling and pain sensations and tremors are side effects too.

She says many patients who were hospitalized have more serious symptoms because their brains most likely were having trouble receiving oxygen, but patients who recovered from COVID-19 at home are showing neurological symptoms too.

"For those who have had milder disease, but still continue to have neurological symptoms, I think that data is being collected and we should expect some results over the next few months from different places," she says.

Researching this virus is a worldwide effort, no one is sure why these things happen, but believe it has something to do with inflammation.

"We are, everybody is trying to understand and study this, and what we understand is that the inflammation is probably to a degree that probably is not detected in the spinal fluid," says Agnihotri.

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Agnihotri says doctors have not been able to stop long term symptoms completely, but are doing what they can to help patients manage them.

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