In this episode of Brain Injury Insider, host Michael Kaplen discusses the similarities between "brain fog", a new symptom of Covid-19, and the cognitive issues experienced by many brain injury survivors.
Now there's a new term, and a new condition associated with Covid-19. Survivors call this "brain fog".
It involves short term memory loss. The inability to concentrate. Difficulty putting thoughts together. Perhaps not being able to coordinate doing more than one thing at the same time (multi-tasking). An impairment in the ability to plan or organize.
It may involve personality changes, mood changes, or depression.
People suffering from the effects of Covid-19 may experience some or all of these problems.
All sound familiar to brain injury survivors? You bet. Because these are precisely the same signs, symptoms, and complaints that brain injury survivors have following a concussion, or any other form of a brain injury.
Brain injury survivors, like people recovering from Covid-19, face these problems on a daily basis. These problems may last days, weeks, months, and indeed some people may never recover from these problems.
What does this all mean to individuals suffering from these problems with Covid-19 or as a result of a traumatic brain injury? It means that you need to see a neurologist, a neuropsychologist, and other competent brain injury professionals to first make a diagnosis of your problems.
And then to come up with a plan of treatment or rehabilitation to try and ameliorate some of these difficulties.
You need to understand these difficulties, and you need to learn to cope with them as best you can.
You may need a plan of rehabilitation, you may need medication, you may need therapy. And those around you — your family, your friends, your employer — they have to understand what this invisible injury is, and how it affects you.
You are a person with a brain injury, not a brain injured person.
It is my wish that this increased attention to the neurological difficulties and problems (or brain fog) that people suffering from Covid-19 are now experiencing may lead public health officials, members of the legislature, and others in government to provide brain injury survivors with the needed help and support they need to lead a productive and meaningful life.
No matter what the cause, there is no such thing as a mild brain injury. A brain injury has serious emotional, physical, cognitive, and behavioral consequences that can affect a person for a lifetime.
Further reading: Living with a Brain Injury During Covid-19