In this episode of Brain Injury Insider, host Michael Kaplen discusses the findings of recent studies, which conclude that Covid-19 can cause functional and structural brain damage in some individuals.
It’s called brain fog. And the latest news about the coronavirus raises serious concerns about the risk that covid-19 poses to our brain.
Individuals who believe that they have fully recovered from the physical effects of covid-19 are finding that they are exhibiting neurological symptoms. In fact, some studies have found that at least half of individuals who recover from covid-19 continue to suffer from neurological problems and symptoms for months following a physical recovery.
Brain scans taken of these individuals show both functional and structural brain damage. But since covid-19 is so new, we still don’t know the long term consequences associated with this virus, and the findings on these radiological
Like traumatic brain injury survivors, some of the most frequent symptoms associated with the coronavirus include physical problems such as headaches, dizziness, cognitive complaints such as memory loss. Inability to concentrate. The inability to do more than one thingat the same time known as multitasking. And behavioral and emotional consequences such as depression, changes in personality, or even aggressive behavior.
Will these changes to the brain and the symptoms that develop that are similar to repetitive head trauma lead to dementia and other forms of neurological decline, such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, a condition that we have seen in football players and boxers or other athletes?
Just too early to tell.
In discussing these issues, it is important to keep in mind what the Brain Injury Association of America has said about traumatic brain injury:
Any time, anyone, any place.
Covid-19 brain fog, like traumatic brain injury affects both the young and the old.
It can happen in the most unexpected ways without warning.
A traumatic brain injury happens in the United States every 15 seconds. One can only imagine how this time period has decreased when we had the neurological complications associated with covid-19.
Our health delivery system still has a long way to go to manage the issues, and transitions faced by brain injury survivors and their families.
Available rehabilitation facilities, health insurance reimbursement, travel, employment, housing, home care and education issues, are just some of the issues faced by brain injury survivors, and which are going to be faced by those facing the neurological consequences of covid-19.
In addition, addiction, homelessness, domestic violence, are other issues that have to be considered.
How we’re going to address these concerns with the increased numbers of brain injury survivors is a true public health emergency. Something that our federal government must devote additional resources to, additional funding to, and additional rehabilitation in order to deal with this mounting problem.
We need to support the Brain Injury Association of America, the voice of brain injury, in these troubled times.
But remember, the best cure for a brain injury remains prevention when it comes to both athletic events, day to day activities, and even covid-19.
So let’s remember these days to take proper precautions, and wear a mask.