Covid Causes Much More than Brain Fog

A mountain of evidence tells us that even mild Covid is bad for your brain.

Covid Causes Much More than Brain Fog
Diana Vyshniakova

Earlier this year, a case study in Frontiers in Pediatrics described what Covid did to the lives of two healthy girls. Before getting sick, they made excellent grades. They had lots of friends. They played the piano. They were healthy. After a mild case of Covid, they started complaining about fatigue and joint pain. They forgot how to play their favorite songs. They couldn't do simple math. For six months, their parents and teachers didn't listen. They sent them to a psychologist. They assumed the girls were suffering from anxiety.

They weren't.

Brain scans finally revealed hypometabolism. Their brains weren't absorbing nutrients. Covid had done something to them. Researchers decided to administer a special supplement to improve cognitive function. After months of treatment, the girls seemed to be showing some signs of improvement.

It was unclear if they would make a full recovery.

Here's a description of the treatment:

A product available in Italy that contains magnesium oxide, bulking agent cellulose, turmeric Meriva fitosomas rhizome e.s. titrated at 18% in curcuminoids, zinc gluconate, anticaking agents silicon dioxide, magnesium salts of fatty acids, and carboxymethyl cellulose sodium, soy seeds e.s. 40% isoflavones, 98% resveratrol, selenium, methionine, cholecalciferol, and folic acid.

We opted for this treatment based on the published literature showing positive biological effects of selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, and polyphenols on cognitive functions.

--Frontiers in Pediatrics

Look at the citations, and you see this is the same treatment given to patients with dementia and traumatic brain injury.

It's not a coincidence.

Now let's glance at the news. Teachers are filling up social media with videos and tweets about the collapse of public education. This time, it's different. It's worse. Students were always behind. Now seventh graders can't even remember a 3-minute video. They can't write a sentence. They can't follow basic instructions. Everyone wants to blame something else. They blame bad parenting. They blame bad teaching. They blame vaccines. They blame lockdowns. They blame online instruction. It's none of the above.

It's Covid.

We know it's Covid, because dozens of studies tell us what Covid does to your brain. According to Harvard medical professor Anthony Komaroff, “COVID can damage the brain in many ways.” A recent study in Nature Medicine identified two proteins responsible for memory and concentration problems in post-Covid patients. Researchers at NYU found that the virus can cause direct brain damage, but it more often triggers ongoing brain inflammation that could be treated if diagnosed. Covid survivors aren't making it up.

It's real.

We’ve known about the cognitive impacts of Covid since October 2020, when researchers published on it in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, noting a significant impairment “linked to the underlying inflammatory processes.” In other words, we had evidence that Covid caused brain inflammation that lasted for weeks or months after the infection.

It was largely ignored.

According to the American Medical Association, Covid brain fog remains a common and persistent problem for millions. Patients describe “the feeling that their brain is lost in a maze, and they can’t find their way back.”

Here’s Stanford neuroscientist Michelle Monje:

Inflammation in the brain can cause dysregulation of a number of different cell types and have lasting consequences to cognitive function. Understanding that when the pandemic struck and we saw how profoundly immunogenic, how profoundly inflammatory even relatively mild cases of Covid could be, I really worried about a neurological health crisis. And I think we’re watching that unfold right now. The rates of persistent cognitive symptoms in the people who’ve recovered from Covid is frankly alarming.

This Stanford neurologist goes on to describe the “remarkably high rate” of persistent cognitive problems that doctors are seeing in Covid survivors. They include struggles with focus and attention, information processing, and memory. Many of these survivors say, “I feel like I have dementia.”

It doesn’t have to be a severe infection.

Mild infections tend to trigger an immune response that causes brain inflammation. That brain inflammation disrupts the ability of your neurons to communicate with each other. We still don’t know how long it lasts. Some people get back to normal after a few months.

Others might never recover.

In every case, Covid survivors need specific treatment and therapy to restore healthy brain function. Scientists are working on it. Researchers at Yale have found some potential with drugs like NAC and guanfacine, or supplements like the girls in Italy were given. Apparently, these drugs are sold over the counter, but we're still waiting on a major study to back them.

On a related note, guanfacine is used to treat ADHD. It's an alternative to the popular drug Adderall. We just happen to be in the middle of a dire ADHD med shortage. The media calls it "mysterious."

Is it, though?

Maybe you've noticed a spike in ads for nootropics, often referred to as "smart drugs." Everyone suddenly wants to be like that guy in Limitless. Without some kind of stimulant, they feel lost. I guess it's no accident that coffee consumption has also hit its highest point in two decades.

Maybe it's not mysterious.

Maybe so many people are going around with Covid brain inflammation that they're trying to self-medicate with caffeine, ADHD meds, and smart drugs. They're not getting a proper diagnosis.

It's Covid.

Studies have shown that Covid elevates your risk of memory problems by 77 percent, even in mild cases. They’ve found that Covid can destroy synapses in your brain, resulting in cognitive impairment on par with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Another new study confirms that Covid can fuse brain cells, hampering their ability to function the way they should.

More studies are showing us that children and teenagers face the same risk of Long Covid as adults. In fact, neuroscientists are especially worried about how Covid inflammation will harm brain development in children and teens. They’re still learning about it. Last year, scientists tried to warn the public against going back to school without masks or any other protections.

School boards didn't listen.

They ended lockdowns and remote learning as soon as possible. Red states sat on more than $120 billion in Covid relief money that was specifically allocated to help schools upgrade ventilation. Now everyone wonders why test scores keep falling and seventh graders can't write a sentence.

There's only one way to help kids and teens with their learning now. They don't need more time in school. They don't need tutoring or test prep. They need clean air. They need a proper diagnosis. They need more options for treatment and therapy. They need adults who listen.

Adults are struggling with Covid brain damage and inflammation, too. They're struggling at work. They're losing their jobs. They're not getting the long term disability they need. They deserve better.

Let's be clear:

If left unchecked, the mass disabling event of Covid will become the biggest public health crisis in hundreds of years. And we haven't even talked about Covid's toll on your immune system.

We can't let students spend another year getting infected with Covid. They're already looking at a future darkened by war, climate disaster, and pending social collapse. Are we going to kill their brains, too, leaving them utterly unable to function in this chaotic world? Are politicians and CEOs going to continue shredding their own workforce? Is anyone outside the Covid-aware community even thinking about the future?

It doesn't look like it.

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