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COVID "Brain Fog"

  • #1
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 7,701 mod Fathom


    Had a bad case of COVID-19. MD claimed I had brain fog after effects. I do pause to remember. Little things. Where's car keys? Did I lock door to lab? Did I log-off? Any library books out? My turn to cook? Suspect this a street term for something else. Does the DSM-V have a reference?


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  • It sounds like mild hypoxia to me (I'm not qualified to even say that though!). I don't know if mild hypoxia is a thing, I mean once there is enough oxygen in the air you will just breathe heavier to get the air you need, right? It just reminds me of the confusion that can accompany altitude sickness

    DSM would call it "disturbance of consciousness" apparently, that seems extremely broad:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouding_of_consciousness


    You might like this video by an MD on the long term effects of covid that are coming out:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhbuuOYrTp4

    I hope for you they are short lived and you feel better soon.





  • DSM would call it "disturbance of consciousness" apparently, that seems extremely broad:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clouding_of_consciousness
    Disturbance of consciousness? Reads Freudian. Expected from wiki source? Or someone's interpretation of DSM-V? Or the psychoanalytic emphasis of DSMs? Would a cognitive science or bio-cog offer better scholarly sources?




  • Fathom wrote: »
    Had a bad case of COVID-19. MD claimed I had brain fog after effects. I do pause to remember. Little things. Where's car keys? Did I lock door to lab? Did I log-off? Any library books out? My turn to cook? Suspect this a street term for something else. Does the DSM-V have a reference?
    That sounds like a lot of the population tbh and definitely me at times.
    Were you susceptible before, has it got noticeably worse and hence your post? How has it impacted you etc? Have there been other stress factors involved?
    I imagine having Covid was stressful enough in itself.
    Best wishes on your recovery.




  • Also post Covid, tested positive last Thur and was a few days in at the time. Mostly symptom free now, but sometimes find the need to take a sharp deep breath like I'm having a panic attack. Also had to stay focused work wise, so would agree with the fog.




  • Fathom wrote: »
    Disturbance of consciousness? Reads Freudian. Expected from wiki source? Or someone's interpretation of DSM-V? Or the psychoanalytic emphasis of DSMs? Would a cognitive science or bio-cog offer better scholarly sources?


    "disturbance of" is a really common phrase in the DSM "disturbance of attention, disturbance of conduct, disturbance of emotion, disturbance of attention" yadda yadda yadda.. It's a way they like to phrase things.

    I only managed to find the phrase "disturbance of consciousness" once in the DSM-V in relation to alcohol withdrawal, and they didn't go into detail on what they meant by that. The only influence Freud still has on the DSM would be in some of the headings and organization, vestigial stuff. That's what I was taught anyway

    I think brain fog refers to a lot of different things, some ADHD symptoms similar to what you are describing would be called "executive function" difficulties / "executive dysfunction". But with ADHD you're not just going to think "did I lock the door?" you are going to go to the door and find the keys in it, or find that you put the car keys away safely in the bathroom press or in the microwave.
    That sounds like a lot of the population tbh and definitely me at times.
    Were you susceptible before, has it got noticeably worse and hence your post? How has it impacted you etc? Have there been other stress factors involved?

    Reasonable question! A friend of mine went blind suddenly and the doctors asked her, I kid you not, "Are you sure you weren't always blind and you just never noticed?"


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  • Were you susceptible before
    No history.
    has it got noticeably worse and hence your post?
    No. Intermittent. Randomly occurs.


    How has it impacted you etc?
    I pause. Sometimes stare. Trying to remember things I know.


    Have there been other stress factors involved?
    Not beyond being a graduate student research assistant.


    I imagine having Covid was stressful enough in itself.
    Scholarly studies are mostly cross-sectional. Not longitudinal. In time more will be suggested about COVID outcomes.

    Best wishes on your recovery.
    Thanks Freedive.




  • "disturbance of" is a really common phrase in the DSM "disturbance of attention, disturbance of conduct, disturbance of emotion, disturbance of attention" yadda yadda yadda.. It's a way they like to phrase things.
    Qualitative and too general for me.
    I only managed to find the phrase "disturbance of consciousness" once in the DSM-V in relation to alcohol withdrawal, and they didn't go into detail on what they meant by that.
    Hmmmmmmm. Decontextualize from alcohol withdrawal and apply to COVID affects?


    The only influence Freud still has on the DSM would be in some of the headings and organization, vestigial stuff. That's what I was taught anyway
    Agree. Freud's work was too anecdotal; case study driven. Committed an ecological fallacy by trying to reason from one unit of analysis to another (e.g., from anecdotal cases to populations). Plus his work was greatly flawed as pertains to women. His sampling was convenience and not random. Most women he examined were those that could afford his consulting fees.

    I think brain fog refers to a lot of different things, some ADHD symptoms similar to what you are describing would be called "executive function" difficulties / "executive dysfunction". But with ADHD you're not just going to think "did I lock the door?" you are going to go to the door and find the keys in it, or find that you put the car keys away safely in the bathroom press or in the microwave.
    Interesting comparisons. I was hoping for a clear conceptual definition. With further scholarly research, also operational definitions.




  • Like any illness there'll be those who got hit with a chronic form and some long-term symptoms or post-disease syndromes.

    A cursory glance at Google Scholar with "covid" + "brain fog" does produce some results. However, I don't they're looking at the fog directly/in depth yet and more so saying it's out there.
    Weeks and months after the onset of acute COVID-19, people continue to suffer. Paul Garner, a professor of epidemiology at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, wrote on the 95th day after the onset of symptoms that “I am unable to be out of bed for more than three hours at a stretch, my arms and legs are permanently fizzing as if injected with Szechuan peppercorns, I have ringing in the ears, intermittent brain fog, palpitations, and dramatic mood swings.” Other people also describe similar complaints. 78 of 100 patients in an observational cohort study who had recovered from COVID-19 had abnormal findings on cardiovascular MRI (median of 71 days after diagnosis) and 36 of those reported dyspnoea and unusual fatigue.
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-30992030701-5/fulltext

    Also

    https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3392.full
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405650220300551
    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12603-020-1473-6
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7320866/
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30343-6/fulltext
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33023287/
    https://solvecfs.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/COVID19-MECFS_Sci_Review.pdf




  • Thanks The Black Oil. Covid studies progress. In time, perhaps I'll have a better understanding?




  • Let me take some leaps... A lot of Covid "long-haulers" report symptoms really similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and most CFS sufferers also experience "Brain Fog"

    Maybe this is useful:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3617392/

    The video I linked to before says 70% of covid patients who had mild cases of covid and recovered at home still had heart irregularities months later, and this article specifically mentions Tachycardia


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  • Currently referred to 'Long Covid' in places, the brain fog/fatigue element is reported, of course as already pointed out we are in the early days of acquiring information. I'm with SuperRabbit in the leaps, like some viral impacts can have ongoing fatigue/muscular/psychological effecta




  • Let me take some leaps... A lot of Covid "long-haulers" report symptoms really similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and most CFS sufferers also experience "Brain Fog"

    Maybe this is useful:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3617392/

    The video I linked to before says 70% of covid patients who had mild cases of covid and recovered at home still had heart irregularities months later, and this article specifically mentions Tachycardia

    Indeed we do. CFS /ME sufferers including myself are all too familiar with this. It is not surprising as both M.E /CFS and COvid are caused by a virus


    Maybe have a read of the M.E Association and Action for M.E web sites as there is a lot of useful info there




  • Let me take some leaps... A lot of Covid "long-haulers" report symptoms really similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and most CFS sufferers also experience "Brain Fog"
    Currently referred to 'Long Covid' in places, the brain fog/fatigue element is reported, of course as already pointed out we are in the early days of acquiring information.
    GP labeled me long-hauler.




  • Another person here talking about brain fog briefly: https://www.rte.ie/news/coronavirus/2020/1116/1178538-taste/
    forgetting stuff is on the stove or in the oven

    So many people seem to assume that if you don't die you recover and so they don't have to worry about this thing, but gosh the so-far-lasting affects seem awful and there's no data on how prevalent they are yet it seems?

    Food is a great comfort to us and that is good and healthy. I don't know why "comfort food" became a bad word, dieticians these days are trying to fight back... of course food is a comfort. Sorry, off topic for the thread but on topic for forum so that's something.




  • Yo SuperRabbit. Long term. That's me. Dieting scheduled too. Comfort food reads great. Some fool was told to wear a mask before entering this coffeeshop. Commented "Let's get back to normal. Chat with friends without masks or distancing. If you're going to die, you will." I was biting my lip trying to not say anything. More so, I wanted to go over to him and **** him. But I cannot say that on boards, so use your imagination for the ****.





  • Food is a great comfort to us and that is good and healthy. I don't know why "comfort food" became a bad word, dieticians these days are trying to fight back... of course food is a comfort. Sorry, off topic for the thread but on topic for forum so that's something.

    It shouldn't be but the idea of comfort food of old, a hearty stew, Shepards pie, home made cake etc has been replaced by comfort food with high processing, take-aways etc, nothing wrong with a few take aways but the pendulum has gone so far the other way.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/
    Plenty of evidence for the above but it's still up for debate, thats just one article and of course their will be some opposing the idea.




  • It shouldn't be but the idea of comfort food of old, a hearty stew, Shepards pie
    Cure for brain fog or not, shepards pie reads great about now Freedive.




  • FYI.





  • One chronic side effect. Sense of time. Late for appointments. Whole days disappear. Weeks vanish. All of sudden rent is due. Never before covid. Always conscience of time. Never late.


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  • Fathom wrote: »
    One chronic side effect. Sense of time. Late for appointments. Whole days disappear. Weeks vanish. All of sudden rent is due. Never before covid. Always conscience of time. Never late.

    Sorry to hear that Fathom, that must be very difficult to manage. Trying to put a positive aspect on it, if some sort of attenuation has occurred it's probable it can be reversed again but may need exercises to do so.
    Best wishes.




  • Yo Freedive. Thanks. Folks joke about it now. I laugh along. My super boss at university understands. Cuts me slack. To compensate, I use alarms. Guess I'm COVID long-termer.




  • "Seeing through the fog of long covid."




  • BMJ have some useful infographics such as this one which focuses on primary care.




  • "Cognitive changes associated with COVID-19 will have increasing significance for patient diagnosis, prognosis, and long-term care."

    GB Stefano, et al. (2021). Selective Neuronal Mitochondrial Targeting in SARS-CoV-2 Infection Affects Cognitive Processes to Induce 'Brain Fog' and Results in Behavioral Changes. Medical Science Monitor (published online).




  • It is good that it is being recognised. That holds hope.

    We with CFS.ME had and have no recognition or help so maybe it will spill over now. I am headed for 80 and have so many similar issues but serendipity. As long as I remember to feed the cats etc … lol..

    I live very simply with no real obligations etc so if things get forgotten, no harm done so no stress.

    It is the stress it brings that is the "killer" rather than the condition itself. NB sending yourself email reminders helps many folk. A kind of journal?




  • Graces7 wrote: »
    A kind of journal?
    Since COVID brain fog. I now use check-off lists. Works for me.




  • Fathom wrote: »
    Since COVID brain fog. I now use check-off lists. Works for me.

    Did this and continue to do so.

    What I have found since having the vaccine are that the lungs have improved immensely and the brain fog is not as bad!!!

    There is hope!


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  • NSAman wrote: »

    ...brain fog is not as bad!!!
    Mine is random and intermittent. Not a constant. Can go without problems for hours. Days. But then it occurs. Affects remembering little things. Car keys. Or where did I park it? Or did I lock home door immediately after leaving? Passwords, heaven forbid! Now use a secure password manager for work. :o


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