COVID-19 and Brain Fog: A Possible Long-Term Effect

Authors: Robert John Sawyer, Ph.D

Because COVID-19 is a new virus, it is too early to make definitive statements on how it affects the neurological system. New reports are raising concerns about lingering “brain fog” some COVID-19 patients are experiencing.

These reports are shedding light on more short-term and, potentially, longer-term health consequences of COVID-19.

Specifically, researchers are finding lingering cognitive difficulty, like short-term memory trouble, slowed processing speed, trouble with focus and mental fatigue.

This same effect was observed in previous outbreaks of other forms of coronavirus, such as SARS and MERS. The reason for this involves our brain’s substantial need for regular oxygen to function properly. Changes in our brain’s ability to get oxygen can damage brain cells; in turn, this can contribute to cognitive trouble.

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