Even Mild Cases Can Cause “COVID-19 Fog”

Authors: Anna Nordvig, MD, a neurologist and postdoctoral clinical and research fellow at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

How common is it for COVID-19 patients to experience persistent neurological symptoms?

There are few more pressing questions that neurologists and psychiatrists worldwide must answer, but it may not be easy.

COVID-19 manifests with many different symptoms. Some may escape detection. It may be hard to distinguish what was caused by the virus and what was caused by the hospitalization. Patients may not even think to mention certain symptoms to their doctor. To understand the prevalence of persistent neurological symptoms, we need to cast a wide net. Patients and their primary doctors can help this effort.

In our clinics and in case reports worldwide, patients report fatigue, inattention, poor concentration, difficulty working long hours, difficulty getting out of bed, a “brain fog.” This is similar to what small studies reported in survivors from the first SARS virus. Some also have more specific thinking and behavior problems—they forget the names of people they know well, they can’t follow along during business conversations, prioritizing and planning is suddenly difficult, they are inexplicably anxious and sleep poorly. 

For More Information: https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/news/even-mild-cases-can-cause-covid-19-fog

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