The Link Between COVID-19 and Brain Fog

Authors: Gary Wenk Ph.D.


  • Neurological symptoms have been observed in 80% of hospitalized people with COVID-19.
  • Recent studies suggest that the virus has difficulty getting past the brain’s main line of defense, the blood-brain barrier.
  • Inflammatory molecules from astrocytes underlie many neurological problems as well as brain fog.

Scientists are trying to understand how the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes “brain fog” and other neurological symptoms. Brain fog includes confusion, mental fatigue, depression, and forgetfulness.

The most recent evidence suggests that the coronavirus’s attack on the brain is multifaceted. It currently appears as though the virus attacks some brain cells directly and reduces the blood flow to some others. As a consequence of its assault on glia cells, the levels of immune molecules increase dramatically; these molecules can then cause direct harm to other brain cells.

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