What is brain fog and what are the symptoms?
Brain fog is a condition that affects cognitive function and can have a profound impact on a person’s quality of life. It is characterized by symptoms such as memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and mental fatigue.
A recent article in The Atlantic shed light on the connection between brain fog and COVID-19, with many survivors reporting lingering symptoms, including brain fog. Individuals suffering from brain fog face significant cognitive impairments. For example, they may experience difficulties in tasks like driving and reading, as well as challenges in communication and memory recall. Brain fog is not a specific medical condition but rather a collection of symptoms that affect cognitive function.
What does brain fog feel like?
Kristen Tjaden, for example, faced challenges such as forgetting her destination while driving and being unable to read due to difficulties in comprehending words. Angela Meriquez Vázquez recounted spending two hours trying to schedule a meeting over email, as the information would slip from her memory before she could even access her inbox. These are just a few examples of the profound cognitive impairments that individuals with brain fog
Another article from the Washington Post describes Brain fog, as a form of cognitive dysfunction, a condition that affects individuals with chronic illnesses, including long COVID, cancer, and other chronic conditions. It is characterized by symptoms such as impaired attention, concentration, memory, and processing speed.
Research suggests that lung inflammation caused by COVID-19 may be a common cause of cognitive dysfunction. The effects of brain fog can be life-altering and devastating, impacting activities like driving, biking, and public speaking. Some individuals have had to modify their work schedules or stop working altogether, relying on notebooks and to-do lists to manage even basic tasks.
Treatment options for brain fog vary depending on the underlying cause and may include exercise protocols and cognitive rehabilitation. However, there is no one-size-fits-all method proven to be effective for all patients. Physicians at the Penn Neuro COVID Clinic have evaluated numerous long COVID patients, including those experiencing brain fog, providing support and reassurance that they are not alone in their struggles.
How to get rid of brain fog: how tDCS can help
In a recent article, the authors discuss the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a potential therapeutic intervention for post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), also known as long COVID. PASC refers to persisting symptoms lasting more than a month following COVID-19 illness. Neuropsychiatric symptoms, including central fatigue, cognitive dysfunction pain, and emotional dysregulation are common in PASC (referred to as “brain fog”).
The authors report on the implementation of a remotely supervised tDCS (RS-tDCS) protocol as a telehealth treatment option for Brain fog. The tDCS treatment involves the use of portable and wearable devices, allowing patients to receive therapy at home.
The treatment parameters, including the duration and intensity of stimulation, are tailored to individual symptoms based on published evidence. The tDCS sessions are combined with rehabilitative activities such as physical exercise, cognitive training, and mindfulness meditation.
The article presents two cases of Brain fog patients who underwent tDCS treatment. In both cases, significant improvements were observed in cognitive functioning, mood, and fatigue after several weeks of treatment. One patient was able to return to work and gradually increase her work responsibilities. The other patient reported improvements across physical, cognitive, emotional, and functional domains and was able to resume her prior activities.
The authors suggest that tDCS, when combined with a home-based rehabilitation program, may offer a potential treatment option for Brain fog.
They emphasize the need for controlled trials and further evidence to determine the efficacy and optimal dosing of tDCS for Brain fog. The authors also highlight the importance of personalized treatment targeting specific Brain fog symptoms and the assessment of real-world functional improvement as an indicator of treatment benefit.
It’s important to note that while this article presents promising results, further research is needed to validate the efficacy and safety of tDCS for Brain fog. Consulting with healthcare professionals is recommended for individuals seeking treatment options for long COVID-related symptoms.
Brain fog can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life by impairing cognitive function and mental clarity. However, emerging technologies such as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) offer hope for those battling brain fog. The ability of tDCS to modulate neural activity and improve cognitive performance provides a non-invasive and effective solution for managing brain stem signals. As research in the field continues, it is important to consult with medical professionals and seek professional advice before applying tDCS.