A UK study shows that blood clots in the brain or lungs could explain several typical symptoms of “long Covid-19,” such as brain fog and weariness. Researchers believe two blood proteins in the study of 1,837 persons referred to hospital due to Covid indicate to clots as one cause.
For at least six months, 16% of such individuals are believed to have difficulty thinking, concentrating, or remembering.
Long Covid can also develop as a result of less severe illnesses.
However, the research team from the universities of Oxford and Leicester emphasises:
Their findings are solely applicable to hospitalised patients. They are “the first puzzle piece,” but further research is required before they can suggest or test any viable treatments.
They only followed cognitive deficits at six and twelve months, using tests and questionnaires that may “lack sensitivity.”
Identifying predictors and potential processes was “a key step” in understanding post-Covid-19 brain fog, according to research author Prof Paul Harrison of the University of Oxford. However, there could be other causes of long Covid.
Chris Brightling, a professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Leicester, stated, “It’s a combination of someone’s health before, the acute event itself, and what happens afterwards that leads to physical and mental health consequences.”
Dr. Simon Retford (Above photo) is still recovering from a severe case of Covid in the first autumn of the pandemic.
Dr Simon Retford, a university lecturer from Lancashire, spent two weeks in a coma after contracting Covid in October 2020, with his family warned to anticipate the worst.
He is now 60-70% of his former self, although he still struggles with concentration, short-term memory loss, and losing his line of thought.
“I took on a course-leader role last May, and I was like a really slow computer that struggled to get going,” he adds.
Dr. Retford used to work for the police but is no longer able to do so.
“If I overdo it now, I’ll be exhausted,” he says.
Despite the fact that he may never fully heal, Dr. Retford is determined to remain optimistic.
“I’m still here, while thousands of others aren’t,” he says.
The Post-hospitalisation Covid-19 study (PHosp-Covid) in Nature Medicine blames brain fog on elevated levels of the protein fibrinogen and the protein fragment D-dimer.
“Both fibrinogen and D-dimer are involved in blood clotting, so the results support the hypothesis that blood clots are a cause of post-Covid cognitive problems,” stated study author Dr Max Taquet of Oxford.
“Fibrinogen may act directly on the brain and its blood vessels, whereas D-dimer frequently reflects blood clots in the lungs, and problems in the brain may be due to a lack of oxygen.”
Those with high D-dimer levels also:
- complained of extreme tiredness and being short of breath
- tended to have difficulty holding down a job
A US study found similar results.
About Brain Fog:
Brain fog refers to a state of mental cloudiness or confusion that can make it difficult to think clearly, concentrate, remember information, or perform tasks that require mental focus. It’s often described as feeling mentally sluggish, forgetful, or disconnected. People experiencing brain fog may find it challenging to process information, make decisions, or articulate their thoughts.
Brain fog can be caused by various factors, and it’s important to identify the underlying cause in order to address it effectively. Some potential causes of brain fog include:
- Sleep Issues: Lack of quality sleep or sleep disorders like insomnia can lead to cognitive difficulties and brain fog.
- Stress and Anxiety: High levels of stress or chronic anxiety can impair cognitive function and contribute to brain fog.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, autoimmune diseases, and hormonal imbalances can be associated with brain fog.
- Medications: Some medications can have cognitive side effects that manifest as brain fog.
- Diet and Nutrition: Poor dietary choices, dehydration, blood sugar fluctuations, and nutrient deficiencies can impact cognitive function.
- Lack of Physical Activity: Sedentary lifestyles can affect blood flow to the brain and lead to cognitive decline.
- Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones, such as those experienced during pregnancy, menopause, or certain menstrual cycles, can contribute to brain fog.
- Allergies and Sensitivities: Environmental allergens or food sensitivities can trigger cognitive issues in some individuals.
- Chronic Illness: People with chronic illnesses may experience brain fog as a symptom of their condition.
- Age-related Factors: As people age, cognitive function can decline, leading to occasional brain fog.
To address brain fog, it’s important to address the underlying causes. This might involve making lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, managing stress, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and staying physically active. If brain fog persists or is significantly affecting your daily life, it’s advisable to consult a medical professional for a proper evaluation and guidance.
Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you are experiencing persistent or severe brain fog, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.