When I first heard the term “brain fog” it rang a bell. Although I didn’t have a word for it, I experienced brain fog after my 7-hour surgery in March 2009. For months, I felt as though my thought process was slow and inefficient. I attributed this to the lasting effects of anesthesia and told the anesthesiologist before my next surgery. Although the later surgery was also 7 hours long, I did not have brain fog afterwards.
Brain fog is getting more attention because many long Covid patients suffer from it. The Macroeconomic impact is because millions of workers may be less efficient on the job or may not be able to do their job at all.
**What Is Brain Fog and How Can I Treat It?**
**Researchers are just beginning to understand the cognitive dysfunction that some people experience with Covid-19 and a range of other health issues.**
**By Knvul Sheikh, The New York Times, Sept. 13, 2022**
**Roughly 20 to 30 percent of Covid patients have some brain fog that persists or develops during the three months after their initial infection, and more than 65 percent of those with long Covid report neurological symptoms too....**
**It can affect some people for months and take over many aspects of life, compared to run-of-the-mill sluggishness or forgetfulness. Brain fog tends to affect executive function — a set of skills that are essential for planning, organizing information, following directions and multitasking, among other things. ...**
**Some patients’ brains show dysregulation in their endothelial cells, which line blood vessels in the brain. This can lead to a more permeable blood-brain barrier that allows harmful substances through to the brain and changes cognitive function. A more common cause of brain fog in Covid patients, as well as those who have been infected with other viruses like H.I.V. and Ebola, and even people who undergo chemotherapy for cancer, is inflammation — a steep and unwarranted increase in immune-cell activity that can wreak havoc — in the brain and the body....** [end quote]
This contains clues to relieving brain fog if you get it.
Don’t put harmful substances into your body (including drugs and alcohol) because their impact on the brain may be worse due to weakening of the blood-brain barrier.
Do everything possible to reduce inflammation. Get plenty of sleep.
Follow the “MIND diet” which was developed to slow the progress of dementia.
Get plenty of exercise. I recommend Zumba (or other complex dancing, such as contra dance) to force the brain and body to do rapid processing. Here are Zumba videos that are slower since they are meant to be done with weights (“Zumba toning”). Try them without weights to get used to controlling your movements.
Socialize as much as possible.
Get a blood test to see if your inflammation is high (C-reactive protein) or if you have a Vitamin B-12 deficiency (common in older people since absorption from food may decline with age).
According to The New York Times, over 95 million cases of Covid have been reported in the U.S. It’s not clear how many individuals since many have had Covid more than once. Regardless, the impact of brain fog on the work force will be widespread even if it’s subtle.