Every day, more and more people are sharing stories about how COVID has changed their life for the worse—and there's a subset of people who may never be the same again. "I feel like I have dementia," one patient tells the New York Times, which chronicles patients suffering from neurological symptoms. As COVID-19 attacks your nervous system, it can impact your brain. Here's 9 symptoms you might feel; read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"After contracting the coronavirus in March, Michael Reagan lost all memory of his 12-day vacation in Paris, even though the trip was just a few weeks earlier," reports the Times. "Several weeks after Erica Taylor recovered from her Covid-19 symptoms of nausea and cough, she became confused and forgetful, failing to even recognize her own car, the only Toyota Prius in her apartment complex's parking lot."
"Vertigo or dizziness has recently been described as a clinical manifestation of COVID-19. Countless studies, emerging daily from various parts of the world, have revealed dizziness as one of the main clinical manifestations of COVID-19," reports a study in Ear, Nose and Throat. "This is not surprising as dizziness has historically been associated with viral infections."
Cognitive function is affected as the brain is under fire. "In April, a group in Japan published the first report of someone with COVID-19 who had swelling and inflammation in brain tissues," reports Nature. "Another report described a patient with deterioration of myelin, a fatty coating that protects neurons and is irreversibly damaged in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis." "The neurological symptoms are only becoming more and more scary," Alysson Muotri, a neuroscientist at the University of California, San Diego, in La Jolla, told the website.
One survey of "hospitalized patients (median age 63 years) with COVID‐19 at Strasbourg University Hospital found that 69% of patients had agitation, 67% had corticospinal tract signs, and 36% had a 'dysexecutive' syndrome with difficulty in concentration, attention, orientation, and following commands," according to a new review of research published in the Annals of Neurology.
Grasping for Everyday Words
"Increasingly, COVID survivors say brain fog is impairing their ability to work and function normally," reports the Times.
All of the Above—an Overall Brain Fog
"There are thousands of people who have that," said Dr. Igor Koralnik, chief of neuro-infectious disease at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, who runs a post-COVID clinic, tells the Times. "The impact on the work force that's affected is going to be significant."
"The headaches had migraine-like features, including throbbing and/or pressing nature in almost all patients, aggravation with routine movements and bending over, sensory disturbances such as photophobia and/or phonophobia, nausea, and recovery within several days," reports Clinical Pain Advisor—but for some, the headaches never seem to go away.
"Some are having this, what we call 'hyperactive delirium,' where you can get very agitated and start to have these paranoid delusions," Dr. Pravin George, of the Cleveland Clinic, tells Click on Detroit. "Some of them are having this thing called 'hypoactive,' where they have these kind of internalized visions and then they start to have this very bad confusion." Continues the paper: "George said he's noticed an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients experiencing delirium. He said intensive care unit delirium isn't uncommon, especially in older patients and people with medical problems."
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Other Types of Altered Mental Function, Called Encephalopathy
"Nearly a third of hospitalized Covid-19 patients experienced some type of altered mental function—ranging from confusion to delirium to unresponsiveness—in the largest study to date of neurological symptoms among coronavirus patients in an American hospital system," reports the Times. If you or anyone you know experiences these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.