Today, people with COVID brain fog and a chemo brain don’t seem much different. The ones who are suffering from chemo-brain have to go through a life-threatening ailment because of which they take radiation and toxic drugs. Many people who witness the COVID brain fog generally feel that they are healthy people with a mild infection similar to a cold.
In these two years, several people thought that the vaccine would be a tool that would save people from brain fog and other symptoms. In fact, some people feel there should be an amount paid for getting the vaccine. According to MyBioSource, people in Colorado, Delaware, and Kansas think that individuals should get paid $195, $131, and $168 for the vaccine.
The studies about chemo brain and Covid brain fog
Michelle Monje, a neuroscientist at the Stanford University, delved deep into long covid symptoms. And she was rather fascinated to come across similar changes in patients belonging to both groups. For her, it was a striking aspect. People who suffer from cancer and are under treatment have a malfunction in the same cells called the microglia. It results in fuzzy thinking. The scientists and medical practitioners also said in the case of Alzheimer’s, the cells get impeded, making it challenging to counteract the cellular wear and tear that comes with aging.
This research is relevant as it points to the similarities in the ways of the post-covid cognitive changes and various other long-assessed brain conditions, which comprises of the chemo-brain. Other doctors suggest that there is a vast overlap between the long COVID and different other conditions. It is a ripe ground for more studies and observations.
The research before the pandemic
Before COVID, most brain-related medical research was siloed by the ailment. However, at the time of the pandemic, a team of scientists came together to understand the challenging, multi-organ disease that surfaced the similarities. One such latest discovery is that the brain inflammation that takes place after getting affected by coronavirus looks very similar to the inflammation that patients have after cancer therapy.
According to Monje, awareness of these similarities can create a solid base for long covid studies. She says that a few symptoms that patients witness during COVID can get reversed. In fact, today, there are discussions about testing certain drugs in the clinical trials for treating the chemo brain for the ones who are suffering from extreme covid brain fog. Hence, the situation seems to be hopeful.
Yet another team of researchers who belong to the Harvard and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have stated that in chronic fatigue syndrome and COVID-19, excess oxygen molecules pile in the cell, leading to inflammation and cognitive problems.
The majority of the studies are small and very preliminary, giving rise to more questions than answers. However, it also underscores the potential seriousness of the pandemic in generating long-term and short-term effects. It provides hope that treatments can help to reverse some of the symptoms that people with COVID faced. Most research community today are keen to know all that can be known so that they can make a difference in treating COVID.
The gray matter
The human brain is a complex structure. Simply put, it is a jelly-like mass that weighs approximately three pounds and is composed of several cells connected in several ways that no one understands. Today, the researchers and the medical community are still in an early stage of outlining the COVID brain fog, which leads to confusion and slow thinking.
There was a study conducted by half a million people, where the researchers had compared the brain scans of close to 400 patients before and after they got infected by the coronavirus. They came across the gray matter available in key areas, which is usually associated with smell. They also found an elevated level of abnormalities in the tissue.
According to Gwenaëlle Douaud, who is a scientist and also an associate professor at the University of Oxford’s Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, says that she is surprised to see all these apparent effects when it comes to the damage patterns, considering the fact that most people have witnessed mild illness. However, she warned that things still remain unclear about all that impact the biological changes concerning a person’s thinking. She further says that it is necessary for doctors and researchers to see whether the damage can resolve itself in time. Doctors should also try and find out if the weakness leads to other vulnerabilities.
There have been situations where people with COVID brain fog witnessed betterment gradually. In other people, the symptom is combined with mold traces. The medical community must intervene and check whether these symptoms can be cured with medicine and other treatments to ensure that the patient is agile and healthy.