From hopeless to happy; COVID patient’s recovery from ‘brain fog’

Doctors have learned that even mild cases of COVID can produce inflammation that affects the brain.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 4:35 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Former COVID patients are finding relief from “brain fog” that affects cognitive skills.

”I was having shaking episodes,” Lauren Libert said. “I had disfunction to the point where I would open up cabinets in my house and not knowing why I opened them all.”

In Libert’s case, brain fog left her unable to perform at work, which took an emotional toll.

“Knowing that my cognitive level was not where it used to be definitely put a damper on my depression, as well as my anxiety and my ADHD,” Libert said. “So, all of the emotional disorders that I had maybe slightly before, all exacerbated because of the fact that the inflammation was there and was taking over my cognition. And it just made me feel like wow, I’m not myself anymore.”

Doctors have learned that even mild cases of COVID can produce inflammation that affects the brain.

One of Libert’s biggest hurdles was getting past the sense of hopelessness and getting into therapy and she is not alone.

“I think the biggest thing that we’re seeing is the more education and awareness that is coming from this diagnosis of brain fog, and that there is something being done to help with the brain fog, that that’s why we’re seeing more patients,” Norton Health Care Speech Language Pathologist Anne Blandford said. “Some of these patients just feel like they’re kind of crazy that all of this is happening and so they’re not getting the help that they need. It’s nice to see people kind of go from feeling like there’s not really much hope to, ‘Wow, I’m back to feeling good again.’”

Libert benefitted from therapeutic exercises that helped her regain the ability to concentrate, multitask and recall words.

“Learning those different strategies and skills help me then to be able to have that confidence level again,” Libert said, “to really be able to speak for myself, and really realize OK, what do I want in life and all of those things.”