Neurofeedback for Long Covid Brain Fog
November 05, 2022
By Ted Chapin, Ph.D., Board Certified in Neurofeedback
Long Covid has been found to cause serious and long-lasting problems with concentration, memory, and brain fog. To date, research shows that near 50 percent of patients seeking help from their doctors for long lasting cognitive symptoms related to Covid, have had trouble getting their doctors to even acknowledge the condition. When they do, little help has been available for them. While some strides have been made in offering a form of cognitive rehabilitation to these patients, similar to that used in recovery from stroke or severe viral infection, this tends not to address the pervasive inflammation associated problems of anxiety and depression, sleep, and headache pain that frequently accompany brain fog from long Covid. Neurofeedback training offers those suffering from brain fog and its related symptoms a real opportunity for meaningful relief.
Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that teaches the brain how to re-regulate, dysregulated brainwave activity at the foundation of many long Covid symptoms. The brain works through both localized function and network communication. These can become disrupted by the hypoxia (loss of oxygen to the neurons) caused by Covid. The first area most commonly affected are the temporal lobes, on the side of the head, associated with memory. Once neurons are deprived of their regular supply of oxygen, they die and the body attempts to heal this injury by releasing inflammatory cells designed to begin the healing process. If the inflammatory cells stay too long, this can lead to chronic inflammation and long lasting impairment of the affected areas. With Covid, the chronic inflammation occurs globally, across the brain, so many neurological functions become impaired, leading to many symptoms including: problems with memory and concentration, depression, anxiety, sleep, and chronic pain.
According to an article citing several large research studies, published in the July, 2022 Washington Post and written by Jason Gale, on average, seven and half percent of adults who have gotten Covid will develop brain fog. Four percent will have never been hospitalized, sixteen percent will have been hospitalized and twenty-six percent will have been in intensive care. It has been estimated that nearly “twenty percent of all Covid sufferers will develop long Covid” and “seventy-eight percent of these will develop brain fog.” This represents a shocking number of people who are suffering for several months, to two years or more, without meaningful relief and recovery. Neurofeedback training provides a relatively simple and effective therapeutic option for long Covid sufferers. In neurofeedback, the specific nature of a person’s neurological dysregulation is first evaluated, then an individualized treatment plan is designed and neurofeedback training is provided.
Neurofeedback training harnesses the brain’s natural ability to heal itself. It uses simple principles of reinforcement to promote healthy neuroplasticity. Neurofeedback recruits and strengthens weak, adjacent, and underperforming neurons, to help reduce symptoms and more importantly, to help recover healthy localized and network communication across the brain. To put it more simply, neurofeedback retunes the brain, decreases symptoms, and helps restore healthy functioning.
When counseling and medication are not sufficient, think of neurofeedback as an alternative way to address the underlying neurological basis of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems. For more information on neurofeedback for Covid induced brain fog, call for a free telephone consultation with a Board Certified Neurotherapist.
Ted Chapin, Ph.D. is Board Certified in Neurofeedback at Chapin & Russell Associates, Neurotherapy Institute of Central Illinois located at 3020 W. Willow Knolls, Peoria, IL. Ph: 309.681.5850, Chapinandrussell.com/neurotherapy.asp.
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