Long Covid-19: As Severe As a Brain Injury

People with traumatic brain injuries and long COVID-19 have something in common. Both categories have problems with concentration and memory, complaints of “foggy” consciousness, and the inability to make decisions quickly. Such patients ask neurologists for help and rehabilitation, writes Bloomberg.

There is no single protocol for treating long COVID, as Dr. Monica Verduzco-Gutierrez, an accomplished academic Physiatrist and Professor and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, explained. Dr. Verdusco-Gutierrez has treated more than 600 of these patients and notes that Long-Covid can cause a surprisingly wide range of symptoms. In assisting such patients, the doctor applies his experience in traumatic brain injury medicine.

The study’s results being published this week confirms the specialist’s observations. The authors examined 46 patients in the UK from over six months to 10 months after being hospitalized for COVID-19 and found significant “cognitive deficits that persist into the chronic phase” comparable to a loss of 10 IQ points, Bloomberg reports. As expected, the consequences of post-COVID were more tangible if the infection was more severe.

Neurologists suggest tailoring treatment to the specific symptoms that patients suffer from. For example, in some cases, “speech therapy or other strategies to improve memory and cognition are required.”

“Some people are more successful than others, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to rehabilitate them,” says Dr. Verduzco-Gutierrez, noting that a “magic cure” would work equally well for all patients does not exist today.

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