Symptoms of the Long COVID reported condition are very similar to those of patients with post-concussion syndrome (PCS). We confirmed the similarity between long COVID and PCS using brain imaging. The chronic COVID patients we imaged showed marked dysfunction of neurovascular coupling. Many long-term COVID patients develop autonomic nervous system dysfunction that they have in common with patients with mild traumatic brain injury. We take this into account in our treatment plan.
Human infection with the novel coronavirus can produce long-lasting side effects, which we call long-term COVID-19 symptoms, even after the symptoms of the initial infection have completely disappeared. These coronavirus sequelae are mainly brain fog post covid, fatigue, shortness of breath, chronic pain, loss of smell, loss of taste, early symptoms of Parkinson's disease, early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, and diarrhea. These long-term symptoms of COVID-19 can have long-term adverse effects on people's lives and work.
Treatment regimen adjusted to accommodate Long COVID. This approach is successful because prolonged COVID can cause mild brain damage; the core of LongCovidCareCenter's treatment options is targeting the long-term symptoms of brain damage. In our clinic, we also treat patients with ongoing symptoms due to brain infections, carbon monoxide poisoning, "chemical" brains, transient ischemic attacks, etc., all of which have similar effects on the brain.
For all LongCovidCareCenter patients, the goal is to resolve symptoms by restoring healthier neurovascular coupling to the brain, including the hippocampus and orbitofrontal cortex. Before treatment begins, patients undergo a brain scan called functional neurocognitive imaging (fNCI) to find out which areas have been affected by the virus.
The scans assessed hemodynamics in 56 brain regions as patients performed a series of cognitive tasks. fNCI also looks at communication between brain regions. Our therapists then use these results to design a custom, one-week treatment plan for each patient, which we call Enhanced Performance in Cognitive Therapy, or EPIC for short.
Cognitive FX Treats Long COVID Symptoms
During EPIC weeks, patients receive multidisciplinary treatment to restore healthier NVC, autonomic function, and vision. Most patients see improvements in symptoms such as fatigue, long covid brain damage, sleep disturbances, vision difficulties, and headaches, just to name a few.
Daily aerobic exercise is an important part of our treatment plan. Our therapists monitor the patient's response during these sessions and adjust the duration and intensity of each activity as needed. Research shows that exercise stimulates neurogenesis in adults through the release of a chemical in the brain called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is involved in keeping these new nerve cells alive, which improves memory and learning.
Prepping your brain with aerobic exercise makes it more receptive to the other therapy appointments you receive each day. These therapies include: neuromuscular therapy, sensorimotor therapy, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy, vision therapy, vestibular therapy, psychotherapy and more.
Our therapists use cognitive therapy to address any cognitive impairments, including issues related to memory, attention, executive function, and word finding. Exercises include word games, puzzles, finding hidden patterns and memorizing word lists.
Cognitive therapy is Sam Pembelton's favorite therapy. It's an hour-long session, and it's just one-on-one with someone. You'll do a cognitive activity like sorting a deck of cards, but at the same time someone gives you a four-letter sentence that you have to alphabetize while sorting the cards. That's a lot of multitasking!
Sensorimotor therapy is another therapy we use at Cognitive FX. Your hands and feet receive sensors that measure how well you tap, clap, and pedal in time for a given beat. At the same time, you might be working on various cognitive tasks, such as playing a taboo game or solving visual search puzzles.
These exercises may sound strange, but their effects on the body are real. Sarah, one of our long-term COVID patients, shared how she felt one day into her treatment week: "I wake up and I feel clear in my head, the first time I've seen in 20 months. It's like wearing glasses for the first time Same. I can think clearly. I know it sounds weird to say that after just one day, but it is what it is. It opened up my brain."
We find that many of the COVID-19 survivors who come to us experience difficulty breathing. This is not surprising given that the virus attacks the respiratory system first. Our therapists teach patients a series of exercises, such as deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, to help them relax and control their breathing. Many of our patients continue to improve using these exercises at home.
At the end of the week, patients will undergo another brain scan to determine how their brains have improved during treatment. Patients also meet with a therapist to assess progress and undergo a series of at-home exercises to continue their recovery journey.
Treatment at the LongCovidCareCenter was initially designed to help post-concussion patients recover from ongoing symptoms. After just one week of treatment, more than 90% of patients showed improvement. So far, we've seen similar results in Long COVID patients who passed our current screening criteria. To check your COVID-19 specific symptoms and find out if you are in our clinic for post covid brain fog treatment, contact us now.