Its time to talk about how this pandemic virus, COVID-19, may affect our brains. A recent study shows that there can be significant neurological complications with COVID-19 including delirium, psychosis and inflammation.
This study is from University College London. They described cases of temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage or other serious brain effects. Other recent studies have documented the brain effects from COVID-19, too.
Following the 1918 influenza pandemic there was epidemic of brain damage, encephalitis lethargic or “sleeping sickness”outbreak in the 1920s and 1930s. This is something physicians should be aware of and look out for neurological involvement during this pandemic.
My perspective as a functional medicine psychiatrist, in addition to taking the common sense approach of frequent handwashing, wearing a mask and social distancing, is to take active steps in being healthy.
Several months back I spoke about ‘simple’ immune system support, at least 8 hours of sleep, good healthy nutrition of vegetables and fruit, supplement support (vitamins D, B complex, C, zinc, and fish oil), drinking plenty of water. It may be basic but it truly is not simple.
Supporting brain health is something to consider at this time, too. In addition to immune support as above, getting adequate amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, Co Q10, acetyl L carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium threonate and N-acetylcysteine will definitely help.
And don’t forget a daily probiotic (one with billions and billions of CFU) and/or fermented foods. Due to the gut-brain axis, supporting your gut will support your brain!
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Dr. Laurie Goldman is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, and functional medicine practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1999. She founded Clear Path Wellness to help her patients reach their maximum state of mental and physical health using a personalized, comprehensive approach powered by the principles of functional medicine, which treats the whole person, not just symptoms.