COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that impacts some people’s memory and cognitive function. Many individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 continue to experience lingering effects, commonly referred to as “Long COVID.” Memory impairment, word-finding difficulties, cognitive decline, brain fog, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and mental fatigue are just some of the symptoms that individuals may face.
At NeuroZone, under the expert guidance of Erin Badour, SLP, CCC, we understand the unique challenges that COVID-related memory issues present. As a leading practice in Santa Monica, Playa del Rey, and Redondo Beach, we specialize in providing comprehensive care and innovative neurofeedback treatments to help you retrain your brain. We utilize evidence-based therapies to address memory lapses and other cognitive difficulties associated with COVID-19. And by combining advanced diagnostic tools with personalized treatments, we aim to provide the highest level of care and support.
If you or a loved one are experiencing memory problems or cognitive decline following COVID-19 infection, don’t hesitate to reach out to NeuroZone. Call us today at (310) 821-3640 or complete this form to schedule a consultation.
Read more about neurofeedback on the NeuroZone blog.
What is Long COVID?
While most people with COVID-19 recover within a few weeks, some individuals may experience persistent symptoms that can last for months. These symptoms can vary widely and affect various systems in the body, including the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, neurological system, and musculoskeletal system. Conservative estimates put the number of people with Long COVID at 65 million people worldwide. (1)
How Do Doctors Diagnose Long COVID?
Diagnosing Long COVID can be challenging as there is currently no specific test or biomarker for this condition. Medical professionals typically make a diagnosis based on a thorough evaluation of symptoms and ruling out other possible causes. It is essential for individuals experiencing prolonged COVID-19 symptoms to seek medical attention from healthcare providers experienced in managing post-viral syndromes.
COVID & the Brain
The human brain is a complex organ that plays the most crucial role in our cognitive abilities. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on a concerning issue – the potential impact of this virus on our neurological function. COVID-19 is primarily known for its respiratory symptoms, but emerging evidence suggests that it can also affect the brain. This can lead to various cognitive impairments.
The exact mechanisms by which COVID-19 affects the brain are still being studied, but some researchers believe that the virus can directly invade brain cells or trigger an inflammatory response that impacts brain function. Additionally, the virus can cause damage to blood vessels, leading to reduced oxygen supply to the brain, further exacerbating cognitive decline. (2)
How Does COVID-19 Affect Communication?
The effects of COVID-19 on communication skills and language development can be diverse. Some individuals may experience difficulty finding the right words, forming grammatically correct sentences, or understanding verbal cues. Others may struggle with social communication, such as maintaining eye contact or interpreting non-verbal gestures. These challenges can significantly impact one’s quality of life and daily interactions. Symptoms are often referred to as post-COVID syndrome or long-term effects of the virus.
It’s important to remember that recovery from post-COVID cognitive impairment can be a journey, and patience is key. With the right medical care and support, many individuals are able to regain their cognitive abilities and overcome the challenges associated with memory problems.
Will I Have Memory Problems After COVID-19?
COVID-19 can have varying effects on speech and language abilities. Some individuals may experience temporary changes in their speaking or understanding abilities, while others may develop more persistent difficulties. The severity of these impacts can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the course of their illness.
It’s important to note that not everyone who contracts COVID-19 will experience neurological effects. However, for those who do, the impact on their daily lives can be significant.
Why Am I Forgetting Words?
Word-finding difficulty, also known as anomia, is a language disorder that affects an individual’s ability to retrieve words from memory. This condition can occur in people of all ages and can be caused by various factors such as stroke, brain injury, dementia, or developmental disorders. Evidence suggests that the long-term effects of COVID-19 may also impact word-finding. Furthermore, one study revealed that 59.5% of participants had trouble with word-finding after contracting COVID-19. (3)
Memory impairment and word-finding difficulties can interfere with work, social interactions, and overall quality of life. Individuals with word-finding difficulty often experience frustration and anxiety when they struggle to recall familiar words or names. They may exhibit the following symptoms.
- Prolonged Pauses
- Using Vague Language
- Substituting Words
- Relying on General Terms
This can impact both their expressive language skills, such as speaking and writing, and their receptive language skills, including understanding and comprehending.
If you or a loved one are experiencing memory problems or cognitive decline after COVID-19, we encourage you to reach out to NeuroZone for a comprehensive evaluation. Our compassionate team is here to provide the guidance and care needed to navigate this challenging time and restore brain health.
Questions to Think About
If your speech and language ability has become worse since you had COVID-19, you may wish to ask yourself the following questions.
- Do you feel like your verbal skills have declined since contracting COVID-19?
- Since the onset of your word-finding problems, has the condition gotten better, stayed the same, or gotten worse?
- When do your word-finding problems typically appear? (e.g. over the phone, in general conversation, public speaking)
- Do you initiate conversations less often than before you contracted COVID-19?
- Do you have difficulty following conversations?
- Do you struggle with spoken language only, or does the difficulty also affect your writing ability?
- Do you have any other cognitive or neurological problems since contracting COVID-19?
NeuroFeedback for Memory Problems
Neurofeedback is a non-invasive, drug-free treatment modality that harnesses the brain’s inherent capacity for change and adaptation. By utilizing advanced technology, we can monitor and train specific brainwave patterns to optimize neural functioning and address the underlying neurological imbalances associated with Long COVID.
What Happens in a Neurofeedback Session?
During a neurofeedback session at NeuroZone, electrodes are placed on the scalp to measure brainwave activity, which is then displayed on a computer screen in real time. There are a variety of audiovisual exercises to choose from. Through this process, patients receive immediate feedback about their brainwave patterns and learn how to self-regulate their brain activity. Over time, this leads to enhanced brain function, symptom management, and improved overall well-being.
Benefits of Neurofeedback
- Improved Brain Function: Neurofeedback therapy targets specific areas of the brain to help restore optimal functioning. By stimulating neural pathways and promoting healthy brainwave patterns, patients can experience improved cognitive abilities and enhanced mental sharpness.
- Reduced Brain Fog: One of the most frustrating symptoms of long COVID is the persistent brain fog that affects concentration, memory, and clarity of thought. Neurofeedback therapy can effectively alleviate brain fog, helping patients regain mental clarity and focus.
- Better Word-Finding Ability: Long COVID can leave individuals feeling mentally sluggish and unclear, particularly with word finding. Neurofeedback therapy can allow patients to think more clearly, speak with greater ease, and improve overall cognitive function.
- Enhanced Cognitive Abilities: Neurofeedback can enhance cognitive abilities such as attention, processing speed, and problem-solving skills. By training the brain to operate more efficiently, patients can experience a significant improvement in their cognitive performance.
- Reduced Anxiety and Stress Levels: Neurofeedback therapy has been proven effective in reducing anxiety and stress levels. By training the brain to achieve a state of relaxation and balance, patients can experience a significant reduction in anxiety symptoms and a greater sense of calmness.
- Improved Mood and Emotional Well-being: Long COVID can take a toll on mental health, leading to feelings of depression and emotional instability. Neurofeedback therapy helps regulate brainwave patterns associated with mood disorders, promoting emotional stability, and an improved sense of well-being.
A personalized consultation at NeuroZone in Santa Monica, Playa del Rey, or Redondo Beach is the crucial first step toward addressing your symptoms through neurofeedback treatment. Erin understands the unique challenges presented by long COVID and will take the time to thoroughly assess your condition and discuss your specific concerns.
During the consultation, Erin will conduct a comprehensive cognitive assessment and evaluate your brainwave patterns to gain a deeper understanding of your condition. This thorough evaluation allows her to develop an individualized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. By combining her expertise in neurofeedback therapy with her knowledge of long COVID management, Erin can create a targeted approach to help you achieve optimal results.
Cost of Long-COVID Treatment in Santa Monica
The cost of your neurofeedback therapy will depend on the type of treatment you receive and the number of sessions required. Remember, your brain health matters, and we are here to help you on your path to recovery.
If you’re ready to take the next step toward managing your Long COVID symptoms, we invite you to contact NeuroZone today. Call our office at (310) 821-3640 to schedule your personal consultation with Erin Badour, SLP, CCC. Our dedicated staff is here to assist you every step of the way.
- Davis HE, McCorkell L, Vogel JM, Topol EJ. Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations. Nature Reviews Microbiology. 2023;21(3):1-14. doi:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41579-022-00846-2
- Marshall M. How COVID-19 affects the brain. New Scientist. 2023;257(3424):14-15. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0262-4079(23)00189-6
- Gallegos M, Portillo N, Martino P, Cervigni M. Long COVID-19: Rethinking mental health. Clinics. 2022;77:100067. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinsp.2022.100067