Covid has taken the lives of many. But, for even more individuals, Covid has stimulated a long list of long-lasting side effects. One of the most common post Covid effects for aging individuals is cognitive impairment. Cognitive impairment is when an individual is challenged with making decisions for oneself, learning, and recollection/memory. This is believed to happen as Covid attacks and damages the nervous system. Therefore, leading to long-lasting damage to the brain which can lead to debilitating symptoms of cognition impairment which can negatively impact aging individuals at a higher rate. Fortunately, specific treatments are available and effective for aging individuals who have experienced nervous system damage as the result of Covid and are dealing with cognitive impairment. For example, some of the services available through Synchrony Brain Health include neurofeedback, recognition, and mindfulness stress reduction.
Covid and the Brain
Cognitive impairment from Covid is believed to be the result of swelling of the brain, or encephalitis. Swelling of the brain can stimulate strokes and brain damage. While encephalitis is a side effect that typically doesn’t result in serious issues in most individuals who experience this symptom, elderly individuals are more susceptible to experiencing brain damage when suffering from encephalitis as the result of a Covid diagnosis.
According to a study of a group of cases in Wuhan, China, people who are older than 60 and have been isolated in care for a Covid diagnosis were more susceptible to experiencing cognitive impairment. This is especially true for people who have severe cases of Covid. And, after one-year post-Covid diagnosis, these individuals are also more likely to experience the same symptoms on a prolonged basis.
The Symptoms of Brain Damage at the Result of Covid in Elderly Individuals
Over 35% of individuals who have experienced an intensive care stay as the result of Covid also experience impairment in cognition. This cognitive impairment is similar to people who have suffered from brain damage as a result of a traumatic head injury. Some of the symptoms of cognitive impairment and brain injury caused by Covid can include:
- memory issues
- lack of focus/trouble concentrating
- impaired executive functioning
Some of these symptoms can impact everyday life as it can impair patients from understanding conversations and information about their health, disrupt daily medication regimens, negatively impact relationships, keep a person from managing finances and careers, and much more.
Treatments for Post Covid Cognitive Impairment in Aging Individuals
Fortunately, aging individuals who have experienced a cognitive decline as the result of Covid can experience symptom relief from the treatment. There are specific treatments available that can help to reduce and even reverse the effects of brain damage as the result of swelling of the brain. Some of these treatments include:
Mindfulness Stress Reduction: This is a stress-reduction-based therapy that uses meditation as a primary technique. It is shown to help people with cognitive impairment as meditation can actually improve the cognitive reserve in the brain, helping to reduce symptoms of cognitive impairment.
ReCognition: ReCognition is a neuroscience treatment that can help to reduce cognitive impairment symptoms. This program ‘works out the brain’ by providing exercises that help the brain better focus on cognitive functioning and symptomatic patterns that are the result of brain damage or injury – like swelling of the brain due to Covid.
Neurofeedback: This type of neurotherapy is helpful to improve cognition as it offers training for the brain that allows for better functioning. Therefore, it can help to improve brain cognition in those who participate in this type of therapy. During sessions, individuals are asked to provide feedback about brain functionality in order for them to train their brains for better functioning, which actually eventually adjusts directional pathways in the brain to provide better long-term cognition.
Post-Covid Cognition Treatments for Aging Adults at Synchrony
Have you or a loved one experienced brain impairment as the result of a Covid diagnosis? Synchrony offers available treatments for aging adults that include ReCognition, Neurofeedback, and Mindfulness Stress Reduction. Find out more about our available services on our website today.