Studies conducted over the few couple of years indicate that more than 40 percent of COVID patients experienced immediate neurologic issues, and a significant number of ‘recovered’ COVID patients suffer long term impaired cognition or even brain damage.

Studies conducted in recent months indicate that more than 40 percent of COVID patients experienced immediate neurologic issues, and a significant number of ‘recovered’ COVID patients suffer long term impaired cognition or even brain damage. A new study released just last month continues to show that this is a problem for many survivors who suffer pervasive yet subtle cognitive, behavioral, and psychological problems.

Naturopathy and COVID Recovery

As naturopathic medical providers we are able to offer an array of post-COVID recovery treatment options for our patients – treatments aimed at supporting the body’s natural healing and recovery processes. This can include vitamin infusions, focused lab work to discover treatable underlying issues, nutritional support, acupuncture and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).

HBOT Relieves COVID Symptoms

HBOT has proven to be an extremely valuable therapy in the recovery and healing of brain injuries by reducing hypoxia and neuroinflammation, while increasing circulation in the brain – symptoms highlighted in this recent study as well as many other studies of COVID patients who have difficulty in returning to a normal state of well-being. HBOT is unique in its ability to increase oxygen levels in the body 5-7 times what is normally available, breathing at normal atmospheric pressure.

Research on COVID Lingering Symptoms

Scientists participating in the study released in May concluded that cognitive impairment of these patients is similar to that observed in people 50 to 70 years of age and is the equivalent to losing 10 IQ points. The team further noted that these unsettling effects are still detectable more than six months after the acute illness, and that any recovery for most patients, is at best gradual.

This report adds to the evidence that COVID-19 can cause lasting cognitive and mental health problems, with recovered patients reporting symptoms including fatigue, ‘brain fog’, problems recalling words, sleep disturbances, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) months after infection. One study found that around one in seven individuals surveyed reported having symptoms that included cognitive difficulties three months after a positive COVID-19 test.

The Impact of COVID on the Health of Communities

When we consider the number of people impacted by COVID’s lingering symptoms we begin to understand the effects COVID has on the health of our communities. According to the CDC the percentage of Americans who have been infected with COVID-19 jumped from 34 percent in December 2021 to 58 percent in February 2022. These results would suggest that offering HBOT and other naturopathic treatments to patients who continue to suffer from COVID recovery issues is extremely important for the long term health and wellness of our patients, and the community.

The effects reported by this study showed that those who required mechanical ventilation suffered the more severe loss of cognition. By comparing the patients to 66,008 members of the general public, the researchers estimate that the magnitude of cognitive loss is similar on average to that sustained with 20 years ageing. While symptoms seem to improve over time, researchers say that any recovery in cognitive faculties was at best gradual and likely to be influenced by severity of illness and its neurological or psychological impacts on the patient.

It is now well established that people who have recovered from severe COVID-19 illness can have a broad spectrum of symptoms of poor mental health — depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, low motivation, fatigue, low mood, and disturbed sleep — the team found that acute illness severity was better at predicting the cognitive deficits.

What’s Causing Cognitive Issue

There are several factors that could cause the cognitive deficits, say the researchers. Direct viral infection is possible, but unlikely to be a major cause; instead, it is more likely that a combination of factors contributes, including inadequate oxygen or blood supply to the brain, blockage of large or small blood vessels due to clotting, and microscopic bleeds. However, emerging evidence suggests that the most important mechanism may be damage caused by the body’s own inflammatory response and immune system.

The Evidence of HBOT’s Benefits

Prior to the COVID pandemic, more than 10,000 clinical trials and case studies were conducted to test many health-related applications of hyperbaric treatment including many of the health issues experienced by recovered COVID patients. Most of these trials results reported overwhelming success. At Hawthorn Healing Arts Center we are successfully treating long-haul patients—those who no longer test positive for COVID-19 but complain of debilitating symptoms, with very good results. These patients are showing excellent recovery rates, and most have been able to resume more normal daily functions.

To learn more about HBOT and our Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Services visit these links:

HBOT Services at Hawthorn

HBOT & IV Therapy – Four weeks to change your life

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