Long-term cognitive impairment, universally referred to by those who get it as brain fog, is a common after effect of chemotherapy. New research had found that “chemo brain” and long SARS-CoV-2 brain fog are caused by the same mechanism.
The research studied 63 patients with brain fog/cognitive impairment persisting after recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection. Of the 63, 48 or 76% had high levels of an immune cytokine, CCL11. CCL11’s job is to recruit immune cells called eosinophils, the cells responsible for most allergy symptoms. Interestingly, this same high level of CCL11 and its eosinophil response has been associated with the mechanism behind post chemotherapy brain fog/cognitive impairment commonly referred to as “chemo brain”.
This understanding opens therapeutic measures that can resolve symptoms. There are several herbs which help to suppress excessive immune responses with eosinophils and a balanced combination can be used for each specific patient. This is typically combined with measures to detoxify in chemo brain as lingering toxins in the brain may perpetuate the ongoing response. It seems reasonable that many who develop brain fog in long SARS-CoV-2 may have had some pre-existing toxicity, and the same detoxification should be part of their therapy.
While we do not know how many patients exist with long SARS-CoV-2 brain fog, the number is likely high given that some long SARS-CoV-2 symptoms persist in approximately 25-30% of the 65 million already infected. As with all problems, the earlier this is properly treated the likely faster and better outcome. The learning curve on this virus has been a steep one but an unprecedented effort in the research community is bringing answers at a fast pace. Answers lead to solutions. There are several herbs and phytonutrients that down-regulate both inflammation and eosinophil activation. Once the pieces in a given case are understood, an effective program can be undertaken.