Treating Post-COVID ‘Brain Fog’ with Neurofeedback
As more people around the world contract and recover from COVID-19, we are starting to learn more about the possible long-term effects the virus may have. These individuals, often referred to as ‘COVID Long-Haulers,’ report ongoing symptoms of shortness of breath, racing heart, fatigue, ongoing loss of taste/smell, brain fog and difficulty concentrating.
Studies using electroencephalogram (EEG) and quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) to study the brains of patients with COVID-19 revealed that these individuals had abnormalities in their EEG/qEEG patterns. EEGs and qEEGs measure the brain’s electrical activity in terms of brain wave patterns (i.e. delta waves, theta waves, alpha waves, and beta waves). These studies found that many of the symptoms reported by people with COVID-19, such as headaches, impaired memory, impaired concentration, slower thinking processes and, in some cases personality changes, were associated with changes in the individuals’ brainwave patterns in specific brain areas.
Neurofeedback, also referred to as “brain training,” is a non-invasive treatment approach that may help to alleviate many of the neurological symptoms of COVID-19. Neurofeedback typically begins with a qEEG (also referred to as “brain mapping”) to assess the individual’s baseline electrical activity in their brain, and to determine the specific brain areas and brainwaves to target with neurofeedback. Neurofeedback uses electrodes placed on the head to relay real-time brainwave activity to a specialized computer software program. When the brain produces a brainwave pattern that match the training parameters set by the clinician, the individual will receive audio and visual feedback as a “reward.” These rewards help the brain to learn how to function more efficiently by changing its brainwave patterns. Though the effects of neurofeedback on COVID-19 long-haul symptoms specifically have yet to be studied, neurofeedback has been found to be an efficacious treatment for other disorders with similar symptoms, including but not limited to: ADHD, anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, concussions, depression, chronic fatigue, insomnia and sleep disorders, memory loss, PTSD, addictions, and seizures.
If you are interested in learning more about how Neurofeedback can help you, please contact Rocky Mountain Psychological Services at (403) 245 – 5981 to book a consultation.