An approach to "brain fog"


For those with the "long-term" variant of COVID-19, "brain fog" is a common complaint.

For them the nervous system was involved in 71%, second only to the respiratory system.

Again, the numbers come out of 136 respondents to my questionnaire, back in October.


In previous discussions, I have mentioned that the red light treatment has already been used with patients suffering Traumatic Brain Injury, improving their cognitive abilities.


An upcoming study (if I get it off the ground) will include focusing red light on the head.

Why target the head?

Because that's where many of their symptoms seem to be located. Here are the top 10

when symptoms are ordered by frequency.


Our Top 10 Targets


Of course, one need not have all of these. Let's come back to "brain fog." Not specifically on the list as such, but related to the top 3 or 4 that are.


Here is what I suggest. Do a little study!


Use the light that Trish has because it will be easier to manipulate. That, instead of manipulating one's head in front of the larger light.


We need a control to prove an improved effect (or none). Having other people involved as controls would be very professional, but not very practical.


Instead, let's use Lumosity to see if the "brain fog" clears a bit and scores improve over time or not. I think you have looked at Lumosity in the past. It just gets some people frustrated, but I think it's very well done, easy, and available.


The goal would not be to "prove one is the best." Instead, to see if using the light is associated with improving scores or not, over say a two week trial period.

I have a "Family Account" at Lumosity.

I will resend emails to set up participation.


Some neurologists would argue: this isn't virally induced "brain fog," it's just normal "old guy brain." What follows might help with that as well, if they're right. But I think that a virus-related brain effect is likely. More likely in those who started with GI symptoms than respiratory symptoms in fact, says the literature.


OK so what is the protocol?


First, a safety message. In all those treated with red light "helmets" so far, (this began 10 years ago), no side effects reported. No skin burns on top of the head. Shining a light on one's head instead of a knee may feel a little different at first, I'll grant you that. Takes a little getting used to, that's all. One can close one's eyes. Things will still look red behind closed eyelids. That should be Okay. Might even help. 


  1. Do a Lumosity baseline test. Don't worry about the score obtained. It is what it is. It will serve to make comparisons.
  2. Using Trish's light held comfortably in hand, practice moving it before even turning it on. Here is the path, looking down on the head: I'll put these in an ordered gallery ...


The images show:

  1. the top of a head
  2. the right distance to hold the light away from the scalp (3.5 to 4 inches, being exactly always at the same distance doesn't matter in this experiment).
  3. the path to follow. Start behind the right ear. Move light forwards towards right eyebrow. Once arrived at mid-forehead, start backwards in middle of head until the bump back there on top is reached. Then move to left above and behind left ear. Work forwards towards left eyebrow. When you get there that's one "lap." Go back to behind right ear and start over.
  4. in subsequent images that path is numbered. At first count about one second per number: 1-2-3-4-5-6 (at mid-forehead) 7-8-9-10-11-12 (at bump towards back of head) 13-14-15-16-17-18 (near left eyebrow), and cross over and back to starting position. 
  5. If one prefers, one can use the fixed larger light and move one's head. I think the smaller one held in hand is easier.
  6. How long? For about 6 minutes per treatment, 10 minutes max, divided between the 3 paths. It's good its not a longer duration or it would get very boring. Can continue to do the previous treatments to front and back with the larger light without discounting times or anything like that. 6 minutes on the head, not more than 10.


After 3 to 4 days of this, you may in fact begin to sense some improvement. You may be able to define this personally, better than Lumosity. If a mental jitteriness appears (different than anxiety or panic) take a day off.


I'd still use Lumosity each day or every other day for a week or two. Before or after a light session shouldn't matter. But that will provide some numbers, slightly more objective than an impression.


Now if this is actually "old person's brain" and not COVID-related "brain fog," who cares if some improvement comes out of all of this?


I'll send this note in a link, and send an invitation to Lumosity in case you don't still have your account. (I think they had told me that you already have an account). Let me know.


No pressure to do this. You decide. 


Trish could do it too and serve as your control. 

If you're both doing it, or Pete gets involved, one person could hold the lamp and do the other person's treatment. Might be easier to keep the desired distance from the scalp.

Kind of like going to the barber.


What else could you possibly want to be doing during a pandemic?


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