Previous research and clinical reports have shown that some individuals after COVID-19 infection may demonstrate symptoms of so-called brain fog, manifested by cognitive impairment and disorganization in behavior. Meanwhile, in several other conditions, related to intellectual function, a specific pattern of changes in electric brain activity, as recorded by quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) has been documented. We hypothesized, that in post-COVID brain fog, the subjective complaints may be accompanied by objective changes in the QEEG profile. In order to test this hypothesis, we have performed an exploratory study on the academic staff of our University with previous records of QEEG originating in the pre-COVID-19 era. Among them, 20 subjects who revealed neurological problems in the cognitive sphere (confirmed as covid fog/brain fog by a clinical specialist) after COVID-19 infection were identified. In those individuals, QEEG was performed. We observed, that opposite to baseline QEEG records, increased Theta and Alpha activity, as well as more intensive sensimotor rhythm (SMR) in C4 (right hemisphere) in relation to C3 (left hemisphere). Moreover, a visible increase in Beta 2 in relation to SMR in both hemispheres could be documented. Summarizing, we could demonstrate a clear change in QEEG activity patterns in individuals previously not affected by COVID-19 and now suffering from post-COVID-19 brain fog. These preliminary results warrant further interest in delineating their background. Here, both neuroinflammation and psychological stress, related to Sars-CoV2-infection may be considered. Based on our observation, the relevance of QEEG examination as a supportive tool for post-COVID clinical workup and for monitoring the treatment effects is also to be explored.
Keywords: COVID-19; QEEG; brain fog; patients; quantitative electroencephalography.