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Doctors studying 'brain fog' as COVID-19 survivor says it's getting worse

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Posted at 2:43 PM, Apr 15, 2021

We’ve been following the story of 9/11 first responder Robert Marrero for more than a year.

He spent 36 days in the hospital with COVID-19 before getting out in May and for all the time since then, he says he's had memory issues.

“You would think as time progresses it would get better. But it seems to be getting worse," said Marrero.

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He didn’t recognize the song that played when he danced with his daughter at her wedding.

He also has trouble remembering which way to turn when he leaves his neighborhood.

“I’m still struggling even with trying to balance my checkbook which I never had an issue of it. But there are times I pay bills double and I don’t realize it," said Marrero.

USF Professor Dr. Michael Schoenberg is a licensed psychologist who is studying brain fog.

A recent University of California study found brain fog can linger for months after COVID and long-term effects are still unclear.

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“It appears that the COVID infection virus does not enter the brain, but it does adversely affect the blood vessels that make up the brain and irritate those that can lead to both inflammation kinds of processes and in some cases stroke," said Dr. Schoenberg.

Dr. Schoenberg says those experiencing brain fog should see a doctor and says mental and physical exercises can help.

As for Robert, he’s staying sharp taking care of his 4-year-old grandson, but wonders how much longer he’ll be dealing with memory issues.

“The hardest part of this is not knowing," he said.