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Brain fog: We are finally starting to understand what it is and how to treat it

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Brain fog – which encompasses memory problems, lack of mental clarity and an inability to focus – had eluded scientific scrutiny until covid-19 thrust it into the spotlight. Now, we’re starting to learn more about what exactly it is and how we can beat it



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8 June 2022

Adam Nickel

COURTNEY SHUKIS was looking forward to lunch: she had just recovered from covid-19 and was glad to be meeting her friends again. Before leaving her home in Plano, Texas, she checked the calendar, making a mental note of the restaurant and when to meet. “But instead of going there, I got in my car and drove to a completely different place,” she recalls. “I sat at the table for half an hour, looking at my phone, wondering where everyone was. My brain fog was really bad.”

That wasn’t a one-off. After having covid-19, Shukis had frequent episodes of memory loss. She would forget to make dinner, had trouble finding the words to describe things and got confused about school pick-up times. “I had never had any difficulties with these kinds of things before. It just felt like my brain wasn’t working right.”

Shukis is one of millions of people worldwide reporting a severe dent in cognitive functioning following a covid-19 infection, and as a result, the issue of brain fog has been thrust into the limelight. For many, this is long overdue. “It’s something that patients with a wide variety of different medical problems have said has interfered with their ability to function for a long time,” says Sabina Brennan, a neuroscientist at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and author of Beating Brain Fog. The hope is that this interest could improve care for those experiencing it. “If there’s anything positive to come out of the covid-19 pandemic, it’s that the spotlight is now on brain fog and the scientific community is paying much more attention to it,” says Brennan. …

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Al Roker readmitted to hospital for blood clots

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Beloved weatherman Al Roker has reportedly been rushed back to the hospital for blood clots, after being released just last week.

“Al was rushed to the hospital after Thanksgiving,” People reported Wednesday, citing an anonymous source. The source added that he’d gone by ambulance.

On top of that, the source said that the “Today” show weather anchor’s wife, journalist Deborah Roberts, had gotten locked out of her car when it malfunctioned, trapping her phone and belongings.

The 68-year-old Roker initially posted about his plight on Instagram on Nov. 18, saying he was hospitalized for blood clots in his leg and lungs but was in “recovery.” He was discharged on Thanksgiving, missing his first parade in 27 years.

Roker’s reprieve was short-lived. A day later, he was readmitted.

While he made it home in time to watch at least part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC — hosted by his “Today” colleagues Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie — the meteorologist also missed the Rockefeller Tree lighting on Wednesday.

The upstate New York tree’s illumination was again celebrated by Guthrie and Kotb, along with Craig Melvin and “Access Hollywood” anchor Mario Lopez.

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Independent inquiry over death of boy, 5, sent home from hospital | UK news

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An independent investigation is being launched into the death of a five-year-old boy whose family say he died from pneumonia after he was sent home from hospital because there were “no beds”.

Yusuf Mahmud Nazir died on 23 November after an infection reportedly spread to his lungs and caused multiple organ failure, resulting in several cardiac arrests.

The boy had complained of a sore throat on 13 November and his parents took him to their GP, who prescribed antibiotics.

They drove him to the emergency department of Rotherham general hospital in South Yorkshire the next day when his condition did not improve.

The family waited for hours before Yusuf was seen but he was sent home despite the doctor treating him saying “it was the worst case of tonsillitis he had ever seen”, according to his uncle Zaheer Ahmed.

The boy was distressed, struggling to breathe and could not swallow, his family say.

Yusuf’s condition worsened while he was at home and his parents called an ambulance and he was taken to Sheffield Children’s hospital. However, his condition deteriorated and he died.

Ahmed told Sky News on Saturday that he “begged and begged” for his nephew to be admitted to Rotherham general hospital but was told “there are no beds and not enough doctors”.

Labour MP Sarah Champion, who represents the family’s constituency in Rotherham, said the inquiry needs to find out “what went so horribly wrong”.

She said: “The Nazir family have been very clear they want no other family to suffer the death of a child in such appalling circumstances. We need to quickly find out what went so horribly wrong. I have worked with them to secure a rapid and independent inquiry.

“We need to make sure the inquiry covers the primary and secondary care organisations involved in Yusuf’s diagnosis, care and treatment.”

Champion added that she has been assured an independent investigation is being launched.

She said: “I have been assured by the chief executive of Rotherham NHS foundation trust that an independent investigation is being launched and I will be supporting Yusuf’s family to ensure that it fully investigates their concerns.

“The circumstances of Yusuf’s death are deeply troubling. It is vital that the investigation considers the role of each organisation involved in his care and, crucially, communication and coordination between them. We need [to] ensure that changes are made to prevent this from ever happening again.

“I will be doing all that I can to continue supporting Yusuf’s family at this extremely difficult time and make sure their wishes are respected.”

Ahmed told Sky News he wants a “full independent investigation out of the NHS”.

The boy’s uncle said the health service “want to do an external investigation by someone from the NHS outside of the district”, adding: “We are still in the talks and we are requesting that it is completely external.”

The Hospital chief executive, Dr Richard Jenkins, who met Ahmed and apologised to him and the family, said investigators from outside South Yorkshire would review his care, the BBC reported.

In a letter to Champion, Jenkins said he was working with NHS England to “identify appropriate independent investigators”.

He said: “It is vital that a thorough and independently conducted investigation takes place as soon as possible so the family can have answers to their concerns and we can identify where changes need to be made.”

He said the family would be involved in deciding the terms of reference for the investigation.

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Woman, four children struck by hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn

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Four children and a woman were injured Tuesday when they were struck by a hit-and-run driver in Brooklyn as two of the kids got off a school bus, police sources said.

The duo were disembarking near the intersection of Avenue J and New York Ave. in Flatlands around 5 p.m. as three other people waited for them, according to cops.

The driver of a white Mercedes plowed into all five of them, sending a woman under the school bus, sources said.

All five victims were transported to area hospitals in stable condition.

After the crash, police found the Mercedes abandoned about a mile away, on E. 24th St. and Glenwood Road, sources said.

Police are still looking for the driver.

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