Some long COVID patients find promising results in treatment aimed at ‘awakening’ brain

Experts believe 10% to 30% of people who get infected with COVID will have long-haul symptoms.
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 7:18 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 16, 2022 at 1:05 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As the wave of Omicron cases declines, experts are worried about long-haul effects from the virus.

But experts say there is promising treatment for those searching for relief.

Angela Keen is a former TV journalist who became the face of the Hawaii Quarantine Kapu Breakers. The group battled COVID violators.

Privately, she had a personal battle with the disease and then long-haul symptoms.

She has been coming to Brain Health Hawaii for daily treatments since October.

Neuropsychiatrist Dr. Jason Keifer uses a portable wire cap to listen to her brain activity.

He says it showed the 53-year-old’s brain was half asleep and more like someone 65 to 80 years old with pre-dementia.

“The anatomy is fine, but the signaling and the communication is off,” said Keifer.

Keen was infected with COVID in March 2020.

What followed was a long list of symptoms that wouldn’t go away: Memory loss, extreme fatigue and depression. She left her job when day-to-day living became overwhelming.

“I was going to sleep crying. I was waking up crying. I don’t believe in suicide, but I was ready to check myself into the mental ward,” said Keen.

Experts believe 10% to 30% of people who get infected with COVID will have long-haul symptoms.

“The body’s inflammatory reaction. It’s own immune response. We think it’s basically carrying over itself into the brain and maybe causing what we refer to as leaky brain cells,” Keifer explained.

He uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to activate areas of the brain. The device has a tapping sound that’s painless.

The daily treatments take commitment and proponents says it can lead to an awakening.

“The things that I remember were profound,” said Keen, who described her improved brain function, speech, hearing and sight.

“Basically it’s going in and waking up areas of the brain that are sleepy or underactive,” said Keifer.

Keen says she’s started to feel alive again — and after 40 treatments is almost back to her old self.

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