Brain fog, hair loss and new options for long covid

3 minute read

This final long covid special is a jam-packed mixed bag. You may need more than one cuppa to get through.

They’re not quite the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future but we do have three special guests joining us in The Tea Room today. 

These clinical experts share long covid insights on brain fog, hair loss and a heads-up about a long covid diagnostic that launched yesterday in Australia. You’ll also hear an update on the long covid parliamentary inquiry for which it’s not too late to make a submission. It looks as though the Health Committee sees primary care as the way forward for managing this disorder. 

Professor Bruce Brew, president of the International Society for Neurovirology is our first guest in The Tea Room. He talks about his research on neurological dysfunction in long covid. Professor Brew says that brain fog generally occurred in around 20% of long covid patients. He’s clear that it should not be dismissed by GPs. 

“There are two sorts of camps among healthcare workers. One where they are cognisant of the issue, appreciated and recognise it. The second camp thinks it’s all been over-hyped and is of no consequence, should be trivialised if not ignored. I think they’re wrong,” he says. 

Our second guest is dermatologist Dr Dmitri Wall, health informatician at the National and International Skin Registry Solutions in Dublin, Ireland. Dr Wall talks about hair loss caused by long covid and the dilemma of using immunosuppressants for hair loss during a pandemic. 

“What we found was that the actual control of a patient’s disease seemed to be more significant in terms of stabilising them as they got hit with covid 19 compared to the effect of an immunosuppressant making them more vulnerable to SARS CoV2,” he says. 

At the risk of caffeine overload, we also have a third guest. Dr Bruce Patterson is former head of virology at Stanford University and co-director of a long covid treatment centre in the US that has just launched in Australia.  

Dr Patterson says that his company, IncellDX, uses precision medicine diagnostics to give a patient and their GP additional information and treatment options. IncellDX uses drug therapy such as maraviroc and pravastatin to treat long covid patients. The company provides telehealth consultations with patients and their GPs following diagnostics. 

“The whole model of establishing the testing and our telemedicine in Australia is to engage with Australia’s own physicians and have them be part of the whole process. We can’t do it without them,” Dr Patterson says. 

You can listen and subscribe to the show by searching for “The Tea Room Medical Republic” in your favourite podcast player.

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