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Can bupropion treat COVID-19-induced brain fog? A case series

COVID-19-induced neurocognitive complications that include brain fog have affected a large portion of individuals who survived COVID-19. These symptoms can include inattention, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, amotivation, and distractibility. This can cause significant anxiety and depression, which may worsen disease progression. To date, there are no known specific treatments that target COVID-19-related brain fog. Here, two patients are presented that develop symptoms of brain fog that persisted after they recovered from an acute COVID-19 infection. Both had memory impairment, mental exhaustion, and inattention with associated depressed mood. They were given bupropion extended release and though varied with dosing and time to resolution, they recovered dramatically. The dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor is known to have effects on the brain that may treat symptoms of brain fog including blocking hippocampal cell loss, increased neural activity in the cingulate cortex, and decreasing proinflammatory cytokines. Bupropion may be a possible option for those suffering from this growing and debilitating post-COVID-19 complication.

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