This year, we hope for a partial return to fundraising normality. Here are some of the public races and events known to be taking place COVID-safely in 2021 which you can participate in, in aid of The Brain Charity.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have revealed new findings into how COVID-19 affects the brain.
Scientists at the University – including Walton Centre neurologist Professor Tom Solomon, who has previously worked in partnership with The Brain Charity – studied 153 patients treated in UK hospitals during the first acute phase of the pandemic earlier this year.
Unfortunately, we have therefore made the decision to close The Brain Charity’s building from tomorrow (Wednesday, January 6th) until at least the next government review on Friday, February 19th.
The Brain Charity’s staff will be stopping any face-to-face work we have been able to carry out under recent restrictions, with all services now back to running virtually. Under government guidelines The Brain Food Café and our charity shop and room hire spaces must also close.
Our helpline is open from 9am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday, and is staffed by four of The Brain Charity’s Information & Advice Officers. The rota changes each week, and this week it was my turn to be available manning the phone for any enquiries that might come my way. As The Brain Charity is an umbrella charity for people with all forms of neurological condition – and there are more than 600 in total – calls and requests for help can be very varied.
I kept a log of my day’s activities to give an insight into some of the specialist guidance The Brain Charity provides.
The condition known as long COVID is used to describe the long-term side effects experienced in people who have contracted coronavirus.
Data from the COVID Symptom Tracker App - used by around 4 million people in the UK - suggests 1 in 50 people are still dealing with symptoms 90 days or more after contracting the virus.
Typical symptoms of long COVID, also known as post-COVID fatigue syndrome, include fatigue, breathlessness, anxiety, depression, palpitations, chest pains, joint or muscle pain, muscle weakness, joint stiffness, a persistent cough, weight loss, memory problems and ‘brain fog’.
The symptoms are very similar to those felt by people living with ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - conditions which result in overwhelming fatigue.
A Kings College London study researching the impact of ‘long COVID’ estimated one in 20 people can be ill with COVID-19 for at least eight weeks - and many much longer than that.
Reports suggest some people with long COVID are even being diagnosed with ME or CFS if their symptoms last longer than three to four months.
However, an ME Association report said long COVID is not the same as ME or CFS - although it does appear to be the same as post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS), where an infection is the trigger for developing the condition.
The British Lung Foundation said it was too early to say whether breathing difficulties seen in people recovering from COVID-19 were caused by the virus itself or by its treatment.
Anxiety is a natural emotion that often leaves people feeling uneasy, uncomfortable or scared. It stems from the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. For instance, you may get anxious over a test at school, a job interview or taking public transport.
However, some people’s anxiety makes them feel as though they are unable to cope or control their emotions. This is known as a Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Here we are going to talk about ways you can control anxious emotions at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have diagnosed GAD and are struggling with symptoms, please always consult your doctor too to see what other support is available.
If you are having trouble dealing with worries about the coming months, you are not alone. Winter can be a challenging time, with darker and colder days, and this year we are approaching it with an added challenge of COVID-19 and the uncertainty around what this will bring.
It is helpful to remember that feelings of anxiety and stress are normal reactions to this unusual situation. These feelings can understandably impact on sleep, mood and pain. Therefore, it is more important than ever to place extra focus on maintaining our wellbeing. This blog from the Pain Management Programme at The Walton Centre will provide guidance and support for how to maintain your physical and emotional wellbeing over the winter. It is primarily aimed at those who experience chronic pain, but can hopefully provide valuable information more widely too.
The Brain Charity could become the first charity in the UK to have its own edible wall - with your help.
We have teamed up with Baltic Triangle social enterprise Farm Urban to teach hundreds of people with neurological conditions how to grow healthy, sustainable food using hydroponics, a vertical, soilless and pesticide-free method of farming.
This year, coronavirus has seen The Brain Charity forced to cancel multiple flagship fundraising events, including our annual Snow Ball. But we already have seen a 70% rise in referrals for 2020 - due to the neurological complications of Covid-19, increased mental health issues caused by social distancing and a bleak unemployment landscape.
By Kym Ward, Dementia Project Coordinator at The Brain Charity.
The past months have seen many upheavals in daily life, but the spread of COVID-19, and the different restrictions the government has put into place to lessen the virus, has been particularly tough on people living with dementia.