Brain fog

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Brain fog manifests as impaired working memory and concentration accompanied by difficulty processing complex information.[1]

It is a type of cognitive impairment experienced by ME/CFS patients. Fibromyalgia patients often refer to it as "fibro-fog".[2]

Presentation[edit | edit source]

Prevalence[edit | edit source]

  • Katrina Berne reports a prevalence of 75-100% for confusion and inability to think clearly.[3]

Symptom recognition[edit | edit source]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Our case study confirmed the pattern of dysregulation in the cortex reviewed in the introduction. Furthermore, since both periods of phase shift/lock durations were found to be significantly shorter, that might contribute to an increased rate of phase reset, also seen in our data. Phase reset deregulation--phase locking periods being too brief and phase reset happening too often—appear to be consistent with the associated lower rate of information processing and reaction times found in the ME and CFS literature. These deregulated states represent the brain during nonoptimal functioning, rendering it inefficient for most types of information processing functioning, whether it is executive functioning, memory, perceptual reasoning or information processing speed. When phase lock is significantly less than normal, as in this data set, the ability of the brain to sustain commitment of resources to mediate different functions is severely compromised. Phase shift duration in this data is also hypoactive, meaning that significantly less neurons are being recruited to perform a function than normal. The results here indicate slowed verbal comprehension, executive functions, perceptual reasoning, processing speed and memory, the sum total of which is known as cognitive impairment.[5]
Figure 1: Results of LORETA current source density in a case with CFS showing widespread decreased current density for delta at 2 Hz and beta (12- 15 Hz) demonstrating a global reduction in brain functioning (blue). The higher frequencies (beta) have been shown to be a function of delta frequencies. In other words, local oscillations are under constant influence of global brain dynamics (Buzsaki, 2006).[5]


Possible causes[edit | edit source]

Potential treatments[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

According to the Marshall Pathogenesis, cognitive dysfunction is caused by microbes. More severe forms of cognitive dysfunction are seen in diseases such as Alzheimer's, diseases for which there is strong evidence of a bacterial etiology. Often associated with chronic fatigue syndrome,1) cognitive dysfunction is also seen in patients with multiple sclerosis,2)depression,3)fibromyalgia,4) and dozens of others diseases.[9]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.01.1 "Brain Fog in ME/CFS: What's Going On? - Solve ME/CFS Initiative". Solve ME/CFS Initiative. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  2. Dellwo, Adrienne (Feb 28, 2018). "What Is Fibro Fog and ME/CFS Brain Fog?". Verywell Health. Retrieved Aug 10, 2018. 
  3. Berne, Katrina (Dec 1, 1995), Running on Empty: The Complete Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS), 2nd ed., Hunter House, p. 59, ISBN 978-0897931915 
  4. Ross, A. J.; Medow, M. S.; Rowe, P. C.; Stewart, J. M. (2013), "What is brain fog? An evaluation of the symptom in postural tachycardia syndrome.", Clinical Autonomic Research : Official Journal of the Clinical Autonomic Research Society, 23 (6): 305–311, doi:10.1007/s10286-013-0212-z 
  5. 5.05.15.2 dr.marcie.zinn@gmail.com, Zinn ML, DePaul University, Center for Community Research, Chicago, IL, Tel/ Fax: (773) 325-4923; E-mail:; Zinn, Mark A.; Jason, Leonard (2016). "qEEG / LORETA in Assessment of Neurocognitive Impairment in a Patient with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Case Report". www.sciforschenonline.org. SciForschen. doi:10.16966/2469-6714.110. ISSN 2469-6714. Retrieved Aug 28, 2018. 
  6. Wu, Yu-Lin; Huang, Chun-Jen; Fang, Su-Chen; Ko, Ling-Hsin; Tsai, Pei-Shan (Jun 1, 2018). "Cognitive Impairment in Fibromyalgia: A Meta-Analysis of Case–Control Studies". insights.ovid.com. Retrieved Aug 28, 2018. 
  7. M, Beth (Feb 7, 2016). "Case Study: "Brain Fog" in CFS can be seen in qEEG/Loreta - #MEAction". #MEAction. Retrieved Aug 28, 2018. 
  8. Pena, Amy (Mar 21, 2018). "Fibromyalgia Study Identifies Main Types of Patients' Cognitive Dysfunction". Fibromyalgia News Today. Retrieved Aug 28, 2018. 
  9. 9.09.1 "Cognitive dysfunction (brain fog) (MPKB)". mpkb.org. Retrieved Aug 28, 2018. 

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

ME/CFS - An acronym that combines myalgic encephalomyelitis with chronic fatigue syndrome. Sometimes they are combined because people have trouble distinguishing one from the other. Sometimes they are combined because people see them as synonyms of each other.

Tachycardia - An unusually rapid heart beat. Can be caused by exercise or illness. A symptom of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). (Learn more: www.heart.org)

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.