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Brain fog

Brain fog is a term for the "woolly" sensation of a physical obstruction to clear thinking in the brain, often extended to apply in general to neurocognitive symptoms experienced by many people who suffer from neuroimmune diseases such as ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis, amongst others.

It can be symptom manifest of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or clinical depression.

The term brain fog is also often used to describe the relevant symptom or symptoms of inattentive ADHD or resulting from chemotherapy.[1].

Brain fog involves persistent or episodic cognitive dysfunction, and may be associated with forgetfulness, confusion, slowed thinking, distractability, depersonalization, the inability to remember the correct words when speaking or writing (dysphasia or aphasia).

Brain fog is so named because the sufferer can feel like a cloud literally surrounds him or her that reduces the speed at which things can be recognized or clearly seen. Brain fog may promote feelings of detachment (depersonalization), discouragement and depression.

Additional recommended knowledge



Brain fog can be brought on by upregulated cytokines, neurotransmitter misregulation, cell-mediated autoimmunity causing inflammation in the brain, brain plaques (white matter lesions), brain vasculitis or brain trauma amongst others.

Hypothesis for mechanism of brain fog depends on the underlying disease. Different studies have indicated malfunction in different parts of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Glial cells may play a role. Sometimes the cause is not established.


Treatment of the underlying disease or disorder is recommended. If etiology of disease or disorder is unknown, psychopharmacology may be beneficial.[citation needed]


Further information: Functional neuroimaging

SPECT, PET and brain MRI scans can be used to determine brain functionality. Neuropsychiatric tests may also be performed.


Some patients reject the term brain fog, maintaining it trivialises and poorly expresses the problem. Medically the condition is seen as self-reported, although cognitive deficits may not be, and has little professional use in comparison to the term neurocognitive dysfunction.

See also


  1. ^ Kathleen Fackelmann, USA TODAY "Chemo 'brain fog' can refuse to lift" October 5, 2006

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brain_fog". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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