What Causes Mental Fog
There are many reasons why a person may experience mental fog. Poor nutrition or hydration, for example, can cause feelings of mental confusion. Other mental illnesses, like depression, can also result in similar “foggy” thinking. Trauma can also contribute to feelings of mental confusion.
When a healthy brain is confronted with extreme stress, some changes take place; for example, the parts of the brain that control rational thought, learning, and memory may temporarily shut off, giving control over to the amygdala, which helps assess danger. These are evolutionary tools developed to help humans survive in a dangerous world, but when a person develops PTSD, some of these natural responses become confused.
Someone with PTSD may become hyper-aroused if someone yells at her, even if that person is otherwise non-threatening. This happened to me recently; when someone yelled at me, I suddenly became unable to remember details from an event I’d been discussing, which had taken place only one day earlier. Half an hour later–once I’d calmed down–I could remember those details again, but it was already too late. The conversation was over.
What Antidepressants Can Do To A Brain That Is Not Depressed
There’s a word of warning after research on monkeys finds that an SSRI antidepressant may alter brain architecture if taken by those who aren’t really depressed.
There is new reason to be cautious about using popular antidepressants in people who are not really depressed.
For the first time, research has shown that a widely used antidepressant may cause subtle changes in brain structure and function when taken by those who are not depressed.;The drug is sertraline. It is most commonly known as Zoloft and is present in 16 other generic forms;in Australia.
There has been long debate about the effect such drugs can have on the architecture of the brain.;While the changes it induces in the depressed brain are regarded as advantageous, researchers wanted to know what happens in the brains of those who are not depressed.;They wanted to know because these drugs are commonly used for other conditions such as anxiety, bulimia, hot flushes, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, stroke recovery and sexual dysfunction
Their study revealed the drugs can have unexpected and unwanted effects.
The drug used in this trial is a SSRI, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and experts say other drugs in this class work on the same mechanism and chemistry and would likely have the same effect.
Screening For Conditions Contributing To Brain Fog
Correctly diagnosing the cognitive complaint is important, especially in the case of dementia.
All dementias are incurable and progressive, says Dr. Hashmi. And all medications that we have to treat them are designed to prevent cognition from worsening. The sooner we start treatment, the more of a patients function we can work to preserve.
There are multiple tools to screen for underlying conditions contributing to brain fog:
- The Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Mini Mental State Exam screen for dementia.
- 4AT screens for delirium.
- The Geriatric Depression Scale screens for depression.
The Successful Aging Program also now administers a computer-based cognitive assessment that uses artificial intelligence to adapt screening for each patient. This improves the sensitivity of screening for patients with a higher cognitive reserve, who may be able to outsmart standard pen-and-paper tools like MoCA and MMSE.
AI-based cognitive testing gives patients questions in progressively increasing levels of difficulty to determine their upper limit of cognitive ability, says Dr. Hashmi.
Cleveland Clinic patients use Cognivue testing, the only computerized cognitive assessment currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, Cleveland Clinics Center for Geriatric Medicine is helping develop another as part of a National Institute on Aging grant.
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Learning More About Brain Fog
Brain fog can be frustrating to deal with, especially if you’re also managing other uncomfortable symptoms. It can also be a sign of other serious issues, so it’s critical to get to the root of the problem. Pay close attention to when and how often you are affected by brain fog, as well as any other symptoms that may be connected to the condition. A medical evaluation with your primary care provider is a good place to start for workup of any difficulties with level of alertness, attention, or memory.
If you suspect your brain fog is related to depression, it’s important to seek the depression treatment that works for you. Antidepressants and talk therapy are two common options, but if those treatments aren’t workingor if antidepressants are causing brain fogyou may want to considertranscranial magnetic stimulation . TMS uses gentle, targeted magnetic pulses to treat depression, and it can be helpful for depression symptoms when other treatments have not been fully effective.
It can be easy to become discouraged by brain fog, but it’s important to keep working with your doctor to understand the condition and identify the solution that works for you.
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When Does Brain Fog Become A Concern
Has your thinking gotten fuzzymaking you feel confused, decreasing your ability to concentrate, and rendering your memory sluggish? Have you been experiencing a mental haze related to COVID-19? Brain fog isnt considered a medical condition itself, but it can interfere with your everyday life in so many ways. Common symptoms of brain fog include:
- Memory problems
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Difficulty processing information
- Feelings of confusion or disorientation
- Having a hard time calculating
- Diminished visual and spatial skills
- Trouble finding words
Everybody can experience brain fog after a sleepless night, during a particularly stressful period, or after indulging in a big meal with alcohol, but in some cases, it can be a symptom of a more serious problem. When are your symptoms simply a nuisance and when does mental fatigue become something you need to address? If brain fog persists over time or appears to worsen, its time to seek an evaluation.
At Amen Clinics, we have been seeing a growing number of patients who have had COVID-19. Many of them, even those who say they had mild cases and recovered, report experiencing lasting brain fog and fatigue. This is in addition to the mental health issues that originally drove them to seek treatment.
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Some people have been hit so hard and are so worn down that “they are having trouble coming back from this,” says Cyrus, the Johns Hopkins psychiatrist, whose patients are mostly people of color and/or queer. Black and Latino communities in particular have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and its fallout.
And people in these communities will likely struggle with more mental and physical health issues in the long run, notes Galea, and need access to mental health care and greater support to recover.
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Brain Fog: Solutions To Help You Improve Concentration
5 minute read
Most people have experienced mental fog or brain fog. It is often described as a cloudy-headed feeling. Forgetfulness is a common complaint among older adults. As we grow older, we experience physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions we have always taken for granted. It takes longer to learn and recall information. We are not as quick as we used to be. Also, lack of sleep, overworking, and stress can cause brain fog. Brain fog can be frustrating, but relief is possible. Do not ignore your symptoms. If left untreated, brain fog can impact the quality of your life and lead to other conditions such as Parkinsons disease, memory loss, and Alzheimers disease.
Exposure To Toxic Mold
For Lew, the 67-year-old pilot who had to give up flying due to fuzzy thinking, lab testing and brain SPECT imaging showed that his brain fog stemmed from exposure to toxic mold after his home had some water damage. If Lew had simply continued taking the medications hed been prescribed for dementia, he wouldnt have gotten any better, and he never would have discovered that toxic mold was the root cause of his cognitive dysfunction issues. Through a cleansing program that included nutrition, supplements, meditation, and exercise, Lews memory and thinking began to improve. After three months, he said, Im fully functional again.;
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What Causes Brain Fog In Sufferers Of Depression
The causes of brain fog and depression are complex. Sometimes its more situational, sometimes it can be due to a traumatic experience, or sometimes theres a family history of depression.
How extreme a period of depression is affects the probability that the sufferer will experience brain fog. Depression can result in feelings such as failure, shame and/or hopelessness. Once brain fog is added to the equation, not being able to work as efficiently, socialise as easily or get basic chores done can amplify these feelings, and a vicious cycle continues.
How To Prevent Brain Fog
Here you can find some useful tips to prevent Brain Fog:
1 Spend less time in front of a screen
Even if your job requires you to look at a screen for many hours during the day, make sure you take some breaks every one or two hours. It could refresh your brain and take away all the cognitive failure symptoms.
2 Exercise as frequently as possible
Physical exercise can make you think less and release satisfaction hormones to your blood. The chemical imbalance in your brain will never develop again.
3 Take supplements regularly
Supplements that boost your memory and improve your brain function such as Mind Lab Pro and Onnit Alpha Brain could give your body the nutrients it needs to avoid brain fog.
4 Avoid meeting toxic people
Persons who make you lose your temper or even worsen your depression with their behavior should better keep away from your company. Prefer to hang out with real friends that can listen to your problems and entertain you.
5 Spend time in nature
Regular excursions in nature can give you more energy to cope up with busy daily life and remove the foggy curtain from your brain. Not to mention, that nature can better oxygenate your brain cells to work smoothly for another busy week.
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What Is Brain Fog Symptoms Causes And Treatment
The modern way of life gives you a headache and reduced consciousness. People living in cities often feel dizzy and have a reduced ability to focus. That is the syndrome called Brain Fog since it creates a cloudy condition in your brain, where your memory and cognitive functions deteriorate.
Although brain fog is not a medical condition, it is a syndrome that can bring stress in your daily life. People who share the same symptoms of intellectual fatigue and cognitive problems should read this article. The author gives a thorough description of brain fog and how you should treat it right.
Did you know that brain fog is the number one reason for lower productivity levels in people who work in polluted city centers? The necessity to deal with it is apparent for persons who like to be energetic and competitive.
What Fatigue Feels Like
Fatigue, like brain fog, can be a product of many different physical and mental conditions. It can be very tricky to describe to others because its often mistaken as simply feeling tired.
But fatigue is much more than just tiredness. People experiencing fatigue often feel tired even after light exertion. Getting through an average day seems like a marathon. And waking unrefreshed is a big indicator that your feeling dead may be a more complex issue.
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Treatments For Brain Fog Symptoms
Theres more awareness of the importance of treating CD symptoms found in depression than ever before. There are currently a few options available for treating this symptom, but more may be developed as researchers learn more about CD and depression.
A recent study showed that modafinil may benefit CD symptoms in depression. It concluded that this medication can improve episodic memory and working memory in those with remitted depression.
Another emerging treatment for CD symptoms in depression is cognitive remediation therapy, which aims to improve memory and attention. More research is needed to determine the effects of this treatment.
You may want to try home-based treatments to improve brain fog. One significant treatment for CD symptoms is exercise. Exercise can improve your spatial memory.
Other home practices that may improve CD include:
- getting enough sleep
What Does Brain Fog Mean
Brain fog is a term, rather than a medical condition, used to describe symptoms or side effects caused by an underlying factor or condition. The term comes from cognitive impairment, also known as cog-fog, which affects how a person makes decisions, remembers things, learns things and concentrates.
The brain is a complex organ composed of billions of neurons that require energy. With so many moving parts, its not surprising the brain prefers a routine. These repetitive patterns waking up, going to work or school and then going to sleep help the brain function smoothly and efficiently as you go about your day. While these patterns may go unnoticed, we need them to keep the brain from becoming overwhelmed.
The Limbic system, which is on either side of the thalamus, is the part of the brain involved in emotional or behavioral responses. The most well-known response is the fight-or-flight reaction, which is the brains way of handling emotions.
When you become overly stressed, fatigued or experience hormonal changes that cause emotions to run high, the limbic system can get in the way of the part of the brain responsible for making executive functions.;
At a high level, executive functions are the cognitive skills your brain uses to coordinate organizational and regulatory abilities. As a result, the external factors impact how the brain focuses and carries out routine communications such as focusing on a conversation or forgetting a word while speaking.
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What Causes Brain Fog
Brain fog can be a symptom of a nutrient deficiency, sleep disorder, bacterial overgrowth from overconsumption of sugar, depression, or even a thyroid condition. Other common brain fog causes include eating too much and too often, inactivity, not getting enough sleep, chronic stress, and a poor diet. These are some of the most common causes of brain fog that we see at Parsley Health.
Burnout Isn’t Just Exhaustion Here’s How To Deal With It
A recent survey by the American Psychological Association found that 3 in 4 Americans said that the pandemic is a significant source of stress.
Millions of people have lost loved ones, have become ill themselves and/or have lost income as a result of the pandemic. The threat of COVID-19 alone has been stressful for most people, as has all of the upheaval that the pandemic has brought, says Bufka.
Stress “keeps our mind vigilant and our nervous system vigilant, and that uses more energy,” says Elissa Epel, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco. That’s one reason that prolonged stress can leave us feeling drained.
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What Can You Do To Clear The Fog
Brain fog treatment will often depend on the root cause, but there are some things you can do at home to keep your mind sharp and more alert. These include:
- Participating in activities that increase alertness, energy and brain power, such as regular exercise;and meditation or trying activities like crosswords and Sudoku or working on a puzzle.
- Getting plenty of sleep.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and healthy fats and whole grains.
- Managing stress by knowing your limitations. For example, completing tasks one at a time, making checklists to ensure that you are remembering to complete all aspects of a task and setting reminders for important upcoming events can help take the pressure off of your brain.
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Steps to take now
For many people, the relaxing social activities that can help buffer against stress and anxiety like seeing friends or going out to dinner are not yet reality, due to uneven vaccination rates. So what can we do now to help recharge?
Payne, of Johns Hopkins’ Women’s Mood Disorders Center, encourages people to keep in mind all of the usual things that help during stressful times: exercise, a healthy diet, going outdoors and limiting news consumption. And engage in relaxing activities often, like a hobby you love, listening to or watching something funny, or reading books you enjoy.
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What Can You Do To Help Manage Brain Fog
Living with a chronic illness is hard, and feeling like you are “losing your mind” is even harder. Don’t lose hope, there are some things that you can do to help manage that feeling so that you can still function and hold on to that piece of yourself, and your sanity, so that you don’t feel like everything is slipping away.;
Get Into the Habit of Writing Everything Down
Writing things down can help immensely.; If writing hurts your hands, you can use voice activation on your mobile device.; iOs and Android device and wonderful notepads, and there are many different apps that can help you take notes.; Get into a good habit of writing things down, and a good filing system based on topic, and never forget a conversation again.
Hint:Always tell whoever you are talking to what you are doing so that they know you aren’t multi-tasking or being rude.;
Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself
You are going through some serious stuff…like the most painful disease in the entire world. That is quite the burden to carry around, so give yourself a break, and try to give yourself a break if you forget to set out the chicken to defrost for dinner. It happens. Forgive yourself and give yourself a break. Be your own best-friend and think about what you would say to your BFF if they did something like that.; You would say “Don’t even sweat it! Just order Uber Eats and don’t stress about it. You have enough to worry about to worry about frozen chicken. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”.;
Exercise Your Mind