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Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring cognitive symptoms of CFS

Discussion in 'Latest ME/CFS Research' started by ahimsa, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member

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    This study is not new, it's from 2013, so maybe it belongs in a forum other than "latest"?

    Anyway, I did not see a thread discussing this study on the forums so I posted it here. Feel free to move it or even delete if it's a duplicate that I missed.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3617392/

    Front Physiol. 2013; 4: 63.
    Published online 2013 Apr 5. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2013.00063
    PMCID: PMC3617392

    Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Anthony J. Ocon

    Abstract

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is defined as greater than 6 months of persistent fatigue that is experienced physically and cognitively.

    The cognitive symptoms are generally thought to be a mild cognitive impairment, but individuals with CFS subjectively describe them as “brain fog.”

    The impairment is not fully understood and often is described as slow thinking, difficulty focusing, confusion, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, or a haziness in thought processes.

    Causes of “brain fog” and mild cognitive impairment have been investigated.

    Possible physiological correlates may be due to the effects of chronic orthostatic intolerance (OI) in the form of the Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and decreases in cerebral blood flow (CBF).

    In addition, fMRI studies suggest that individuals with CFS may require increased cortical and subcortical brain activation to complete difficult mental tasks.

    Furthermore, neurocognitive testing in CFS has demonstrated deficits in speed and efficiency of information processing, attention, concentration, and working memory.

    The cognitive impairments are then perceived as an exaggerated mental fatigue.

    As a whole, this is experienced by those with CFS as “brain fog” and may be viewed as the interaction of physiological, cognitive, and perceptual factors.

    Thus, the cognitive symptoms of CFS may be due to altered CBF activation and regulation that are exacerbated by a stressor, such as orthostasis or a difficult mental task, resulting in the decreased ability to readily process information, which is then perceived as fatiguing and experienced as “brain fog.”

    Future research looks to further explore these interactions, how they produce cognitive impairments, and explain the perception of “brain fog” from a mechanistic standpoint.

    Keywords: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, neurocognition, cerebral blood flow (CBF), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain fog, orthostatic intolerance
     
    MEMum likes this.

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