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Is brain fog more than mental dysfunction?

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by biophile, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. biophile

    biophile Places I'd rather be.

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    Definitions of "brain fog" on the internet, including "Cognitive Manifestations" in the Canadian 2003 definition of ME/CFS and "Neurocognitive Impairments" in the recent 2011 ME-ICC all describe this symptom category only in terms of mental function. However, for me these impairments, many of which could also be described subjectively as a blockage that has to be worked around, are associated with physical flu-like malaise symptoms and sensations in my head/eyes which gets worse during post-exertional exacerbations, and both together can be an accurate measurement of current capacity and health status. I guess some of this overlaps with other symptom categories, such as pain or flu-like symptoms, lack of mental vitality, and central exhaustion?

    I think I may experience something similar too. What do others experience and how do they manage or treat it? Does their experience of "brain fog" include feelings of grogginess and being hungover or flu-like, rather than just being cognitive dysfunction? There are many hypothesis about what induces such symptoms or what can be done to treat it, but it doesn't seem like anyone really knows for sure.
     
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  2. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    Hi Biophile, i'm glad you brought this up as ive also noticed that the way i think of brain fog is NOT cognitive problems at all, although they go hand in hand.
    Your description of a hung over feeling with the disconnection from reality (not as in mental illness but as in a kind of strange dislocation feeling that is physical in the brain/head region) that SOC mentions is how i would describe mine. For those who can relate i also describe as like being off your head without the fun. Its a heavy sensation that has affected my ability to go out alone as it makes me anxious if i feel like this in public or when driving.
    I have had periods where it it has improved and even gone away, but unfortunately it has been back for a whilre now and i just try and live with it.
    When i had systemic candida only a few grains of sugar would make this symptom worse and after 6 months on an anti candida protocol it did improve -but as i say its now back, an ever present menace.
    It also has a quality of both heavy and light headedness all at the same time. Ive heard others describe it as a poisened feeling and that fits for me too.

    Take care, Justy.

    Edit: it increases also when i use the computer a lot or concentrate mentally for a while and goes alongside a general cognitive worsening.
     
  3. rwac

    rwac Senior Member

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    I used to have brain fog, I believe it's mitochondrial in origin. Methylene Blue was pretty amazing for me.
     
  4. fla

    fla Senior Member

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    I agree with rwac that the mitochondria in the brain are under producing. This compounds with the fact that the under producing mitochondria in the heart are pumping less blood to the brain.
     
  5. PokerPlayer

    PokerPlayer Guest

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    For myself folic acid plays a big role. I was in a brain fog stupor while taking 4000mcg folic acid per day for 3 months. After I stopped the folic acid it took me about 6 months to recover my brain function.

    The hydroxy b12 and neurological health multivitamin on rich's protocol helped the most with brain fog.
     
  6. Chakra5

    Chakra5

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    Wow this popped a big lightbulb for me. J's drops have been a major help for me as I deal with recurrent sinus infections and the associated symptoms. I recall that it contains Methylene Blue...there's lots to say on it and no time to say it but found it most interesting that it helped your brainfog...will have to look at that further
     
  7. bigmama2

    bigmama2

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    hi
    i've had all different kinds of symptoms -- definately including the hungover feeling!!!! that is a classic one. then there is the really foggy/spaced out one. i dont like to drive while that is going on. then there was one when you are very very sleep deprived and you feel like you are in withdrawl from crack, i call that one "cracked out". andhere's t the flu like one. my brother also has cfs and he relates to these descriptions.
    my cfs is improving so i get these less often and in less severity than before. hard to say why its improved but my best guesses are- accepting cfs and my limitations (pacing), resting alot, cutting way back on everything (not working, not much social life, etc), supplements (inc multi, ubiquinol, carnitine, b12, nadh, magnesium oil SPRAY, vit d), exercise to my ability, connect w nature, and a colonoscopy that somehow the prep cleaned me out, and now after 20 years of horrible irr bowel syndrome - my gut actually behaves. i have also tried many thiings like valtrex, low dose naltrexone, adrenal glandular supps, etc.

    bigmama2
     
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  8. sandralee

    sandralee

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    Hi Rwac,

    Could you please tell me more about methylene blue? What is it, and how is it taken? In what ways did it help you, and did the benefits last? Were there any downsides?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    Sandra
     
  9. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Right now i have what i call the bla's, almost an unmotivated feeling, i dont feel down or depressed just flat. I know from past experience if i force myself to do something when like this im more likely to crash from it. Even a caffeine hit doesnt overcome it. The last month or so i have improved but cant shake the bla's. I have been trying things like tryptophan to help to help with serotonin, trying hormones like pregnenolone which has helped abit but not quite there. I have even been sleeping well(with meds) which is normally a big problem for me.

    Maybe just need a ride on a roller coaster, that should put the wind up and help clear the fog, lol.
     
  10. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    heaps, have you ever been on a roller coaster since you had full blown ME? I went to Dreamworld a few years back. I did forget about my brain fog, but only because I spent most of the day trying to find my head after riding on the coaster there. Had sea sickness for more than eight hours. A bitter lesson, trying to recapture my youth.

    Some of brain fog might be OI or POTS.
     
  11. rwac

    rwac Senior Member

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    It was really great for brain-fog. It's like the brain fog just disappeared after starting to take this stuff. I have/had other cognitive issues, those have also been helped somewhat by this stuff. One potential downside is that you may get a headache or brainfog if you stop taking this stuff for a couple of days. You will also get negative effects if you take too large a dose for you.

    It's a dye to stain tissue and it's an old anti-malarial drug. Mostly it's available as a liquid and you dilute it down to the appropriate concentration and then take it.

    There's a lot of discussion on this thread and other threads on the same forum: http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/23947-methylene-blue/

    It delays cellular senescence and is mito-protective against oxidative stress and cadmium. At higher doses it's a MAO-I and at even higher doses it's an anti-malarial.

    So you would want to keep the dose lowish in the "nootropic" range.

    It seems the sicker someone is, the lower the dose they tolerate. So maybe start with 1mcg per dose and work your way up to a dose which helps. If you go too high it will cause a bit of brain fog, so you will know what a good dose is. The reason is that MB actually reduces efficiency of mitochondria, so if you have few working mitochondria, then a larger dose may worsen things.

    The half-life is something like 5 hrs, so you have to dose multiple times a day. I use 750mcg x5/day, but i've been taking it for a while.
     
  12. sandralee

    sandralee

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    Hi Rwac,

    Thanks so much for the information and your experience. Im slowly working my way through the link you provided.

    Im just a little confused on one issue. The research study outlined in the link describes MB as enhancing mitochondrial function, but you stated in your previous post that MB actually reduces mitochondrial efficiency. If possible, could you please clarify this for me?

    I already know that I have mitochondrial dysfunction, and I wouldnt try anything that reduces mitochondrial efficiency. But Im always on the lookout for a mitochondrial enhancer.

    Your help is very much appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    Sandra
     
  13. rwac

    rwac Senior Member

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  14. sandralee

    sandralee

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    Thanks Rwac for the clarification. I can see now that there isnt a contradiction.

    I intend closely following up on all the info youve provided. I think this one possibly could be a goer for me.

    Many thanks,

    Sandra
     
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    ME/CFS symptoms often come in in an "symptom complex" and the mind fog getting worst is no different in that way then the other symptoms all coming in more when we crash some. (I also have ongoing mind fog).

    My own mind fog affects my ability to think, focus and remember so my cognitive things (so can also affect things like ability to speak eg give me central auditory processing disorder (CAPD) etc but that is still really a cognitive manifestation), thou due to symptom complex it can happen along with other things too (eg more tiredness, dizziness, shaking etc). I can also feel hung over.

    Treatments which have helped various aspects of my lack of brain function ability have been
    - Take care not to do too much and cause any crashing
    - B12 injections
    - correcting a molybdenum deficiency I had
    - If you have POTS, doing something to treat it can sometimes help brain stuff
    - cutting carbs out of my diet (so not triggering off my hyperinsulinemia)
    - working out my food intollerances and avoiding them helped my brain symptoms a bit
    - organic juice fasting.. some juice combos helped my brain while others didnt (I think it was a juice combo with celery, beetroot and another fruit/veg (carrot? apple?) along with a spice which helped me the most juice wise. I didnt find pear juice or orange/lemon juice helpful). A 3-4 day organic juice fast of this helped my brain quite a bit.
     
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  16. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    lol the blas. I currently have that too .. yeah not depressed but just unmotivated.. and like you I know when I force myself to motivate from this state, Im more likely to crash
     
  17. Sing

    Sing Senior Member

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    Is there a brand you use, in which you can measure such small doses accurately?
     
  18. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    If you add @rwac you might get his attention better. Otherwise, the easiest way to approach this is to mix with a fixed amount of liquid - say 100 mls and then to draw up your dose with a syringe. I have some experience with this sort of thing. cheers brad
     
  19. stridor

    stridor Senior Member

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    @Sing Oops, I did it too. See Above. brad
     

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