Cognitive Dysfunction, What Parts of your Brain are Missing??

George

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We got to talking on another thread about what parts of the brain are working or not working, how much cognitive dysfunction a person has, how it fluctuates from day to day and what research has been done into this area.

So here's a thread to dig into all that stuff!
 

George

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History: I've been majorly ill for 4 years October 5th (6:52 am, grins, no really!) That's when I began having cognitive problems.

Recall: I can recall "stories" that I've told and retold over the years but have no "visual memory", I can't remember my wedding, prom, first sex ya know the important stuff.

I can recall tons of facts on good days, on bad days it's more difficult it feels like it takes "more energy" like I'm swimming through a pool of cooked pumkin. Prior to hitting the wall I had an edict memory and could recall things like the page number of a particular fact in a particular book and remember, author, date of publishing and sometimes the ISBN. (O.K. I was a bit of a freak, but useful, grins)

But I can't remember what I'm doing from one moment to the next, I had to write on my floor, I kid you not, in the bathroom in front of the toilet, in front of the front door and in front of the couch "Check the Stove". I can't count the number of times I have wandered off to take out the trash and then decided to prune the tree or fertilize the rose bush while my soup burned to the bottom of the pan.

I no longer have a coherent sense of time. I can't tell you if Regan came before Clinton or if LBJ was before or after Nixon (That's soooo embarrassing!) Considering that I can talk fluently about policies of each of these administrations it's a little weird.

On bad days when my spine is swollen and the back of my head, what ever comes to mind is what comes to mind. Having any type of coherent thought process is totally out.

There are days that I have, what I feel are, inappropriate emotional responses to events. I'll cry over something that's no big deal or laugh at things that are just not that funny.

I have days when I am unable to count without using the silverware, and can't retrieve the correct word for sentences and here's the really freaky one but it's only happened a couple of times, I can't understand an object that I'm looking at until I touch it i.e. trash can that I thought was a blanket, tree I thought was broccoli and bush I thought was a solid hill, umm imagine my surprise when I tried to walk on it!. O.k. that's it for the symptoms. . .I think. (grins)
 

wciarci

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Hi George

Brainfog, words fail me, I mean literally they fail me. I have to say things like the room with the stove (ie kitchen), I have called by husband, Mom, more times than I can count, or Pat (my sister) or other names that are not his. I can't remember my student's name half the time and it is embarrassing. I can't spell. I can't cook unless the recipe is in front of me. I walk into a room to do something and can't remember. I forget why and what I am writing and to whom. I was always decent at math but have problems doing simple arithmetic. Oh yeah, I can't spell. I repeat myself. I can't remember anything, my husband leaves notes around the house. I'll go to the store for milk and buy something else. I can't distinquish chilli powder from curry. I have 24 curry spices and no chilli as I keep buying the wrong thing. I hat curry. I write the wrong date, sometimes really wrong, like 1984 when it is 2010. I make up words. I poke myself in the eye all the time when I try to brush my hair. I fart all the time (oops sorry wrong symptom). But I think I still have a sense of humor ;-)

Wendy

I think my left hemisphere is not working well. I am right brain dominant anyway.
 

camas

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Oh, George.:hug:

The first few years were the toughest for me. I experienced everything you mentioned. NADH didn't do a thing for my energy, but really helped my brain turn the corner, so to speak. My biggest issues now are word-finding and just feeling generally distracted. I don't put my phone in the fridge, or forget to turn the oven off anymore, but between being weak and feeling overwhelmed by too much stimuli, I drive like a 90-year-old. Or maybe worse. :D
 

Nielk

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What part of my brain is missing? Apparently a lot!
Seriously, there is a fine line as to what is normal neurological dysfunction due to stress, aging, trauma etc..
It's normal especially at certain age like 45+ to forget names or forget where you put your keys.
The problem arises when you forget what keys are for.
Like a psychiatrist friend of mine says - it's normal for a man a certain age to forget to close his zipper. It is not normal for him to foget
to open it.

Is it normal that I cannot remember the names of my closest friends?
Is it normal that I can reread books that I read recently and have no idea that I ever read them?
Is it normal that I make myself a pot of coffee, leave the kitchen and when I come back the coffee is all over the counter and floor
because I forgot to put the pot into the peculator?
Is it normal that my children keep telling me: "but ma, you just told me that?
Is it normal to go into my car and have to remind myself where all the equipment is?
Is it normal to forget where my left or right is?
Is it normal to ALWAYS forget whether I already took a certain medicine and then I'm stuck not knowing whether I;m better off doubling it or
not take it.
is it normal not to be able to finish a sentence without struggling to find common words that just won't come to my mind as hard as I try.
Sometimes when I'm talking, funny noises come out of my mouth that i can't control. EMBARRASSING!
I'm 55 but I think when I'm crashing i have a brain of a 95 year old.
I feel like I have a super sensitive brain that sometimes is ready to explode with emotions just because someone is talking too loud.
Before I was sick, I was very low key and "normal"

Very frustrating!!!!
 

George

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LOL SNORT, dang it's always good to know it's not just me. Neilk I guess it is normal for ME/CFS. Which is really interesting if you think about it cause ME is a neurological illness. Chronic Fatigue is a "fatigue" illness.

So I guess none of us have CFS according to CDC

Various terms are incorrectly used interchangeably with CFS. CFS has an internationally accepted case definition that is used in research and clinical settings. The name chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) was introduced soon after CFS was defined; there is no case definition for CFIDS, and the name implies an understanding about the pathophysiology of CFS that is not fully supported in the medical literature. The name myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) was coined in the 1950s to clarify well-documented outbreaks of disease; however, ME is accompanied by neurologic and muscular signs and has a case definition distinct from that of CFS.
It should get interesting when the new NIH web site comes up and the DHHS adopts M.E. to the CFS pathology.

So what parts of our brain are affected most. the recall part?? And what research is out there that talks about the ME/CFS brain works or doesn't work and does that tie into what we know about XMRV??

Whatcha think?
 

George

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OOhh, ooohhh, ooohh,

What do you have CFS or ME? (big grins)

Paper presented by Dr Byron Marshall Hyde M.D. Nightingale Research Foundation

New South Wales, February 1998

Abstract: At the 1998 M.E./CFS conference in Australia, both Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were used to describe a chronic illness. This paper is a discussion on the similarities and differences in these two terms that may lead to scientific difficulties. The author suggests that the definitional criteria and epidemic history of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) and the inclusion criteria are significantly different from the CDC definitions and history. The three typical phases of M.E. are discussed. A brief review of some of the known deaths in phase 2 of M.E. are also mentioned.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) This is a term used to describe an epidemic and sporadic disease process that is associated with a chronic debilitating illness of children and adults. Variants of this term M.E. were first used following a series of repeating epidemics starting in May 1955 in the Royal Free Hospital in London England. New outbreaks of this illness continued until 1958 in various London area hospitals. M.E. and these epidemics are well described by A. Melvin Ramsay in his book Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Post-Viral Fatigue States.

The characteristic M.E. illness is a disease process that can, in its complete form, be separated into three distinct phases.

Phase #1 This prodromal phase is associated with a usually short onset or triggering illness. This onset illness usually takes the form of either, or any combination, of the following, (a) an upper respiratory illness, (b) a gastrointestinal upset, (c) vertigo and (d) a moderate to severe meningitic type headache. These are only the most common onset illnesses or symptoms of which there are several. The onset illness is associated with either a low grade or subnormal temperature, headaches, sometimes persisting and accentuated by movement with intermittent attacks of vertigo or dizziness. In the Royal Free Hospital epidemics, several hundred staff members of the various hospitals were involved and almost no patients. Many of the hospital staff who fell ill had a previous illness, immediately recent immunization or marked work exhaustion that preceded the illness. Evidence of a previous immune insult is found regularly in both epidemic and sporadic cases.

Phase #2: Principal Illness: The acute phase of the principal illness then appeared in these patients. They complained of limb, back and neck pain, paraesthesiae and blurring vision. Muscle cramps, spasms and twitching and deep muscle tenderness were common but the dominant feature was muscle and brain fatigability and irritability even after a minimal degree of physical or intellectual exertion. Evidence of autonomic nervous system involvement was present in many cases. Another major component was cerebral involvement, which usually took the form of impairment of memory, concentration and emotional response. Seizure-like phenomena are not unusual. Many of these Royal Free patients had abnormal EEGs during the phase #2 period. The illness was considered consistent with an encephalomyelitis. The patients often complain of (a) abnormal cardiac rhythm, or (b) unusual cardiac movement. However, when examined by routine ECG, pathological features are rarely observed. In some cases the cardiac symptoms actually represent pectoral or other muscle spasm. In others, orthostatic cardiac irregularities that are not necessarily observed in supine ECG examination may be the cause. Diaphragmatic or counter-peristaltic abnormalities may also cause these sometimes pseudo-cardiac symptoms. During this phase the patient often appears quite ill. This phase can persist for weeks, months, or, in severe cases, one or two years. In a rare small percentage of individuals, phase #2 can persist for years or even permanently. This is unusual. In general, the severity of the complaints, particularly the abnormal muscle movements, seizure phenomena and severe headaches tend to taper off. Autonomic dysfunction, when it is of significant importance, rarely improves. As noted, infrequently phase #2 can become chronic. Very infrequent deaths have been known to occur in this phase and usually are represented by two different pathophysiologies. . Dr. John Richardson of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. has noted deaths in professional athletes who return to active professional sports, "to work off the flu". Cause of death has been attributed to orthostatic cardiac irregularity. It is also during this phase that CNS deaths occurred in the Cumberland Epidemic, in the Akureyri epidemic, and in one of the Mediterranean epidemics.

Phase #3: The chronic phase of the principal illness then followed phase #2. In 1988, it was this often-amorphous phase #3 that the CDC labeled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Where M.E. and CFS overlap, they undoubtedly represent the same illness, however, due to the considerable definitional and conceptional differences, CFS and M.E. should not be considered to be the same illness.

In phase #3, the M.E. patient is always prone to unusual and persisting muscle and CNS fatigability after relatively normal physical or intellectual exertion. The patients are not chronically fatigued. When unstressed physically, intellectually or emotionally, the M.E. patient appears totally normal and often has no difficulty doing very short-term tasks. The problem is above all, one of endurance and once exhausted, the increasingly lengthy time to recover to a reasonable degree of activity. The M.E. patient can suffer any or all of the following cognitive and emotional dysfunction: marked irritability, anxiety, panic, depression but most of all memory dysfunction exacerbated by any physical, sensory, environmental, emotional, social or economic stressors. Both from the patient and physicians point of view there were major difficulties in that there was a considerable lack of obvious or substantial physical signs to correlate either the severity of the symptoms or the often marked prostration of the individuals concerned. Depending upon the degree of initial illness, location or character of injury or vulnerability of the individual, this Phase #3 may persist in the fortunate cases for a period of months or up to a year, sometimes in a constant illness or as a recurrent illness triggered by any physical or intellectual activity. The unfortunate individuals, of which there are a great percentage, never recover. It is very hard for many physicians to understand, why an individual, with few or no external stigmata of disease, and no obvious psychiatric illness can be so totally disabled. The M.E. condition could be compared to land full of new Porches or Masserattis with faulty batteries in a country with no battery testing machinery and no spare batteries. They look good, they should go, but they don't. In this phase, despite their severe disability to any stressors, the patient often appears relatively normal to the inexperienced physician. It is in this phase that most accidental and suicidal deaths occur.

Dr. A. Melvin Ramsay followed many of those who fell chronically ill during this 1955-1958 epidemic period for up to 34 years, until he died in 1989. This type of epidemic continuity proved to be quite characteristic of the M.E. epidemics that occurred in Akureyri in 1947-1949, in the Royal Free epidemics and in the North American epidemic period that extended from 1984 to 1988 (In 1983 in New Zealand where this pan-epidemic may have originated. All of these epidemics occurred in the late summer and autumn, decreasing in winter, with a new small peak of new female cases at Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere. The numbers of new cases would then rapidly fall off as the winter months progressed, only to reappear in the late summer again.
I love the car analogy!

I would say that I have ME rather than CFS. But then I don't have the unrefreshed sleep. I feel better most mornings when I wake up I just don't feel better by the time I've made breakfast.
 

Esther12

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I feel like my cognitive dysfunction is just the sort of stuff you'd expect when you're feeling really tired (more dimwitted, slow and forgetful). I also find that intellectual challenges tire me out nearly as rapidly as physical ones.

I've been getting vertigo and migraines for the last nine months or so, and that's led to some more general balance problems - I guess that could count as a distinct form of cognitive dysfunction. I think (maybe it should be for others to judge) that my mind still works okay... just more slowly and for shorter periods of time that previously.
 

IntuneJune

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Why did I come into the kitchen?

Trying to get the mind in gear and then trying to get it operating correctly is exhausting. And ultimately it results in expending more physical energy....

Putting things away in the wrong place and then the next time I need that same thing....cannot find it, it is not where it should be....so where did I put it?

All those trips to the store and when you get home, you don't have what you went to the store in the first place.

Humph!!!!

June
 

George

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(snicker, snort) So do you guys have trouble "knowing" who someone is if you see them in a place you wouldn't normally see them? Like I say the grocery checker lady at wal-mart and I'm really nice to my check out people so she stops and talks to me and the whole time I'm thinking "oh, god, oh, god who is she, who is she". It was like seeing her for the first time.

So this has been going on for me for Four years, any longer term folks, does it get worse, better or stay about the same? The first two years don't count cause I think you in such shock that it's hard to discern what's going on. (grins)
 

IntuneJune

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George asked:

"So this has been going on for me for Four years, any longer term folks, does it get worse, better or stay about the same? The first two years don't count cause I think you in such shock that it's hard to discern what's going on. "

In my case, yes the mind-thing did get worse. I have been at this 30+ years. I can still find my way home though!

But my grown sons had better start calling me more often or I will forget who they are.

June
 

*GG*

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(snicker, snort) So do you guys have trouble "knowing" who someone is if you see them in a place you wouldn't normally see them? Like I say the grocery checker lady at wal-mart and I'm really nice to my check out people so she stops and talks to me and the whole time I'm thinking "oh, god, oh, god who is she, who is she". It was like seeing her for the first time.

So this has been going on for me for Four years, any longer term folks, does it get worse, better or stay about the same? The first two years don't count cause I think you in such shock that it's hard to discern what's going on. (grins)
Ah, don't they wear name tags?

My Wal-Mart Story: The greeter at my local one asked me:

"What kind of bees make milk?"
 

George

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Milking Bees? well that's interesting.

What kind of test have anybody had done for their cognitive problems????

I've had a normal MRI no problems and er, um well that's it.
 
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I would love to outline my brain problems, but they are particulaly bad today. Can't read a sentence and make sense of it. So I keep getting stuck reading it over and over again. I describe it by saying that my brain and I aren't friends anymore (we're not talking to each other).
I'll do a proper reply later, if I remember (geez, what are the chances of that?).

take care, ness
 

WillowJ

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I used to remember where I put everything. ha. Used to multi-task. Not anymore.

word-finding difficulties, and mispronunciation. Even if I can think of the word, I often can't say it. and I make a lot of typos and can't figure out how to write things (don't know how to form the letters or numbers, even if I can think of what they should be). I also write the wrong dates. Can't do the level of math I used to.

Sometimes navigating my brain is like slogging through a marsh-like black fog. Viscous like the marsh, but all around like a fog.

Can't concentrate when I'm tired. Often loose track mid-word what I was saying or writing. Forget remembering what I was doing long enough to go in the other room, can I remember long enough to turn around or reach out my arm?

will put down more later if needed
 

pamb

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On good days my husband can still 'think' well, and long term memory is fine, but even on the good days the short term memory is bad.

Always these days (10 years since the 'flu' onset and 5 years since it got really bad) must be told several times each day what day it is and how many days it is before his medical appointment, if it is tomorrow or the day after. On bad days, which is probably 80% of the time now, cognitive defects pretty much describes it. He simply cannot take in information and make any sense of it. Cause and effect and relationships of things or thoughts is becoming a very foreign concept. It really is brain fog as he often has no real idea of what is going on around him - just like he is enveloped in a fog and he can't see out and information can't get in.

Unfortunately, he has the compounding factor of now being 74 years old, so it is hard to know what may be age related and what is XMRV (not tested yet, but really, the writing is on the wall and the letters are 10' high) related. However, because he is still himself for 'thinking' on the good days, I'm betting most of this is XMRV related.

Oh, how I wish the research would hurry up... hmmm, Actos without any ARV's? might it help? Could I talk a Dr. in France into it? Should I even try? Damn but it is frustrating trying to be your own Dr. because of the great shortage of MD's who will take the time to even try.