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Dr Ali Mazaheri – What is brain fog and why do we get it?

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A team in the University’s Centre for Human Brain Health investigated the link between this mental fog and inflammation – the body’s response to illness. In a study published in Neuroimage, they show that inflammation appears to have a particular negative impact on the brain’s readiness to reach and maintain an alert state.

Um why do we have such a hard time concentrating when we’re out why do we have this thing called brain fall my name is dr. almada harry and i am a senior lecturer at the school of psychology university of birmingham i’m also a principal investigator at the center for human brain health inflammation can be thought of as a friend who is nice to have around once

In a while but can we quite annoying if they decide to move in with you information is what helps us fight off an infection it’s what isolates particular tissue while it’s healing on the other hand if inflammation is chronic it’s there all the time it has a host of consequences in terms of our mental health but also our physical health in terms of heart disease

Digestive issues and even some forms of dementia in the research i will be discussing we were interested in precisely what is going on in the brain when there is this inflammatory response particularly when there is a transient inflammatory response what we did was we took a bunch of 20 healthy young males and we gave them a mild form of vaccination it’s a typhoid

Salmonella vaccine what it does is that it just causes this little increase in their inflammatory response doesn’t cause them to be sick doesn’t give them a headache it just causes them to have inflammation and what we were interested in it was while they had this inflammation what was happening in their brain when they were doing this task that required them to

Implement different aspects of attention so attention is this really important ability that allows us to focus on one aspect of the environment that’s important and relevant to us and ignore the other aspect attention has three components it has an alerting part we have to become alert you want to pay attention to something it has an orienting part so we have to

Look at one side and ignore another side but it also has to do with conflict you know we have to listen to the person in front of us even though the person next to us might be more interesting so we had was we gave these young men the vaccine and then we had them to do this task that looked at this three different aspects of attention this alerting aspect this

Orienting aspect and then this conflict aspect and at the same time we measured their brain activity using a cap like this that measures brings electric activity as its processing information well we’ve found was actually quite intriguing we found that two aspects of attention were completely unaffected so the orienting aspect of attention was not affected at all

Also this conflicting aspect of attention wasn’t however what we found was affected and it was affected as as a function of how much of an inflammatory response they had was the alerting aspect this aspect that involved us going from relax and stay tuned oh no we have to do something so and this actually shows for the first time my direct link between inflammation

And brain fox what are the implications of this well when we looked at what is this basically transient very temporarily mouth inflammation what happens when inflammation is chronic now inflammation can become chronic because of i hold a number of illnesses but can also become chronic because of lifestyle factors such as lack of physical exercise or diet also

Inflammation can be modulated by medication so while we’re interested in now is taking a step further and seeing what happens in chronic inflammation to an individual’s brain function thank you very much

Transcribed from video
Dr Ali Mazaheri – What is brain fog and why do we get it? By University of Birmingham