WE CAUGHT UP WITH NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED, NEW YORK-BASED NEUROLOGIST DR. GAYATRI DEVI TO GET SOME ANSWERS ON WHAT IS GOING ON CLINICALLY BEHIND THE CLOUD OF BRAIN FOG AND HOW TO GET HELP.
Many of us women in our forties and fifties can relate to that feeling of memory slipping momentarily—searching for the iPhone while we are talking on it, struggling to recall a name or a word, walking into the kitchen and forgetting what we were there to do, or feeling unable to focus on the task at hand. Some people (and even physicians) may dismiss these symptoms as a natural part of aging or even misdiagnose them as attention deficit disorder.
But the malady known as “brain fog” has an unexpectedly long list of potential causes: hormonal imbalance due to pregnancy or menopause, head injury, medications, disease (from Covid-19 and Lyme disease to multiple sclerosis and thyroid conditions), stress, lack of sleep, even diet. Sure, dementia can be a cause too, but it is unlikely for women in younger age brackets.
“Everyone is worried that brain fog is symptomatic of early signs of dementia,” says Dr. Devi. “But in your forties and fifties that’s a very, very small percentage of people—extremely small, less than .5 percent. In most people, the brain fog can be diagnosed and treated.”
Here is more of our conversation, which delves into clinical causes, testing, treatments and prevention.