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Ill and Out of It? Inflammation May Be to Blame
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— December 6, 2019

Ill and Out of It? Inflammation May Be to Blame

  • An immune response to disease may cause "brain fog."
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Chronic illness is often accompanied by mental sluggishness—and inflammation may be the root cause.

Often called “brain fog,” an inability to think clearly can, for many, be as debilitating as whatever disorder they’re dealing with. Scientists at the Universities of Birmingham (UK) and Amsterdam teamed up to find out why.

Twenty healthy young men volunteered to receive an injection that caused temporary inflammation, a normal response to disease. They were then tested for how well they responded to cognitive tests. They were also tested after receiving a placebo water injection on a different day; the volunteers didn’t know which injection was which.

According to results published in the journal NeuroImage, an area of the brain that controls alertness levels was affected by inflammation, while two other areas with different functions were not.

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