Cognitive Dysfunction: Brain Fog


In this leaflet we review one of the characteristic symptoms of ME/CFS – cognitive dysfunction. It can be a very frustrating symptom, affecting word-finding, comprehension, reading, writing, listening, concentration and other mental activities.

What is cognitive dysfunction?

Typical symptoms include:

  • Short-term memory lapses
  • Difficulty in concentrating or sustaining attention
  • Difficulty with processing incoming information and retrieving stored information
  • Trouble finding the right word, remembering or mixing up commonly used words
  • Problems with carrying out everyday tasks that involve any form of sustained mental activity

Most doctors regard cognitive dysfunction as a very characteristic feature of ME/CFS and would be reluctant to make a diagnosis in anyone who does not report this key symptom to some degree.

Telephone Helpline

The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.

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