Why do we have brain fog?
Brain scans of CFS/FM/IBS/Lyme disease find abnormalities – typically “hypoperfusion”, a fancy way of saying low oxygen delivery to the brain. Also, the brain size decreasing by about 1% per year, likely caused by the lack of oxygen. Different ways of doing brain scans find or do not find abnormalities:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) from 14% (Lyme) to 78% (EBV) abnormalities
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) about 50% with abnormalities
- Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TDS) – no statistics on % with abnormalities
- Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) From 70-80%
Getting a SPECT scan is the preferred brain scan for CFS patients. If you want more information on brain scans and links to the source articles on Pub Med, see this post.
Best Strategy: Know and correct root cause by LAB TESTS!
All brain fog is NOT the same. The same effect may happen — reduced oxygen to the brain, but the why may be different. The most common causes are:
- Hypercoagulation (thick blood)
- High Viscosity blood (slow moving)
- Inflammation – C-Reactive levels etc
- Iron issues with the blood (reduced ability to carried oxygen)
- Blood acid level (reduced ability to carried oxygen)
- Blood Clots
- Clogged Arteries
- Bacteria Dysfunction which alter the metabolites in circulation.
- Bacteria infection in brain (very low probability usually)
Many readers have asked for a simplify summary…
Supplements by Proven Benefits Level
- Magnesium: 600-800 mg /day (Post)
- Vitamin D3: 15,000 IU/day (post)
- Neem (rotate)
- Oregano (rotate)
- Resveratol – 1000 mg/day
- Licorice – 2 gms/day
- Zinc 30-40 mg/day see this post
- B12 1000 mcg/ 1 mg seems to be the effective ongoing dosage, see this post
- CoQ10 300 mg/day – Studies in this post.
- L-carnitine 500mg x 3 times a day – improvement after 4 weeks
- NAC – 3 times a day
- Folinic Acid (bio-active form of B9) 800 mcg/day
- Myrrh and boswellia (frankincense) gum
Cognitive (Brain Fog) Aids
2 weeks on one, then move to the next
- Miyarisan — Clostridium butyricum –converts d-lactic to butyric acid
- Equilibrium – soil based organisms
- Lactobacillus fermentum ME3 – converts lactic acid to acetic acid (some people have reported that they smell like vinegar when they start it)
- Symbioflor-2 – E.Coli strains –documented to persist
- L. Reuteri – produces B12
- Mutaflor — E.Coli Nissle 1917
- Prescript Assist soil based organisms
- Align — Bifidobacteria infantis (B. infantis) 35624
Note that only 2 of the above are Lactobacillus probiotics – most Lactobacillus have negative or no effect.
With CFS, I have picked carefully when I put my energies. My main focus is to develop a model, constantly validate if it is consistent with new research and find candidate supplements and prescription drugs. For each item, I research on PubMed to get the latest findings.
I use the terms candidate because, without actual (well done) studies on humans with CFS/IBS/FM, we do not know it they really have significant benefits. How long do studies take? Often 2-5 years if some researcher become passionate about it.
The model defines what we are wanting supplements and prescription drugs to do. The ideal is something that:
- Reduces all of the overgrowth of bacteria reported
- Increase the undergrowth of bacteria reported
- Does not increase, but decrease d-lactic acid levels
- Does not increase, but decrease histamine levels
The degree that I drill into everything is well above many CFS-suffers cognitive processing levels.A protocol is what a MD produces, I am a citizen scientist so I can only give suggestions to the best of my analysis.
There are really no good well-constructed studies of probiotics and CFS/FM/MCS. The few studies that there are, use commercial mixtures often contain L.acidophilus which is contraindicated(bad) for CFS.
- “The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei F19, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFB 1748 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb12 on fatigue and physical activity in CFS patients…there were no significant changes in fatigue and physical activity scores.” 
There are many excellent candidate items not cited above.
As always, consult with a knowledgable medical professional before starting or changing supplements.