You know that feeling... When you are sick... Perhaps there is 10 gallons of mucous stuffed between your ears... Its hard to concentrate.
Anecdotally this makes sense right?
Surprisingly, there wasn't much scientific research done on this phenomenon prior to this year.
Science Daily has reported thay researchers at the University of Birmingham and the University of Amsterdam have not only proven that this circumstance exists but have identified the specific cognitive functions that are affected by sickness and inflammation.
"The tests used in the study assessed three separate attention processes, each involving distinct parts of the brain. These processes are: "alerting" which involves reaching and maintaining an alert state; "orienting" which involves selecting and prioritizing useful sensory information; and "executive control" used to resolving what to pay attention to when available information is conflicting.
The results showed that inflammation specifically affected brain activity related to staying alert, while the other attention processes appeared unaffected by inflammation.
"These results show quite clearly that there's a very specific part of the brain network that's affected by inflammation," says Dr Mazaheri. "This could explain 'brain fog'.""
"Dr Leonie Balter the first author of the study which was completed as part of her PhD, concluded : "Getting a better understanding of the relationships between inflammation and brain function will help us investigate other ways to treat some of these conditions. For example, further research might show that patients with conditions associated with chronic inflammation, such as obesity, kidney disease or Alzheimer's, could benefit from taking anti-inflammatory drugs to help preserve or improve cognitive function."
"Furthermore, subtle changes in brain function may be used as an early marker cognitive deterioration in patients with inflammatory diseases.""
Wow thats super interesting. Now perhaps you can better understand why you bump into things when you are sick... Or why you put the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard. ;-)