Brain fog ? What is it

Hi folks I have heard several people on here say they have brain fog , what is it ?. I have a terrible memory i do things and then have no memory of doing them , I start doing things and then forget what I was going to do , lose things all the time . I have just put this down to age , I am 56 and some of my friends say they are the same . I think I am just worrying about nothing and imagining I have dementia because my aunt was diagnosed with that a couple of years ago .

11 Replies

  • I've tried explaining this to friends before and the only way I can describe it as I experience it is it's like being put on pause. It's not so much that I forget something it's that the information is there and I can't access it .. someone then hits play and everything carries on as normal. I'll be unable to access the names of things where i know I know it but then information just isn't there to access at that time - things like remembering what a fork is called that kind of thing. I've also had times when I've forgotten meeting with people and having a conversation with them and it's like I must have been unconscious when it happened as I have no recollection whatsoever. That level of memory loss is rarer unless my thyroid is off but the forgetting words thing is frighteningly regular. Now I know what it is causing it I find it less frightening than when it first happened.

    It's tricky to tell if it's normal but when friends say they go into a room and forget what they went in for i joke and say I go into a room and can't remember that it's called a room.

  • Thank-you for your reply I understand now don't think that's what I get really just terrible memory for example my daughter turns up on a Saturday afternoon with my grandson with his pyjamas toys etc , " don't you remember you said James could sleep over tonight we are going to a party " erm no don't remember that but it's ok I will say , when I think about it I will then vaguely remember her asking a week or so ago . Told people now to remind me of things nearer to the event from now on , an hour before probably best . I actually forgot my own sons birthday last week something i have never done I don't forget anyone's birthday normally .

  • Write it down - on a calendar so you can check each morning. I still have it occasionally but rather more short term - OH brings the computer through for me to do some editing for him - and I forget totally for a couple of hours if I don't have it in view.

  • I think forgetting my son's birthday was more stress related maybe as I was with the welfare rights lady the day before sorting my appeal out . I should use a calendar more but I wouldn't think to write my kids birthdays on there as it's not something I would normally forget . I have my pills in one of those day by day containers but I still sometimes forget which is a pain when it's my warfarin I forget because it messes everything up .

  • Everyone experiences it a bit differently I think. Between you and Mifford, that sounds a fair selection of the effects it can have. I also couldn't multi-task - I even struggle to plan cooking a meal for more than the two of us!

    My memory went haywire for several years, was particularly bad on pred originally but has slowly got back to something more like I expect. I have also had a couple of episodes of something called transient global amnesia where you lose all memory for a few hours, you have the recall of the proverbial goldfish! Then it clears and you are almost back to normal immediately although the memory takes a few weeks to sort itself out fully - but you never remember that short period. I've also lost some past memories it appears - I don't know, I can't remember them ;-)

  • I think I have to , people are always saying to me do you remember such a thing and I haven't got a clue and people will approach me and start talking to me as if they know me but I don't know who they are .

  • Mifford you describe it so well, it is just like someone has pressed pause!

    Sometimes I can be speaking and I hear the word I want in my head bt can't get it out. I also forget names.

  • Hello,

    I am sorry to hear that you are experiencing this.

    Problems with memory, often referred to by patients as ‘brain fog’, are very common in lupus.

    Doctors refer to this as cognitive dysfunction and this can be quite debilitating and alarming for patients. There are many causes of memory loss in lupus, including depression, active lupus causing confusion and ‘sticky blood’ antibodies, which can cause slow blood flow in the brain.

    Treating active lupus can result in improvements in memory and patients with antiphospholipid antibodies may improve with low dose aspirin.

    You might find our leaflet of lupus and the brain, which you can download or request from our website, of interest

    We also have a blog article on the topic which you might also want to read

    It might be a good idea to discuss what you are experiencing with your doctor so that they can look into whether adjusting your treatment would help address this


  • Thank you I will do


  • My experience of brain fog is not being able to think straight - just as it says fog on the brain - not being able to get through the fog. It is an awful experience and can be misdiagnosed as depression, but actually caused by something physically not right in the body - mine was the gut.

You may also like...