Since the Covid pandemic, six in ten people in Britain have been affected by brain fog on a daily basis
Six in 10 people in Britain are now experiencing daily brain fog since the Covid pandemic, a new report claims
- Brain fog describes symptoms such as poor concentration and feeling confused
- Stress, depression and anxiety caused up to 36 million people to develop brain fog
If you’re losing your train of thought more often than you used to, it turns out you’re not alone — and the reason may have nothing to do with age.
A report shows that six in ten British adults now experience brain fog on a daily basis: a colloquial term to describe a range of symptoms including poor concentration, confusion, slower thinking and general ‘fuzzy’ thoughts.
The report also cites the Covid pandemic as a key factor.
The report, commissioned by nutritional supplement company FutureYou Cambridge, found that high levels of stress, depression and anxiety caused up to 36 million people to suffer from forgetfulness and poor concentration. More than half of Britons said their memory had deteriorated over the past two years, and 61 per cent said they lost their train of thought up to 10 times a day.
Dr. Miriam Ferrer, a molecular biologist from FutureYou, said: “In recent years we have all been exposed to high levels of stress due to the Covid pandemic. We’ve been worried about our health and the health of our family and friends, and about job insecurity – and now we’re seeing the consequences.
A report shows that six in ten British adults now experience brain fog on a daily basis: a colloquial term to describe a range of symptoms including poor concentration, confusion, slower thinking and general ‘fuzzy’ thoughts. [File image]
“Stress increases the hormone cortisol, and studies show that elevated levels of cortisol over a long period of time may be associated with overall poorer cognitive function.”
She added: ‘A prolonged release of cortisol can also lead to brain fog, as it can affect the brain regions important for cognition. [the mental processes used to acquire knowledge and understanding].’
Psychiatrist Dr Luca Sforzini, from King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, said ‘chronic stress leads to higher than normal levels of cortisol’, and the effect on memory can be ‘impactful and detrimental’. He also said that “executive functions,” such as the ability to focus and plan ahead, may also be compromised.
The pandemic has certainly put a lot of stress in many people’s lives, Dr Sforzini added. But he emphasized that not everyone responds to the same stress in the same way.
During the pandemic, the charity Center for Mental Health estimated that up to ten million Britons could potentially need mental health care in the aftermath.
During the pandemic, the Center for Mental Health charity estimated that up to ten million Britons could potentially need mental health care in the aftermath. [File image]
This was supported by a government report on mental health and well-being last April, which found that older people who were recommended to protect themselves were more likely to be depressed and anxious than others of a similar age who were not.
The same report found that the prevalence of ‘clinically significant’ depressive symptoms nearly doubled from 12.5 percent before the pandemic to 22.6 percent in the summer of 2020. By the end of the fall, it had risen further to 28.5 percent .
Dr. Ferrer advised that to boost memory and cognition, people should eat a healthy diet, cut down on alcohol, and make sure they get enough sleep.