If those numbers are reliable this is a borderline epidemic level crisis. Nearly 1/5 of the UK population reporting significant cognitive symptoms interfering with daily life but are typically brushed off by medicine. The worldwide numbers would place this at above 1B. That's staggering. Journal Reference: Leonie JT. Balter, Jos A. Bosch, Sarah Aldred, Mark T. Drayson, Jet JCS. Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Suzanne Higgs, Jane E. Raymond, Ali Mazaheri. Selective effects of acute low-grade inflammation on human visual attention. NeuroImage, 2019; 202: 116098 Link: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1053811919306895 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116098 Highlights • Typhoid vaccination induced a transient mild inflammatory state. • Mild inflammation selectively increased alerting-related alpha suppression. • A greater inflammatory response was correlated with more alpha suppression. Abstract Illness is often accompanied by perceived cognitive sluggishness, a symptom that may stem from immune system activation. The current study used electroencephalography (EEG) to assess how inflammation affected three different distinct attentional processes: alerting, orienting and executive control. In a double-blinded placebo-controlled within-subjects design (20 healthy males, mean age = 24.5, SD = 3.4), Salmonella typhoid vaccination (0.025 mg; Typhim Vi, Sanofi Pasteur) was used to induce transient mild inflammation, while a saline injection served as a placebo-control. Participants completed the Attention Network Test with concurrent EEG recorded 6 h post-injection. Analyses focused on behavioral task performance and on modulation of oscillatory EEG activity in the alpha band (9–12 Hz) for alerting as well as orienting attention and frontal theta band (4–8 Hz) for executive control. Vaccination induced mild systemic inflammation, as assessed by interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels. While no behavioral task performance differences between the inflammation and placebo condition were evident, inflammation caused significant alterations to task-related brain activity. Specifically, inflammation produced greater cue-induced suppression of alpha power in the alerting aspect of attention and individual variation in the inflammatory response was significantly correlated with the degree of alpha power suppression. Notably, inflammation did not affect orienting (i.e., alpha lateralization) or executive control (i.e., frontal theta activity). These results reveal a unique neurophysiological sensitivity to acute mild inflammation of the neural network that underpins attentional alerting functions. Observed in the absence of performance decrements, these novel findings suggest that acute inflammation requires individuals to exert greater cognitive effort when preparing for a task in order to maintain adequate behavioral performance. Salient points: Medicine finally looking at brain fog. Comments on this Reddit thread below are interesting, highlighting just how important brain fog is to patients despite seeing barely any interest from researchers and clinicians. So much agreement that this is a very significant symptom. Surprised they used EEG, though. Very low-tech and inexpensive compared to MRIs and other complex imaging.