9

votes

Is there an objective measure for brain fog?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 25, 2012 at 1:03 AM

For example, I have an excel column on my food diary/excel spreadsheet for the number of calf cramps I experience. It's a finite, objective number which can be tracked to see the effect of various diet & supplement hacks.

Question:


Is there a good way to quantify brain fog?

Presently, in narrative form, I record particularly glaring examples such as pressing the button for the wrong floor on the elevator. However, it doesn't do a good job of capturing and recording the overall level of mental sharpness.

I suspect there's an app for my ipad or android phone but I presume it's probably puzzle based games. I bet the longer you play at it, the better you get, so that might not be a good proxy for overall mental functioning.

All thoughts, comments or app suggestions are very much welcome.

Thanks,

Mike

99940e89cc34e8841f31cecd8e1da1d8

(35)

on April 18, 2013
at 09:39 AM

I found something on it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapping_rate Looks like it's moreso used in psychology to measure recovery from brain injury but, as I recall, Dave Asprey reckons it fluctuates day by day depending on how alert you are.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 27, 2012
at 12:43 AM

So today, for example, I forgot to close the fridge door at work. A few minutes later, a coworker discovered it and loudly asked: "who left the door open" - sooo embarrassing. I'm not sure how to rate that in my log: low since it was the only memorable event, or high, since it was highly embarrassing and concerning.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I am always at 8 (don't remember why I went to the kitchen in the first place). Maybe it is an early sign of something?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I would fail miserably. I am so bad at video games. So glad I am not working for that company!

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:21 AM

Based on all the questions and comments so far, it jogged my memory that way back when, I wrote a flash card type program which presented a list of terms and timed how long it took for me to tell the program I remembered the associated meaning. If I couldn't, I just pressed a certain button. The whole thing logged times, and helped me memorize lists. As I just typed this whole thing I realized that this too would trend better as I learned the list. Hmm.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:06 AM

I presently use a 1-10 scale to estimate a variety of things in my excel log: sleepiness, headache, etc. My problem is that estimating brain fog or alertness is particularly more subjective than the other thing.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 25, 2012
at 08:10 AM

When they talk about the weather, they usually say "thick fog", "light fog" - do you think those terms would help somehow? Maybe a scale from 1 to 10 where 0 is no fog and 10 is you cannot think straight.

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10 Answers

best answer

2
B948df5342567842040b1e06e6f822f3

on April 17, 2013
at 05:15 AM

Been having brain fog for a few months(3 vaccines in 2012, hmmmm). Today it didn't clear until 3pm. That's when it occurred to me to find exactly what you are looking for, OP. If I have pain I can rate it 1-10. But brain fog is difficult to rate 1-10. A friend said she knew hers was bad when she couldn't formulate words. I'm not nearly that bad but enough to think about seeking disability. A drastic change from a few months ago.

One test I ran across is Brain Baseline. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainbaseline/id408975136?mt=8

Going to play a game or two daily and compare depending on when I take it.

6
F20af1e0c77eff221d556e3db0fc5684

on June 25, 2012
at 02:39 AM

Seth Roberts tests his brain function with a program that records how quickly he solves arithmetic problems.

If you are familiar with the R programming language, you can download the source here.

I've also written a quick-and-dirty Ruby version, tested only on OS X.

0
8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on April 27, 2013
at 03:46 AM

I got brain fog once. I thought I had the flu. It wasn't until three days in that I mentally asked myself why do I have brain fog.

It turns out I inhaled gluten. Straight to the brain.

It was like having a double dose of benadryl. Everything was swimming though pea soup for three days.

In my personal opinion, if you need an app to test for brain fog you probably don't have it.

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on April 27, 2013
at 02:35 AM

I just heard a commercial on the radio for this, and don't know anything about it, but it pro-ports to be some kind of brain training thing

http://www.lumosity.com/

0
Medium avatar

on April 17, 2013
at 08:33 PM

I doubt it. I'd just say brainfog today- no brainfog today. Maybe Foggy Nonfoggy Exceptionally clear?

0
99940e89cc34e8841f31cecd8e1da1d8

on April 17, 2013
at 03:36 PM

I remember listening to a podcast of Dave Asprey's recently where he said that there's something you can download that tests how many times you can hit the spacebar on your keyboard in a set amount of time. There must be a bunch of programs or browser games that could do that. He reckons that this is actually a very good way of measuring how alert you are. I can't find a link to exactly what he was talking about but you can easily find some browser games through google that would do it.

Maybe you could try doing it each morning and see if it appears to correlate with how alert you feel.

99940e89cc34e8841f31cecd8e1da1d8

(35)

on April 18, 2013
at 09:39 AM

I found something on it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapping_rate Looks like it's moreso used in psychology to measure recovery from brain injury but, as I recall, Dave Asprey reckons it fluctuates day by day depending on how alert you are.

0
B41cdb2253976ba9b429dd608d02c21f

(1495)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:57 AM

Neurologists use tests like the Mini Mental State Exam to measure memory loss. It's associated with a score. Maybe there's an app with variations of that exam that you could quickly take once you experience a brain fog situation. I think a lot of brain fog in younger people is due to lack of focus or lack of paying attention, so maybe your test should focus more on what else was going on in your environment to draw your brain's attention away from the task at hand. I know when I forget why I went in another room, it's because I didn't give what I was doing enough attention to be able to remember the task at hand.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on June 25, 2012
at 10:38 AM

I wish I could find it, but there was an article I've read many years ago about some company that required its employees to play a short video game before they'd let them operate heavy machinery, as the score on the game would indicate their level of alertness, and indirectly how much sleep they got (or if they got very drunk the night before.)

So perhaps that could be one way to do it. Of course, over time you'd get better and better at a specific game, so it would have to be something that would require thinking and planning, and not just memorization.

Math might work, but if you recall, we did have to memorize things like multiplication tables, so long term memory would play into it, skewing the results. You'd want to test short term memory.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:25 PM

I would fail miserably. I am so bad at video games. So glad I am not working for that company!

0
03a4ec34751186201a56da298ac843ce

on June 25, 2012
at 02:00 AM

Well, if you were in school, you could check your quiz scores every week and see if you average was going up or down....So..maybe try to remember something everyday. The first license plate you see...Or see how fast you can remember everything you ate the day before, or how many people you spoke to and what they were wearing the previous day.

-1
C79a5b43dfc5749200bd9dcaa6bb0858

on June 25, 2012
at 04:57 AM

Interesting question. I used to have HORRIBLE brain fog. It was a walking nightmare.

One idea might be to create your own scale like a pain scale. It's not great, but here is a stab at it.

So for example:

1 - Extreme alertness and mental dexterity
2
3 - Ready for some physics problems
4
5 - Moderately Alert
6 - Keep missing your exit, driving to the wrong place
7 - Confused, trouble speaking
8 - Can't remember where you were going
9 - Dizzy, foggy headed, have to lie down
10 - Asleep

I'm not particularly alert at the moment as it's almost my bedtime so I'd say I'm at an 5. I can still type and think so I'm not too far along the scale. I guess a sleep scale might be handy as well. Ooh, just caught a spelling mistake. I might have moved to a 6 since I started this response.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 25, 2012
at 11:06 AM

I presently use a 1-10 scale to estimate a variety of things in my excel log: sleepiness, headache, etc. My problem is that estimating brain fog or alertness is particularly more subjective than the other thing.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 25, 2012
at 04:28 PM

I am always at 8 (don't remember why I went to the kitchen in the first place). Maybe it is an early sign of something?

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