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Photo: Tomsickova Tatyana (Shutterstock) The term “brain fog” can mean many different things, from the afternoon sleepiness you get after a bad night of sleep to the short-term memory loss associated with dementia. Generally speaking, brain fog can consist of memory problems, an inability to focus, or a lack of mental clarity . Although brain fog isn’t a formal medical condition, these symptoms can be a sign that something is going on. Underlying medical issues that can cause brain fog There are a number of different medical conditions that can cause brain fog. One major cause can be inflammatory conditions that affect the brain, such as a recent COVID-19 infection or an autoimmune disease. “When the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, gets affected, that can lead to symptoms such as brain fog,” said Carlos P é rez , a neurologist at Baylor College of Medicine. Metabolic issues, such as a thyroid condition, can also result in brain fog, while certain medications can also be a culprit. Brain fog is especially prevalent in people going through chemotherapy, to the point it has its own name: “chemo brain.” Another culprit can be hormonal changes, including during pregnancy and menopause. “It’s probably changing hormonal levels that are causing this brain fog,” said Louise McCullough , a neurologist at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School, noting that this is less concerning because of the self-limiting nature of pregnancy and menopause, which will end eventually (even if it doesn’t quite feel […]