It’s not unusual to have days where your thinking is sluggish or fuzzy, especially after a restless night of sleep. But if you find yourself repeatedly forgetting why you walked into a room or find it nearly impossible to follow conversations, then you may be struggling with brain fog.

There are many conditions that can affect mental clarity and cognitive functioning, resulting in symptoms of brain fog. In fact, some people have found brain fog to be a lingering side effect of COVID-19.

At MindSet in San Diego, California, our skilled team helps patients clear brain fog with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment. Here, we want to explain how our TMS treatment can help you regain your mental clarity and clear away brain fog.

About brain fog

Brain fog is a term used to describe a problem with mental clarity. Brain fog describes a type of cognitive impairment is which it can be hard to:

  • Concentrate
  • Focus
  • Remember
  • Follow conversations

It’s as if your brain is just too tired to function. Though the severity of brain fog symptoms varies from person to person, your mental fatigue may be so severe it affects your ability to work or go to school.

Causes of brain fog

Brain fog may result from any number of causes. Some causes may be fixed with a few lifestyle changes, while other causes may benefit from medical interventions, such as TMS treatment. Some causes of brain fog can include the following:

Chronic stress

Your body’s stress response protects you from life-threatening situations. Chronic stress causes a constant state of alertness, which can tax your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

In addition to depression and anxiety, chronic stress can also cause brain fog symptoms, such as forgetfulness and difficulty focusing.

Poor sleep habits

Not getting an adequate amount of sleep can also affect cognitive functioning and may lead to brain fog. Sleep is as essential to health as food and water, and adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal fluctuations can also affect cognitive functioning. Many women experience what’s referred to as “baby brain” during pregnancy due to an increase in progesterone and estrogen levels.

Women can also experience brain fog symptoms when estrogen levels fall during menopause.

Medical conditions

Brain fog can also be a symptom or side effect of a number of medical conditions, including fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, and chemotherapy treatment for cancer. Doctors are also seeing more and more people with complaints of brain fog following COVID-19 infections.

These medical conditions can cause inflammation, which can impair cognitive functioning and lead to brain fog.

TMS treatment for brain fog

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a noninvasive therapy that uses repetitive electromagnetic pulses to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. The goal of treatment is to realign your brainwave frequencies to ease symptoms.

At MindSet, we use a type of TMS therapy called personalized repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (PrTMS). Developed by our founder, Kevin Murphy, MD, we use PrTMS to make personalized assessments and treatments instead of generalized observations and treatments.

To treat brain fog, we first collect a series of quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) readings, which detect abnormalities in brainwaves and neuron function. We then use our proprietary algorithm to develop your PrTMS treatment plan.

We collect new qEEGs each week and perform other cognitive tests to assess the effectiveness of your treatment, and we adjust your plan as needed, all with the goal of correcting electrical signals in the brain.

Though results vary, many of our patients feel improvements in their symptoms within two weeks. To gain the most benefits, we recommend five sessions a week for 6-8 weeks. Treatment is noninvasive and requires no downtime.

If you have brain fog, we may be able to help you think clearly again. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with MindSet today.