Cognitive Dysfunction is the loss of functions such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning of sufficient severity to interfere with daily functioning. People experiencing cognitive dysfunction have trouble with verbal recall, basic arithmetic, and concentration. These types of delays are common with Chronic Migraine patients and is often referred to as “Brain Fog”.
During a Migraine Attack, the cognitive dysfunction can be a part of the Prodrome and last up to two days after the Migraine has ended, or the Postdrome stage. The reason this is such an issue with people, like me, who have Chronic Migraine is because the brain never fully recovers before the next attack hits.
So, what is considered Chronic Migraine? To be diagnosed with Chronic Migraine, you must have at least 15 Migraine days a month. For me, I usually have 25 or more Migraine Days per month so I am definitely in this category.
How Does Cognitive Dysfunction Impact My Life?
Everyone has those occasions when they can’t find a word or their sentences get jumbled. That happening occasionally is not abnormal. After having a Migraine attack everyday makes these events happen so regularly that it is almost my “normal”.
I will have moments where I constantly find myself looking for words. It is part of my Prodrome or “Pre-Migraine” symptoms. If I notice that I am having a lot of those, “what is that word” moments, I know that a Migraine Attack is on it’s way.
I also have this while recovering from a migraine attack. Since I have the attacks most every day, it becomes difficult to distinguish between the end of one attack and the beginning of another one. It seems like I constantly have that “my brain is tired” type of feeling.
How do you recover from Cognitive Dysfunction after a Migraine?
The best thing you can do to recover from any migraine symptom is to rest. This is certainly the case with Cognitive Dysfunction. Allowing your brain to rest will help to gain back your cognitive abilities. Resting when you have Chronic Migraine is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
Unfortunately, my Migraines tend to “rev” me up and I have insomnia after the attacks. That can make getting the rest that my brain needs very difficult. Monitoring my sleep and making sure that I get enough sleep is a huge part of my basic treatment plan.
Having some degree of Cognitive Dysfunction in connection with Migraine is common. Most people will consider this as being a Migraine Hangover or having brain fog. This symptom can be a part of the Prodrome of a Migraine and it can last up to 2 days after a Migraine Attack. One of the best ways to help cognitive dysfunction is to allow your brain to rest. Having cognitive dysfunction is particularly difficult when a person has Chronic Migraine because the brain doesn’t have time to fully recover.
I find these symptoms to be more annoying than really disruptive. These issues are also a part of my migraine warning so I actually appreciate having them since most of my other Prodrome symptoms come really close to the actual migraine attack.
Migraine Explained Series:
- Migraine Explained: Transient Aphasia
- Migraine Explained: My Migraine Life with Julie Davis
- Migraine Explained: Silent Migraine
- Migraine Explained: Migrainous Stroke
- Migraine Explained: Phantosmia