Do AFIB episodes cause brain fog?

Posted by jmb73 @jmb73, Oct 8, 2019

I was diagnosed a year ago with AFIB and am taking metopopol. I get about 2 or 3 episodes a month but my heart rate goes back to normal fairly quickly. Unfortunately, last nights episode really gave me nausea, and a headache. The symptoms went away after 45 minutes but then I had difficulty remembering my nieces name and my daughters friend's name. My mind felt empty. Do any of you have similar problems? Thank you

Hi @jmb73,

There's a growing recognition that people with afib may face an increased risk of thinking/memory problems, known as cognitive impairment – trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, making routine decisions. According to researchers, there may be several reasons for this link:

– Very small, silent strokes where tiny blood clots gradually injure parts of the brain involved with cognition. Silent strokes don't cause noticeable symptoms because they are very small
– Impaired blood flow: Because atrial fibrillation affects the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently, the brain may not be getting enough oxygen and glucose
– Medication side effects: Some beta blockers may cause "brain fog” which seems like signs of dementia.
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/atrial-fibrillation/why-atrial-fibrillation-af-or-afib-matters
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/151066-overview#showall
Interestingly, in the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases group, Connect member @hammondm99 has mentioned, “…my cardiologist thinks it may have been Afib that caused my stroke.” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cerebellar-stroke-experiencetreatmentrecovery/

I’d also encourage you to read some of these Connect discussions where @sue225 @wigreenthumb @rrowner2 @sheim @lcgh @tugboater @jayhawk57 and others have shared some great insights about afib and Metoprolol side effects:
– Heart Rhythm Episodes https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/heart-rhythm-episodes/
– Side Effects of Metoprolol? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/metoprolol/
– Arrhythmia, coreg https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/arrhythmia-coreg/

Have you approached the cardiologist with your concerns, @jmb73?

REPLY
@kanaazpereira

Hi @jmb73,

There's a growing recognition that people with afib may face an increased risk of thinking/memory problems, known as cognitive impairment – trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, making routine decisions. According to researchers, there may be several reasons for this link:

– Very small, silent strokes where tiny blood clots gradually injure parts of the brain involved with cognition. Silent strokes don't cause noticeable symptoms because they are very small
– Impaired blood flow: Because atrial fibrillation affects the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently, the brain may not be getting enough oxygen and glucose
– Medication side effects: Some beta blockers may cause "brain fog” which seems like signs of dementia.
https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/atrial-fibrillation/why-atrial-fibrillation-af-or-afib-matters
https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/151066-overview#showall
Interestingly, in the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases group, Connect member @hammondm99 has mentioned, “…my cardiologist thinks it may have been Afib that caused my stroke.” https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/cerebellar-stroke-experiencetreatmentrecovery/

I’d also encourage you to read some of these Connect discussions where @sue225 @wigreenthumb @rrowner2 @sheim @lcgh @tugboater @jayhawk57 and others have shared some great insights about afib and Metoprolol side effects:
– Heart Rhythm Episodes https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/heart-rhythm-episodes/
– Side Effects of Metoprolol? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/metoprolol/
– Arrhythmia, coreg https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/arrhythmia-coreg/

Have you approached the cardiologist with your concerns, @jmb73?

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Thank you for all the information. I will see my cardiologist next week and will ask about it.

REPLY

interesting topic I know that emptiness feel in your head I had it alot before my a fib ablation still have it on rare occasions.Im also on metoprolol and I kinda think maybe it plays a role in this cause it seem to slow everything down at least for me everyone is different. Definitely see cardiologist or EP doctor

REPLY
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