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The Brain Fag Syndrome (BFS) and Homoeopathy

© Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma M.D. (Homoeopathy)

Homoeo Cure & Research Institute

NH 74, Moradabad Road, Kashipur (Uttaranchal) INDIA

Pin- 244713 Ph. 05947- 260327, 9897618594

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For well formatted and illustrated article, please see attached file-

The Brain Fag Syndrome and Homoeopathy.pdf


Definition. 1

Etymology. 2

Signs and symptoms. 2

Unpleasant head symptoms. 2

Visual disturbances. 2

Cognitive impairments. 2

Other symptoms. 2

Etiology. 2

Predisposing factors. 2

Precipitating factors 3

Maintaining factors. 3

Classification. 3

Somatic.. 3

Cognitive.. 3

Spiritual 3

Diagnosis. 4

Treatment 5

Short repertory of Brain fag syndrome. 6

Bibliography. 7



The Brain Fag Syndrome (BFS) is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as a culture bound syndrome, having a tetrad of somatic complaints, cognitive impairments, sleep related complaints and other somatic impairments.


Prince was first to describe this psychiatric illness associated with study among African students in 1960.

Signs and symptoms

The Brain Fag syndrome is considered to be a culture-bound syndrome. Culture-specific syndrome or Culture-bound syndrome is a combination of psychiatric and somatic symptoms that are considered to be a recognizable disease only within a specific society or culture.

Unpleasant head symptoms

Pain, burning, crawling sensations, vacancy feelings

Visual disturbances

Dimness of vision, pain in the eyes and tearing

Cognitive impairments

Inability to grasp the meaning of written and sometimes spoken words, inability to concentrate, poor retention) and

Other symptoms

Weakness, dizziness, writer's cramp and bodily sensations of crawling, burning or migratory pains


Predisposing factors

  • Economic deprivation
  • Nervous disposition
  • Achievement orientation

Precipitating factors

  • Education anxiety

Maintaining factors

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Achievement orientation Amphetamines
  • Coffee
  • Cognitive inhibition
  • Abnormal physiology


Brain fag syndrome can be classified into five groups-

  • Intellectual or cognitive problems such as poor concentration, poor memory, inability to read for long periods and difficulty in comprehension
  • Disturbance of affect characterized by sad or tense facial expression, agitation
  • Sleep disturbances such as insomnia and hypersomnia
  • Physiological disturbances such as loss of weight, tremor, excessive perspiration, breathing and abdominal difficulties
  • A wide variety of sensory disturbances which may or may not affect the head. Among these are crawling sensations, a feeling of heat, peppery sensations, heaviness, numbness, emptiness or a feeling of fluid in the head and blurring of vision.

Guinness found that there were three categories of symptoms. These were-


Headaches, stomach and chest pains, palpitations, dizziness. fatigue, vision problems


Difficulty understanding and remembering, P90r concentration


Beliefs that confusion was imposed from outside or textbooks were being bewitched


The 59 points questionnaire is used to evaluate the brain fag syndrome. This includes-

  • Do you have problems concentrating when studying?
  • Do you have problems remembering what you have read or learnt?
  • Do you have trouble thinking clearly?
  • Do you have difficulty understanding the meaning of written words when studying?
  • And spoken words?
  • Does your mind go blank?
  • Do you feel that your mind is working slowly?
  • Do you get tired quickly when reading?

Do you experience any of the following in the head or neck area-?

  • Headaches
  • Feeling of pressure
  • Facial tension
  • Peppery feelings
  • Heat or hot feelings
  • Emptiness or vacancy feelings
  • Crawling sensations
  • Heaviness
  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Itching feelings
  • Fluid inside the head

Do you experience any of the following to do with your eyes-?

  • Dimness of vision?
  • Blurring?
  • Eyes watering?
  • Aching?

Do you experience any of the following in your body-?

  • Dizziness?
  • Hands shaking?
  • Stomach pains?
  • Chest pains?
  • Always tired?
  • Trembling?
  • Ringing in your ears?
  • Do you perspire excessively?
  • Do you have difficulty with breathing?
  • Do you have a habit of passing your hand over your forehead?
  • Do you have a habit of rubbing the top of your head?

Do you feel any of the following-?

  • Sad?
  • That you have a short temper?
  • Irritable?
  • Worried, tense or agitated?
  • Lonely?
  • Frightened for no reason?
  • That you are thinking too much?
  • Do you have difficulty making decisions?
  • Do you ever think of killing yourself?
  • Are you losing interest in your studies?
  • Do you sigh often?
  • Do you have difficulty going to sleep?
  • Do wake early in the morning?
  • Do you wake frequently in the night?
  • Do you find sleep unsatisfying?
  • Do you dream excessively?
  • Do you sleep a lot?
  • Or a little?
  • Do you feel someone is trying to harm you?
  • Is anything interfering with your thinking?
  • Do you hear voices?
  • Do you think that you are being bewitched?
  • Do people say that you look tense or unhappy?
  • Do you feel that you are more important that others think you are?

By these questions, the BFS can be diagnosed and plan of treatment be made.


The first step in treatment of brain fag syndrome (BFS) is counselling. A physician must have a few sittings with the patients for proper counselling so that the anxiety and other symptoms may be removed without medication.

Second step is Homoeopathic remedies. As per universal law of cure, the constitutional and most similar remedy at that time are the key to cure. A well-mannered case taking, evaluation of the symptoms and proper repertorization to find out the similimum remedy is the only way to cure. The most common remedies to cure BFS are-

Short repertory of Brain fag syndrome

CHEST - COMPLAINTS of the - brain fag, after ph-ac.

Constitutions - OCCUPATIONS, general - business men - brain fag, and headache in occipito-cervical region Pic-ac.

Constitutions - OCCUPATIONS, general - literary, people, brain fag Pic-ac.

Constitutions - OCCUPATIONS, general - teachers, brain fag Pic-ac.

MALE - POLLUTIONS, seminal emissions - tendency - brain fag, mental torpidity, with ph-ac.

Male - SEMINAL, emissions, discharge - brain fag, mental torpidity, with ph-ac.

MIND - ANXIETY - brain fag, with NAT-M.

MIND - HYPOCHONDRIASIS - brain fag, with NUX-V.

Mind - HYPOCHONDRIASIS, mental - brain, fag, with kali-p. Nux-v.

MIND - IDEAS - deficiency of - brain fag, in kali-p. Ph-ac.

Mind - IDEAS, general - deficiency, of - brain fag, in kali-p. Ph-ac.

MIND - PROSTRATION of mind, mental exhaustion, brain fag abrot. acet-ac. ACON. act-sp. Aeth. agar. agn. ail. alco. alet. alf. Alum. alumin-p. alumin-sil. am-c. am-m. ambr. amyg. Anac. Ang. anh. Ant-c. ant-n-l. apis aq-mar. aran-sc. ARG-MET. Arg-n. Arn. ars-i. ars-s-f. Ars. art-v. arum-i. asaf. asar. asc-t. aster. astra-e. atra-r. aur-ar. aur-i. AUR-S. AUR. Aven. bac. bacls-7. Bamb-a. BAPT. Bar-c. bar-i. bar-m. bell-p. BELL. berb. Bov. Bry. bufo buni-o. buth-a. calad. calc-ar. calc-f. calc-i. calc-p. calc-s. calc-sil. Calc. camph. cann-i. CANN-S. Canth. caps. CARB-AC. carb-an. Carb-v. Carbn-s. carl. castm. caul. Caust. cham. Chin. chinin-ar. chinin-s. choc. cic. cinnb. clem. cob-n. coca Cocc. cod. coff-t. Coff. colch. coloc. CON. convo-d. convo-s. corn-f. corn. cortico. croc. cub. Cupr-act. CUPR. cycl. cypr. dig. digin. dulc. dys. echi. elaps equis-h. eucal. fago. FERR-PIC. ferr. fl-ac. form. Gels. GINS. glon. gran. granit-m. Graph. grat. ham. HELL. Hep. Hipp. hydr-ac. Hydroph. HYOS. hyper. IGN. ind. indg. iod. ip. iris Kali-br. kali-c. kali-cy. kali-i. kali-n. KALI-P. Kali-sil. kola lac-d. LACH. lat-m. laur. LEC. Led. lil-t. Lob. lol. LYC. lys. mag-c. mand. mang. marb-w. med. meli. menis. meny. Merc-c. merc. methyl. mez. morph. mosch. Mur-ac. naja nat-ar. NAT-C. Nat-m. NAT-P. nat-s. nat-sil. nicot. nid. NIT-AC. nit-s-d. Nux-m. NUX-V. oena. ol-an. Olnd. onos. op. orig-v. osm. ox-ac. pall. par. petr. PH-AC. PHOS. phys. PIC-AC. pip-m. Plan. plat. plb. podo. prot. psor. ptel. Puls. pyrog. rad-br. ran-b. ran-s. raph. rauw. rhod. rhus-t. ruta Sabad. sanic. Sars. SCUT. Sel. seneg. SEP. SIL. sium Spig. spong. squil. stann. Staph. stram. Stry-p. stry-xyz. Sul-ac. sul-i. SULPH. sumb. syc. syph. tab. tanac. tarax. tarent-c. teucr. thuj. trios. valer. verat-v. VERAT. verb. Viol-o. vip. xan. ZINC-PHIC. Zinc-pic. zinc-val. Zinc.

RESPIRATORY SYSTEM - Chest - Affections - after brain fag ph-ac.

STOMACH - INDIGESTION - brain fag, from aeth. calc-f.

STOMACH - Indigestion dyspepsia - Cause - Fatigue, brain fag, in children calc-f.

Stomach - INDIGESTION, general - brain, fag, from aeth. calc-f.


 Encyclopedia Homoeopathica

 Radar 10

 Chapter 4. The Psychiatric Interview > Abnormal Perceptions CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry, 2e ... to lack continuity and the subject feels uninvolved in the temporal stream. This is particularly likely to be encountered in depersonalization, amnestic syndromes, depression, schizophrenia, or toxic-confusional states. An illusion is sensory stimulation given a false interpretation, that is, a false...

  • American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition. Washington, DC. 1994.
  • Prince RH. The Brain Fag syndrome in Nigerians students, Journal of Ment. Sc. 1960; 106: 559-570.
  • Wintrob RM. The cultural dynamics of student anxiety: A report from Liberia. In Boroffka A, eds, Report on Seminar/Workshop on Psychiatry and Mental Health Care in General Practice. Ibadan, 1971.
  • Lehmann JP. Le vecu corporel et ses interpretations en pathologie

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