Stimulant: A correlate of brain fag syndrome among undergraduate students in a Nigerian University?

  • EO Adayonfo
  • KO Akhigbe
Keywords: Brain fag syndrome, culture.bound, Psychophysiological Theory, stimulant


Context: Brain fag syndrome (BFS) is a culture.bound syndrome that occurs commonly among African people involve in intellectual activities like students. The features include intellectual (cognitive) impairment, somatic symptoms, disturbances of affect, and sleepiness. The Psychophysiological Theory identifies the use of stimulants as an etiological basis for the development of BFS; however, few researchers have linked BFS with stimulants use.

Aims: This study was to determine the prevalence of BFS, investigate whether there was an association between the use of stimulants and BFS and to find out sociodemographic factors that may be associated with BFS.
Settings and Design: University campus, a cross-sectional study with undergraduate students as respondents.
Subjects and Methods: Multi.stage sampling technique was used to select 500 students, who completed questionnaires consisting socio.demographic characteristics, BFS scale (BFSS), and the stimulant use section of the World Health Organization Questionnaire for Student Drug Use Survey; while observing standard ethical conditions.
Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used, employing Chi.square and frequency distribution.
Results: The prevalence of BFS was 42.9%. There was a significant  association between stimulant use and BFS; thus giving credence to the Psychophysiological Theory of causation of BFS by Morakinyo. No  sociodemographic variable was found to be associated with BFS.
Conclusions: The control of use of stimulants is at the crux of the prevention of BFS.

Key words: Brain fag syndrome, culture.bound, Psychophysiological Theory, stimulant


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1119-3077