“I can deal with the pain, but the memory and thinking problems really worry me.”
“The physical symptoms weren’t as frightening as the memory problems.”
“The most devastating effect for me has been the cognitive impairment.”
If you have fibromyalgia (FM), then these quotes may describe what you have felt as well. Many FM patients complain of cognitive (or mental) symptoms such as memory failures (both long-term and short-term), difficulties with attention, and with finding the right words. Our research focuses on these cognitive problems in FM patients.
Our research shows that there really is cognitive dysfunction in FM patients. This is important because even though FM patients report cognitive symptoms, physicians and scientists must consider the possibility that because FM patients experience many symptoms, there may be a tendency to mistake normal, everyday lapses on cognition as something more serious. However, we have found that FM patients perform more poorly than age- and education-matched controls on tests of several different types of cognitive function. For example, FM patients could recall fewer words when given a list of words to remember and recall later. FM patients also performed more poorly on a test of working memory. Working memory refers to your ability to hold something in mind briefly while you use that information for some other mental process. It is your mental desktop. Multiplying large numbers in your head is a good example of a task that uses working memory. In addition, FM patients had lower scores on vocabulary tests, and had lower scores on a verbal fluency test. In the verbal fluency task, people are shown a letter and are asked to write down as many words as they can think of that start with that letter. It tests how quickly you can access your stored knowledge of words. Thus, our results show that FM patients do indeed have some cognitive dysfunction.
Read More Here.