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Attention & information processing efficiency in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

  [ 35 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • October 6, 1999


In this study a battery of attentional tests and a verbal memory
task were administered to outpatients with Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome (CFS) in order to evaluate aspects of attention that
have not been explored in this group to date. In addition,
this study was designed to further examine memory function and
to extend the few reports investigating the rate of cognitive
processing independent of motor speed and the possibility of a
modality-specific impairment of information processing.

Twenty-nine patients with CFS and 22 healthy controls matched
for age, gender, intelligence, and education were included in
this study. The results show that patients with CFS do not
seem to be impaired for modification of phasic arousal level,
nor for visual selective attention requiring shifting of
attention in the visuospatial field. The results further
support the presence of reduced information processing speed
and efficiency, and strengthen the evidence of a global
non-modality-specific attentional dysfunction in patients with
CFS. In this study the poor performance of patients with CFS
on recall of verbal information was due to poor initial
storage rather than to a retrieval failure.

Michiels V, de Gucht V, Cluydts R, Fischler B




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