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Behavioural effects of infectious mononucleosis

  [ 28 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
www.ProHealth.com • February 9, 1996


The aim of the present study was to provide preliminary information
on the acute and chronic effects of infectious mononucleosis
(IM) on memory, attention, psychomotor performance and mood.
These issues were examined by comparing individuals with
acute IM, those who had the initial illness some months
before, and matched healthy controls. Objective measures of
memory, attention, motor skills and visual functions were
obtained, as were subjective reports of mood. The results
showed selective effects of acute IM on performance and mood,
with the profile of impairments being very similar to those
observed in previous studies of influenza. Different
impairments were observed in subjects who had the primary
illness several months before, and the effects observed in
this group were similar to those observed in recent studies
of chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Both acute and chronic
IM subjects reported similar levels of symptoms and
psychopathology, with both groups having greater scores than
the controls. However, the performance impairments did not
reflect symptoms or psychopathology. One may conclude that
the study of IM will provide important data on both the acute
and longer lasting effects of viral infections on the brain
and behaviour.

Hall SR, Smith AP




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