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Neuropsychology & psychology of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)

  [ 45 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • July 3, 1994

Neurological symptoms are frequently reported by patients with
multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS). Methods to compare the
psychiatric, personality, and neuropsychological function of
patients with MCS, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and normal
controls are described. Increased rates of Axis I psychiatric
diagnoses are observed in the literature for MCS and CFS
subjects relative to controls. Findings on the MMPI-2 and the
Toronto Alexithymia Scale reveal profiles consistent with the
tendency to report somatic rather than emotional symptoms in
response to stress. However, many of the reported somatic
symptoms also coincide with those found in neurologic
disorders. The overall neuropsychological profile for MCS
subjects does not reflect cognitive impairment. Relative to
normal controls, the only difference in neuropsychological
performance observed is reduced recognition of nontarget
designs on a visual memory task. More fruitful areas for
future psychological research will include measurement of the
interaction between behavioral response styles and attentional
processes in cognition, as well as observations under
controlled challenge conditions.

Fiedler N, Kipen H, Deluca J, Kelly-McNeil K, Natelson B

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