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Cognitive dysfunction in fibromyalgia

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By O. Gelonch, et al. • • May 24, 2013


INTRODUCTION: People with a fibromyalgia diagnosis complain of having very poor cognitive functioning. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest to investigate which cognitive impairment is present in this disease.

AIM: To review the published research on fibromyalgia and cognitive dysfunction.

DEVELOPMENT: A literature search was performed with a time interval from 1995 to 2012. Search terms included the keywords 'fibromyalgia' and 'cognition', 'attention', 'memory', 'language', 'perception', 'executive functions' and 'dis-executive syndrome'. 64 records were selected after applying inclusion criteria.

CONCLUSIONS: Studies that have examined cognitive function in people diagnosed with fibromyalgia have been few and mostly with small samples. Deficits have been identified mainly in working memory and complex attentional functions, where the distraction factor has an important significance. Impairment has also been identified in long-term memory and executive functions.

There is consensus among the studies in which the degree of pain is directly related to the level of cognitive dysfunction, while no full consensus to explain the influence of depression and anxiety on cognitive functioning in these patients.

Source: Revista de Neuroloigia, June 1, 2013. By O. Gelonch, M. Garolera, L. Rossello, J.Pifarre. Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Espana.

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