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Memory impairment and depression in patients with Lyme encephalopathy: comparison with fibromyalgia and nonpsychotically depressed patients.

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Lyme encephalopathy, primarily manifested by disturbances in memory, mood, and sleep, is a common late neurologic manifestation of
Lyme disease. We compared 20 patients with
Lyme encephalopathy with 11 fibromyalgia patients and 11 nonpsychotically depressed patients using the California Verbal Learning Test, Wechsler Memory Scale, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), and Beck Depression Inventory. Compared with patients with fibromyalgia or depression, the
Lyme encephalopathy group showed mild, but statistically significant, memory deficits on two of the three memory tests. In contrast, the patients with fibromyalgia scored significantly higher than both other groups on the MMPI scale most sensitive to somatic concerns (scale 1), while the depressed patients scored higher than the
Lyme patients on the scales most sensitive to depression (scale 2) and anxiety (scale 7). Physical complaints and depression were not major factors in memory performance among
Lyme patients. These data support the hypothesis that
Lyme encephalopathy is caused by CNS dysfunction and cannot be explained as a psychological response to chronic illness.

Neurology. 1992 Jul;42(7):1263-7. Comparative Study; Research Support, U.S. Gov’t, P.H.S.

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