To examine the degree and nature of cognitive impairments in chronic
fatigue syndrome, a comprehensive neuropsychological battery
was given to patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple
sclerosis, depressed patients, and healthy controls. The
battery included tests of attention and concentration,
information processing speed, verbal and visual memory,
intellectual ability, and concept formation. Measures of
depression and anxiety were also obtained.
The chronic fatigue syndrome group did not differ from
the depressed group in overall neuropsychological performance,
but differed from the multiple sclerosis and control groups.
The most significant impairment was in information processing
speed in the chronic fatigue syndrome group. Depression and
anxiety were not related to neuropsychological performance.
The influence of reduced information processing on other areas
of cognition is discussed.
DeLuca J, Johnson SK, Beldowicz D, Natelson BH