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Selective impairment of auditory processing in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): a comparison with multiple sclerosis & healthy controls

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The most consistent deficit observed in individuals with

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been in efficiency of information

processing. To examine the possibility of a modality-specific

impairment, the present study examined subjects with Chronic

Fatigue Syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and healthy controls on

an auditory-versus visual-paced serial-addition test. 20

subjects with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 20 subjects with

clinically definite Multiple Sclerosis, and 20 sedentary

healthy controls were compared. One-half of the subjects in

each group were administered the Paced Auditory Serial

Addition Test and the other half were administered the Paced

Visual Serial Addition Test. The group with Chronic Fatigue

Syndrome was differentially impaired on the auditory relative

to the visual processing task. The group with Multiple

Sclerosis was equally impaired on both versions of the task.

The results are discussed within the framework of Baddeley’s

model of working memory.

Johnson SK, DeLuca J, Diamond BJ, Natelson BH

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