Cognitive Dysfunction in Fibromyalgia Patients is Not Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease

Cognitive Dysfunction in Fibromyalgia Patients is Not Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease
Researchers at Rush Medical College in Chicago recently published in JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology the conclusion that there is no link between the cognitive dysfunction seen in fibromyalgia patients and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The study is entitled “Cross-sectional Neurocognitive Data Do Not Support a Transition From Fibrofog to Alzheimer Disease in Fibromyalgia Patients.” Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that can affect the ability of the individual to conduct simple daily tasks, compromising quality of life. It is characterized by widespread chronic musculoskeletal pain, stiffness and numbness in certain parts of the body, fatigue, headaches, sleep disorder and mood alterations. Women are more susceptible to this disorder than men. Cognitive dysfunction can also occur in fibromyalgia patients, such as lapses in memory, confusion and word mix-ups, and it is usually referred to as "fibrofog." The cause of fibromyalgia fog is not clear, but it has been suggested that it might be linked to sleep deprivation and/or depression. Many fibromyalgia patients that develop fibrofog in their middle years are concerned with the possibility that it might correspond to an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. To determine if the cognitive deficits found in fibromyalgia patients are related to the lapses in memory and progressive cognitive decline characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Frank Leavitt and Dr. Robert S. Katz conducted a cross-sectional study in two different cohorts of fibromyalgia patients based on the duration of the patients’ reported memory problems. The first cohort comprised 94 fibromyalgia patients reporting a short period of cognitive deficits (≤ 12 months), whereas the second one had 55 patients with a long pe
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