Study Identifies the Types of Cognitive Dysfunction That Are Most Prevalent in Fibromyalgia

Study Identifies the Types of Cognitive Dysfunction That Are Most Prevalent in Fibromyalgia
Learning and memory problems, difficulty paying attention, and inability to control movement are the cognitive problems that fibromyalgia patients experience the most, a study reports. The dysfunction is worse when patients are anxious or depressed, according to a team whose study involved a review of previous research. Their study, “Cognitive impairment in fibromyalgia: A meta-analysis of case–control studies,” appeared in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Many fibromyalgia patients complain of fibro fog, or problems with memory, attention and speaking. And cognitive impairment has been reported in up to 80 percent of fibromyalgia patients. But neuropsychological tests of cognitive function have yielded inconsistent results. The likely reasons, according to the researchers who did the review, were small sample sizes and the use of multiple neuropsychological tests that make comparison difficult. The team gathered information from 23 research projects and case studies covering 2,096 participants to try to identify which cognitive problems were the most prevalent in fibromyalgia. The studies used different neuropsychological tests to compare the cognitive performance of fibromyalgia patients and healthy controls. Some studies included surveys assessing patients' pain, anxiety and depression. As expected, researchers found that fibromyalgia patients had more cognitive problems than  healthy controls. The worst dysfunction was in learning and memory, attention, and controlling movement. Pain and sensory problems are key symptoms of fibromyalgia. The neural pathways involved in cognition and pain processing are closely linked and may influence one another, scientists have said. But the few studies that looked for links between
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