Overall Working Memory Not Impaired in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Suggests

Overall Working Memory Not Impaired in Fibromyalgia Patients, Study Suggests
Women with fibromyalgia do not show significant differences compared with healthy women in terms of their overall working memory — the cognitive capacity to store information that needs to be processed — a study shows. According to the study, "Broad cognitive complaints but subtle objective working memory impairment in fibromyalgia patients," fibromyalgia patients only presented minor alterations in visuospatial working memory, which could be explained by the intensity of fatigue and depression. Findings were published in the PeerJ Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences. Fibromyalgia is a complex condition characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and memory and mood issues. Cognitive dysfunction, one of the hallmarks of the condition, includes objective cognitive difficulties (the true inability to perform a task) that can be assessed by neuropsychological tests, as well as subjective cognitive complaints (the thought of being unable to perform a task) reported by patients. "It has been proposed that patients with FM [fibromyalgia] have particular problems in working memory (WM) because they perform poorly in tasks involving distraction or complex and rapidly changing environments," the investigators wrote. However, previous study findings have been inconsistent, making it difficult to reach a definitive conclusion on how fibromyalgia affects patients' working memory as well as its possible relationship with subjective cognitive complaints. In this study, a group
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