Pain Negatively Affects Cognition in FibromyalgiaI'd be surprised if it is significantly different in ME/CFS.
February 6, 2012 (Miami Beach, Florida) — Pain is the primary factor contributing to cognitive impairment in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome, over and above depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep complaints, and medication use, reported Stefan Duschek, PhD, from the University of Munich, in Germany, here at the 6th World Congress of the World Institute of Pain.
Patients with fibromyalgia scored worse than healthy control subjects on mathematical thinking and attentional control. "A large part of the variance on these tests was explained by pain," said Dr. Duschek in an interview with Medscape Medical News. "The most important factor underlying these deficits is pain, nothing else; it's not depression, it's not anxiety, but pain."
Of interest, patients taking opiate medication performed better than those who were not (P < .05). "Our hypothesis was the opposite — that opiates disrupt cognitive function — but it makes sense; it reduces pain intensity so people can concentrate better," said Dr. Duschek.