Review of cognitive symptoms

A fine review of the cognitive problems associated with ME/CFS, and the subgroup of patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), has been published in the Journal “Frontiers in Integrative Physiology”.  It is an open access article, so it can be read in full by all.

The researchers are from Prof Lenny Jason’s group at De Paul University in Chicago, and they point out that there is now very good published evidence of difficulties with memory, concentration/attention, and information processing in ME/CFS. The memory problems include difficulties with visual & verbal memory and with short-term and long-term recall – with significant effects on daily functioning at home, work or school, as most patients know. Mental clouding (“brain fog”) can have important consequences and affect attention and concentration, particularly in children and adolescents POTS. A particular strength of the article is that it reviews the various theories about how cognitive problems might come about – “kindling”, central nervous system dysfunction, brain blood flow impairments etc – so, it’s well worth a read, and is eminently quotable!

Reference: Cognitive impairments associated with CFS and POTS. Shanks et al.  Front Physiol 2013; 4: 113