Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cognitive impairment in ME/CFS not secondary to depression: Of course not!

Santamarina-Pérez P, Freniche V, Eiroa-Orosa FJ, Llobet G, Sáez N, Alegre J, Jacas C.
Servicio de Psiquiatría, Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, España.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To analyze the role of depression in cognitive deficits of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 57 women with CFS were assessed by neuropsychological tests that included measures of attention: CalCap, Mental control of the WMS-III, PASAT, forward and backward digits (WAIS-III), symbol digit modalities test (SDMT); executive functions: Stroop Test, Trail Making Test (TMT A y B), FAS, Tower of London; memory: Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (AVL), Rey Complex Figure (RCF), and psychomotor skills: Grooved Pegboard. The raw scores on the tests were adjusted according to normative data and transformed to T scores. The sample was divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of depression, assessed by clinical interview and administration of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). This study compared neuropsychological test scores between the two groups.

RESULTS: CFS patients showed cognitive deficit in attention and executive functions, regardless of the presence of depression. There were no significant differences between the two CFS groups.

CONCLUSIONS: The cognitive impairments in patients with CFS are not secondary to the presence of depression. These results should be taken into account in the implementation of therapeutic programs in these patients.

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