General News

Working it out with ME

Besi Besemar May 26, 2018

The Sussex ME Society that works for those affected by ME or Chronic fatigue syndrome across the county welcomes recently published research highlighting the cognitive problems experienced by patients.

Colin Barton
Colin Barton

RESEARCHERS reviewed 52 studies and found high rates of subjective cognitive symptoms, including forgetfulness, distractibility and word finding difficulties along with slow information processing.

The work published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry indicates a similarity to deficits reported in patients with mild traumatic brain injury and whiplash.

The authors of the research hypothesise that pain, fatigue and excessive interoceptive monitoring produce a decrease in externally directed attention. This increases susceptibility to distraction and slows information processing, interfering with cognitive function, in particular multitasking. Routine cognitive processes are experienced as unduly effortful.

Colin Barton of the Sussex ME Society, said: “Many of our members report that the cognitive problems they experience are as disabling as the physical symptoms of the illness.”

Myalgic encephalopathy (ME) or Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that can sometimes follow a viral infection or trauma is classified as a neurological disorder.  Symptoms include profound physical and mental fatigue, concentration and working memory difficulties along with mild confusion, muscle pain, sleep and mood disturbances, gastric and vision problems.

To read the research, click here: