According to a new report from Spain, most women with fibromyalgia have memory problems and can not focus. They also suffer from anxiety and depression.
Their authors recommend reviewing their findings in-depth to improve the well-being of women with the disease.
The study “Cognitive problems in women with fibromyalgia:
are they due to depression or cognitive dysfunction?”.
Published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by generalized pain and tenderness, fatigue, restless sleep, stiffness and a mood disorder.
Patients usually have cognitive problems, but doctors are unclear if this is due to cognitive dysfunction or lack of depressive symptoms.
“Despite the high frequency of personal cognitive impairment in patients with fibromyalgia, very few previous studies have specifically sought to quantify the extent of these disorders in the female population,” according to the study authors, who had place at Santa Hospital. María de Lleida, a town in the northeastern region of Catalonia.
Between August 2012 and March 2014, researchers enrolled 105 women with fibromyalgia and performed neuropsychological assessments, including attention span and executive function measures.
Participants completed questionnaires on topics such as: cognitive complaints, anxiety, depression, pain intensity, physical functioning, sleep quality, and quality of life.
Nearly 83% of women had cognitive impairment, 23% were mild, and the remaining 60% were moderate to severe.
In general, depressive symptoms, poor memory at work, and daily physical dysfunction were more common among women reporting cognitive impairment.
Overall, 82% of women had symptoms of depression and 70% had “high anxiety levels”, while 68.6% of women had depression and anxiety.
“The results of this study confirm that personal cognitive disorders are very common in patients with fibromyalgia, but are not exclusively related to depressive symptoms.