Evaluating neuropsychological impairment in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Department of Medical Psychology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (Impact Factor: 2.16). 05/1998; 20(2):144-56. DOI: 10.1076/jcen.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to provide an estimate of the prevalence of neuropsychological impairment in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), to evaluate the concordance between impairment found on standardized tests and self-reported neuropsychological problems, and to study the relationship between neuropsychological functioning and fatigue severity and psychological processes. We adopted an individual approach to determine neuropsychological impairment as contrasted with the group-comparisons approach used in previous studies. Also, correction for premorbid functioning and confounders was done on an individual basis. The results show that a minority of participants were impaired in neuropsychological functioning. There was no relationship between neuropsychological impairment on standardized tests and self-reported memory and concentration problems. Neuropsychological functioning was not related to fatigue or depression. Slowed speed of information processing and motor speed were related to low levels of physical activity.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A subgroup of patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has cognitive impairments, reflected by deviant neuropsychological test performance. However, abnormal test scores can also be caused by suboptimal effort. We hypothesized that worse neuropsychological test performance and underperformance were related to each other and to a smaller reduction in fatigue, functional impairments, physical limitations and higher dropout rates following cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for CFS. Data were drawn from a previous trial, in which CFS patients were randomized to two conditions; 1) guided self-instruction and additional CBT (n=84) or 2) waiting period followed by regular CBT for CFS (n=85). Underperformance was assessed using the Amsterdam Short Term Memory Test (<84). To test neuropsychological test performance, the Symbol Digit Modalities Task, a simple reaction time task and a choice reaction time task were used. Interaction effects were determined between underperformance and neuropsychological test performance on therapy outcomes. Underperformance was associated to worse neuropsychological test performance, but there were no significant interaction effects of these two factors by therapy on fatigue severity, functional impairments and physical limitations, but there was a significant main effect of underperformance on functional impairments, physical limitations and dropout rates. Underperformance or neuropsychological test performance was not related to the change in fatigue, functional impairments, and physical limitations following CBT for CFS. However, underperforming patients did drop out more often. Therapists should pay attention to beliefs and behavioral or environmental factors that might maintain underperformance and increase the risk of dropout.
    Journal of psychosomatic research 09/2013; 75(3):242-8. · 2.91 Impact Factor
  • Journal of psychosomatic research 04/2014; 76(4):340. · 2.91 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Limited scientific evidence suggests that physical activity is directly related to cognitive performance in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). To date, no other study has examined the direct relationship between cognitive performance and physical fitness in these patients. This study examined whether cognitive performance and physical fitness are associated in female patients with CFS and investigated the association between cognitive performance and physical activity level (PAL) in the same study sample. We hypothesized that patients who performed better on cognitive tasks would show increased PALs and better performance on physical tests. The study included 31 women with CFS and 13 healthy inactive women. Participants first completed three cognitive tests. Afterward, they undertook a test to determine their maximal handgrip strength, performed a bicycle ergometer test, and were provided with an activity monitor. In patients with CFS, lower peak oxygen uptake and peak heart rate were associated with slower psychomotor speed (p < 0.05). Maximal handgrip strength was correlated with working memory performance (p < 0.05). Both choice and simple reaction time were lower in patients with CFS relative to healthy controls (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, physical fitness, but not PAL, is associated with cognitive performance in female patients with CFS.
    The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 09/2013; 50(6):795-810. · 1.78 Impact Factor