Implicit Memory Function in Fibromyalgia Syndrome
ABSTRACT The study investigated implicit memory function in fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and its association with clinical parameters. Implicit memory refers to the influence of past experience on current behavior without conscious awareness of these experiences. Eighteen FMS patients and 25 healthy individuals accomplished a word-stem completion task. As possible factors mediating the expected impairment, pain severity, emotional disorders, and medication were taken into account. The patients displayed markedly reduced task performance and higher levels of depression and anxiety. Among the clinical features, pain severity was most closely associated with performance, whereas depression, anxiety, and medication showed only a minor impact. The study documented reduced implicit memory function in FMS. In contrast to former findings on impaired performance of FMS patients on classical memory tests, lower implicit memory function cannot be ascribed to motivational deficits. Instead, the aberrances may relate to functional inference between central nervous nociceptive activity and cognitive processing.
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ABSTRACT: Patients with fibromyalgia often report forgetfulness as well as declines in cognitive function, memory, and mental alertness-symptoms that have been termed "fibrofog" in popular and electronic media as well as in professional literature. "Fibrofog" is the subjectively experienced cognitive dysfunction associated with fibromyalgia and is a clinically important yet comparatively less well-studied aspect of the disorder; it includes loss of mental clarity (mental fogginess) as well as attention and memory impairment. Although until recently cognitive symptoms have been largely ignored, these symptoms can be more disturbing than the widespread pain and can change these patients' lives, sometimes dramatically so. Whereas widespread musculoskeletal pain, tenderness, and fatigue may be the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia, patients rank cognitive dysfunction highly in terms of disease impact. This review addresses (1) the prevalence of self-reported cognitive disturbances in fibromyalgia, (2) the clinical presentation of fibrofog, (3) neuropsychological test performance, with particular attention to discrepancies between self-report and test results, (3) clinical correlates of impaired cognitive function in fibromyalgia, (4) neurobiology relevant to cognitive disturbances in fibromyalgia, and (5) clinical management of fibrofog. Although the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia remains an enigma, evidence suggests that it may be a brain disorder, with cognitive deficits ("fibrofog") reflecting disturbed centrally mediated processes.Rheumatology International 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00296-014-3208-7 · 1.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In addition to central nervous sensitization, affect dysregulation constitutes an important factor in the pathogenesis of fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS). The present study is concerned with emotional influences on information processing in FMS. The hypothesis of attentional bias, i.e., selective processing of negatively connoted stimuli, was tested. Twenty-seven female FMS patients and 34 healthy women undertook an emotional modification of the Stroop task. Subjects had to decide whether the colors of positive, negative, and neutral adjectives accorded with color words presented in black. Attentional bias was defined as delay in color naming of emotional words relative to neutral words. Affective and anxiety disorders, pain severity, as well as medication were considered as possible factors mediating the expected interference. Patients showed marked attentional bias, manifested in a greater response delay due to negative words compared with the control group. Among the clinical features, pain severity was most closely associated with the extent of the interference. While depression played only a subordinate role, anxiety and medication were without effect. The study provides evidence of emotionally driven selective attention in FMS. Attentional bias to negative information may play an important role in the vicious circle between negative affective state and pain augmentation. In the management of FMS pain, strategies aiming at conscious direction of attention may be helpful, e.g., imagery techniques or mindfulness training.Pain Medicine 01/2014; DOI:10.1111/pme.12360 · 2.24 Impact Factor