Cognitive dysfunction in fibromyalgia

Curr Rheumatol Rep. 2001 Apr;3(2):123-7. doi: 10.1007/s11926-001-0007-4.


Fibromyalgia is a puzzling syndrome of widespread musculoskeletal pain. In addition to pain, patients with fibromyalgia frequently report that cognitive function, memory, and mental alertness have declined. A small body of literature suggests that there is cognitive dysfunction in fibromyalgia. This article addresses several questions that physicians may have regarding cognitive function in their patients. These questions concern the types of cognitive tasks that are problematic for patients with fibromyalgia, the role of psychological factors such as depression and anxiety, the role of physical factors such as pain and fatigue, the nature of patients' perceptions of their cognitive abilities, and whether patients can be tested for cognitive dysfunction. Critical areas for further investigation are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognition Disorders / complications*
  • Cognition Disorders / physiopathology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Fibromyalgia / complications*
  • Fibromyalgia / physiopathology
  • Fibromyalgia / psychology
  • Humans