Working memory deficits in chronic fatigue syndrome: differentiating between speed and accuracy of information processing

J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2004 Jan;10(1):101-9. doi: 10.1017/S1355617704101124.


To examine the relative influence of speed of information processing versus working memory ability, CFS participants with psychiatric comorbidity (CFS-Psych) and CFS without a psychiatric history (CFS-noPsych) were examined on tests of visual and auditory processing speed and visual and auditory working memory. Compared to healthy controls (HC) and a group of participants with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the CFS-noPsych group displayed significantly reduced performance on tests of information processing speed, but not on tests of working memory. No significant differences were observed between the CFS-Psych group and any other group in the study. The implications of group heterogeneity on the understanding of cognitive impairment in CFS are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Memory Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time
  • Severity of Illness Index