Cognitive functioning in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 1996 Oct;18(5):666-77. doi: 10.1080/01688639608408290.


A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests was administered to 35 outpatients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). They were compared to 33 normal controls matched for age, gender, intelligence, and education. The patients displayed psychomotor slowing and impaired attention. The learning rate of verbal and visual material for patients with CFS was slower, and delayed recall of verbal and visual information was impaired. Because there was a high variability in cognitive impairment within the CFS group, it would be inappropriate to generalize results to the entire CFS population. Two neuropsychological variables indicating aspects of psychomotor performance and verbal memory were found to discriminate best between patients and controls.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Cues
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory / physiology
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Trail Making Test