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Rev Infect Dis. 1991 Jan-Feb;13 Suppl 1:S45-52.

Cognitive and mood-state changes in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

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  • 1Cognitive Neuroscience Section, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


In this paper the cognitive and psychiatric impairments associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and related disorders are reviewed. It is concluded that while acute mononucleosis and infection with Epstein-Barr virus occasionally result in impaired cognition, such changes have not yet been objectively verified in patients with CFS. However, when patients with CFS are carefully studied, concurrent or premorbid psychiatric disorders are revealed at a greater than chance level. Finally, some suggestions are offered regarding improved neuropsychological assessment of fatigue, concentration, and attention for patients with CFS. The findings to date, while suggesting that psychological predisposition may play a role in the expression of CFS, are still inconclusive regarding the etiology of CFS.

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