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Home Resource Library Research The 9th IACFS/ME Research and Clinical Conference summary by Dr. Rosamund Vallings - March 2009 - Advances in Brain Functioning
The 9th IACFS/ME Research and Clinical Conference summary by Dr. Rosamund Vallings - March 2009 - Advances in Brain Functioning PDF Print E-mail
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Advances in Brain Functioning

Session 9

Elke van Hoof (Brussels, Belgium) discussed the issue that CFS influences cognitive functioning, attention and memory. There seems to be slower information processing. Her study examined reaction speed in CFS, and looked at whether this is negatively influenced by external stimuli such as physical complaints. It was found that CFS patients were more distracted by their bodily focus, which in turn negatively influenced cognitive performance. This slow processing speed is partially responsible for the cognitive malfunction in CFS. Tasks requiring complex processing are affected.

EEG data can discriminate 905 of CFS patients from healthy controls and patients with depression according to work by Frank Duffy (Boston, USA). The diagnostic label of CFS may often be misapplied in community practices, and this can lead to data discrepancies. This study has shown that CFS is a condition causing objective and measurable peturbations in CNS function.

Cognitive function in adolescents and young adults with CFS was presented by Laura Younis (Melbourne, Australia). The CFS patients did perform as well as controls on educational tests (verbal and mathematical). These findings were unexpected as the tests were challenging and fatiguing and involved a large neuropsychological test battery. These patients had reported more school absenteeism, depression, sleep disturbance, cognitive dysfunction and other symptoms than controls. Strong motivation to perform well may not reflect typical performance of these students if they had been in an educational setting.

Assessment of amino acid neurotransmitter function was performed in CFS, major depression and healthy volunteers and was presented by Dikoma Shungu (New York, USA). There were no significant abnormalities in regional amino acid neurotransmitter function in CFS. There was confirmation of reductions in occipital GABA in major depressive disorder.



 
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