Fibrofog is a common complaint you will often hear from someone with Fibromyalgia. Studies have confirmed that cognitive difficulties are part of Fibromyalgia. There have been objective tests that have proven this point with objective tests of:
- Metamemory (knowledge about the content of a person’s memory)
- Working memory (short term operating memory)
- Semantic memory (this involves meanings, concepts, contexts, as distinguished from memory of episodes)
- Everyday ability to sustain attention
- Task switching (the ability to transition from task to task smoothly)
- Selective attention (this is the ability to concentrate on one aspect of environment while ignoring others)
The results of these tests show that fibromyalgia patients have impairments in working, episodic, and semantic memory that mimic about 20 years of aging.
The Fibromyalgia patients studied were also found to have particular difficulty with their memory when tasks are difficult and when their attention is divided.
Cognitive symptoms in these patients may be exacerbated by the presence of depression, anxiety, sleep problems, endocrine disturbances, and pain, but the relationship of these factors to cognitive problems in fibromyalgia patients is unclear.
Standardized tests and treatment have not yet been established for cognitive problems in fibromyalgia patients.