Those of us who suffer with CFIDS know all too well the effects this illness has had on our memory. A group of researchers in Spain and the UK have found that CFIDS patients’ working memory of the brain does not function the same as in those who are healthy. Like we didn’t already know that!
When researchers refer to “working memory” they say that it refers to the “capacity to store information in short-term registers while simultaneously manipulating it to perform a task”. This is considered a crucial cognitive function for human thought processes, i.e. reasoning and comprehension, as it enables us to process task-relevant info.
These researchers concluded their findings by doing MRI imaging on the brain of 17 CFIDS patients and 12 healthy patients. They were all scanned while performing specific sets of increasingly challenging memory tests. Both groups performed at comparable levels except for one part of the test. The MRI showed that the CFIDS patients “experienced greater activation in the medial prefrontal regions of the brain”. The researchers also noted that, “Trend analyses of task load demonstrated statistically significant differences in brain activation between the two groups as the demands of the task increased”.
The results suggest that CFIDS patients show both “quantitative and qualitative differences in activation of the working memory network compared with healthy control subjects”.