The Kemptown based Sussex ME Society, which cares for those affected by Myalgic encephalopathy (ME) or Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in the area, is currently highlighting the cognitive problems sometimes experienced by people with the illness as this aspect is often not generally recognised.
Cognitive deficits are often the principal disabling feature of ME. Such deficits restrict the patient’s ability to function, plan, and complete tasks in real world settings. Documented deficits include impaired working memory, slowed processing speed, poor learning of new information, decreased concentration and attention span, difficulty with word retrieval, and increased distractibility. Cognitive functioning may be disrupted by multiple stimuli and fast paced activity, and even routine social interactions. Patients may be unable to sustain such efforts over prolonged periods where consistent performance (e.g., work, school) is required. Intense cognitive activity in itself can bring about diminished cognitive functioning as well as other post-exertional symptoms in a manner similar to that caused by physical exercise.
The Kemptown Rag. Also Hastings and St Leonard’s Observer. (News from Action for ME.)