Memory impairment dominates the cognitive complaints of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Twenty CFS patients were available for studies with a clinical and experimental battery composed of memory and cognitive tests. The results on objective testing indicated that the CFS patients had some mild memory impairment, but only on tasks requiring conceptually driven encoding and retrieval processes. There were no associations between the nature of the precipitating illness, self ratings of fatigue, physical findings, or laboratory determination and objective memory performance or self report of memory functioning. These generally negative results indicate that memory impairment in CFS patients is typically mild and involves memory processes that participate in conceptualising information.
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