MEA Website Survey: Why we’re asking about cognitive dysfunction and ME/CFS | 05 March 2019

March 5, 2019


Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.

Often referred to as ‘brain fog' by people with ME/CFS, cognitive dysfunction is how doctors refer to problems with normal mental function.

Results from February's survey.

Common symptoms include:

  • Short-term memory lapses,
  • Difficulty in concentrating or sustaining attention,
  • Difficulty with processing incoming information and retrieving stored information,
  • Trouble finding the right word, remembering or mixing up commonly used words,
  • Problems with carrying out everyday tasks that involve any form of sustained mental activity.

Cognitive dysfunction is a worrying and often very frustrating part of having ME/CFS. The symptoms can fluctuate and vary from mild to severe. And for some people this is the most disabling aspect of living with ME/CFS.

You can find the website survey on the homepage (about half-way down the page)

Photo from the Real M.E. campaign.

The cause remains uncertain and there is no effective form of drug treatment available – so the use of pacing mental activity and self-help strategies play an important role in management.

I am currently in the process of updating the ME Association information leaflet and would be interested to hear from anyone who has any practical tips to pass on as to how you cope with cognitive dysfunction and whether you have found any form of treatment to be helpful.

Please leave comments here on the ME Association website, or on the MEA Facebook page – where this subject is being discussed or send them to me via head office email.

You might also like to use the comments section and MEA Facebook to discuss the extent to which cognitive dysfunction affects your ability to perform normal activities.

Thank you.

The ME Association

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