Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic widespread pain disorder associated with fatigue, tender points, sleep disturbances, and mood disorders. Symptoms associated with FM also include decreased cognitive function in which the neural basis is poorly understood. Neuroendocrine hormones may be correlated with cognitive performance under some ill conditions. However, we are unaware of current evidence on neuroendocrine hormones as factors influencing cognitive function in adults with FM.
The aim of the study was to assess whether neuroendocrine hormones could affect cognition in the patients with FM.
This study used a case-control trial design.
Study patients were recruited from the neurological outpatient clinics in the Second Affiliated Hospital and Affiliated Chaohu Hospital of Anhui Medical University and met the American College of Rheumatology criteria for FM.
Forty-six patients with FM were compared with twenty-nine healthy controls (HCs). Several measures of cognitive performance and serum levels of neuroendocrine hormones were used to make these comparisons, and the patients were also asked to complete questionnaires on depression and sleep quality. Partial correlation analysis was performed to control the confounders and linear regression analysis was used to examine the effects of neuroendocrine hormones on cognitive measures.
The FM patients had worse performance in attention, short-term memory, orientation, object working memory and spatial reference memory, higher depression scores, and worse sleep quality than HCs. The raised level of cortisol and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) can protect general cognition, whereas the raised level of cortisol and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) will damage spatial memory.
We did not study the sex hormones comprehensively.
The FM patients showed significant cognitive impairment in several domains. The altered levels of cortisol, thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH), and GnRH may mediate cognitive changes in FM.

© 2021 S. Karger AG, Basel.