Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain syndrome with an unknown origin that might include subjective cognitive symptoms as well as varying evidence of cognitive impairment. The prevalence and degree of cognitive impairment are yet unknown. Furthermore, there has been little comparison of this group to other types of pain. Using an automated clinical assessment technique, the current cross-sectional investigation intended to determine rates of clinically significant cognitive impairment in FM and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

A total of 61 females (32 with FM, 29 with RA) participated in the study, which included a thorough neuropsychological (NP) battery as well as personality and psychological distress assessments. All research measurements were performed in a single visit, and all individuals were recruited over a three-year period. To compare groups on NP impairment, visually adjusted NP scores were utilized to compare individuals with normative expectations, and a summary score was generated.


In both groups  (FM = 23.3%, RA = 34.5%), considerably elevated rates of cognitive impairments were seen as compared to normative expectations using a 1 standard deviation threshold, with most test scores in afflicted people falling in the mild to moderate ranges of impairment. FM individuals reported greater and more significant levels of psychological symptoms overall as compared to RA participants. In neither patient group were they connected with cognitive functioning.

When compared to a normative population, both FM and RA had higher rates of cognitive impairment and psychological discomfort. In both groups, however, psychological suffering was unrelated to cognitive. These findings have consequences for the clinical presentation of people suffering from FM and RA.