Patients with fibromyalgia, however, were able to process information faster than older controls.
Although there are a lot of similarities between patients who have fibromyalgia-related cognitive issues and patients who have age-related memory issues, there is one important difference between the fibromyalgia patients and the older controls. Older adults are usually slower than young adults on cognitive tests that measure how quickly one can process information. This slowness explains a lot of the other symptoms of cognitive aging. However, the patients who had fibromyalgia were faster than the elderly patients. Moreover, they were just as fast in their performance as their age-matched controls. What this means is that while the performance of patients with age-related memory loss is similar to the performance of patients with fibromyalgia-related memory loss, the root causes are probably not the same.