Researchers are trying to understand whether cognitive dysfunction is from fibromyalgia or depression.
One question that was thoroughly investigated by researchers is whether or not the cognitive dysfunction observed in patients with fibromyalgia can be connected to other symptoms of the disease. For instance, people who have fibromyalgia are often also depressed. Cognitive dysfunction is a symptom of depression, so it’s reasonable to hypothesize that their cognitive dysfunction is due to depression. However, research conducted proves that this is not the case. The patients in the study were selected with that particular question in mind, so researchers were careful to pick people who did not have major, clinical depression, but who still exhibited cognitive problems.
The NFMPCA also measured depressive symptoms in their study. The patients, who had fibromyalgia and were not clinically depressed, reported more depressive symptoms than the control groups. While the patients did report symptoms of depression, the symptoms were not connected to cognitive problems. So, the patients who performed the worst on cognitive performance tests were not necessarily the same patients who had the most symptoms of depression. They were unable to find any correlation between anxiety and performance on the cognitive tests.