Front. Physiol., 16 May 2013 |

Cognitive impairments associated with CFS and POTS

Lindzi Shanks, Leonard A. Jason*, Meredyth Evans and Abigail Brown
  • Center for Community Research, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, USA

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by fatigue, sleep dysfunction, and cognitive deficits (Fukuda et al., 1994). Research surrounding cognitive functioning among patients with CFS has found difficulty with memory, attention, and information processing. A similar disorder, postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), is characterized by increased heart rate, fatigue, and mental cloudiness (Raj et al., 2009). Potential implications of cognitive deficits for patients with CFS and/or POTS are discussed, including difficulties with school and/or employment. A few biological theories (i.e., kindling, impairments in the central nervous system, and difficulty with blood flow) have emerged as potential explanations for the cognitive deficits reported in both CFS and POTS Future research should continue to examine possible explanations for cognitive impairments in CFS and POTS, and ultimately use this information to try and reduce cognitive impairments for these patients.

Keywords: chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue, POTS, cognitive impairments

Citation: Shanks L, Jason LA, Evans M and Brown A (2013) Cognitive impairments associated with CFS and POTS. Front. Physiol. 4:113. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2013.00113

Received: 11 March 2013; Accepted: 30 April 2013;
Published online: 16 May 2013.

Edited by:

Julian M. Stewart, New York Medical College, USA

Reviewed by:

Gavin W. Lambert, BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Australia
Benjamin H. Natelson, Beth Israel Medical Center, USA

Copyright © 2013 Shanks, Jason, Evans and Brown. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Leonard A. Jason, Center for Community Research, DePaul University, 990 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago, IL 60614-3504, USA. e-mail: