Medical mysteries pop up every now and then that are either misdiagnosed or dismissed as either a psychosomatic or a psychological disorder. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is one of these mysteries and identification of a cause, or even whether the disease actually exists, continues to elude scientists. My previous post focused upon my own personal experience with CFS; in this post I would like to turn the focus to a brief history of CFS and an exploration of current medical studies.
While performing research for my next article, I found a paper in The Open Neurology Journal reporting the results of a scientific study which confirmed both the presence and the level of cognitive impairment in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). As I was reading the study, I thought “Aha! Finally. A study that confirms cognitive deficits!” My interest and excitement was due to my own experience with CFS and the many difficulties I have experienced over the past fifteen years; as well as the knowledge of how this information will help other people afflicted with this crippling illness.
Unilateral neglect (UN) is a debilitating cognitive deficit following traumatic brain injury with long-term implications to both the person affected and the health care system. In the United States, UN affects up to 200,000 stroke survivors, with the incidence and severity of UN increasing with age. However, UN is rarely recognized by the health care team and current post-stroke testing is not specific enough to provide for a definitive diagnosis of UN. As a result, people with UN are under-diagnosed and under-treated; or, when diagnosed and treated, do not receive adequate rehabilitation due to financial constraints imposed by the Medicare system.