Cognitive processing speed in Lyme disease

Dean A. Pollina, Martin John Sliwinski, Nancy K. Squires, Lauren B. Krupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The goal of this study was to more precisely define the nature of the cognitive processing deficits in the patients with Lyme disease. Background: Lyme disease has been associated with cognitive disturbances. Method: Sixteen patients who met the Centers for Disease Control's case definition for Lyme disease and 15 age- and education-matched control subjects completed two computerized assessments. The first was a matching procedure that assessed perceptual/motor speed. The second task was an alphabet-arithmetic (AA) test that measured the speed of mental arithmetic. On the matching task, subjects judged as true or false simple identity equations (e.g., B + 0 = B). On the AA task, subjects indicated the veracity of equations of the same form as those of the matching task but which required mental arithmetic (e.g., A + 3 = D). The use of this paradigm permits sensory or motor slowing to be distinguished from slowed cognitive processing speed. Also, the tests do not involve automated or overlearned responses. Results: Lyme disease patients and healthy controls did not differ in perceptual/motor speed. However, Lyme disease patients' response times were significantly longer than those of healthy controls during the AA task, demonstrating specific impairments in mental activation speed. Conclusions: These results suggest that Lyme disease patients show specific deficits when initiating a cognitive process. These impairments are independent of sensory, perceptual, or motor deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalNeuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology
Volume12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

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Lyme Disease
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.)
Reaction Time
Education

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Pollina, Dean A. ; Sliwinski, Martin John ; Squires, Nancy K. ; Krupp, Lauren B. / Cognitive processing speed in Lyme disease. In: Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology. 1999 ; Vol. 12, No. 1. pp. 72-78.
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Cognitive processing speed in Lyme disease. / Pollina, Dean A.; Sliwinski, Martin John; Squires, Nancy K.; Krupp, Lauren B.

In: Neuropsychiatry, Neuropsychology and Behavioral Neurology, Vol. 12, No. 1, 01.1999, p. 72-78.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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