Exercise may improve cognitive skills in fibromyalgia sufferers


November 14, 2011

Exercise may improve cognitive skills in fibromyalgia sufferersDealing with fibromyalgia can be debilitating for some people as it causes constant pain, which can then lead to fatigue and cognitive problems. It has long been said that exercise can improve the pain sufferers have, however researchers from the Fibromyalgia Evaluation and Research Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, wanted to see if it would also improve their memory skills.

To test this, researchers worked with nine women with the disorder. Each was given a baseline image called a functional MRI, as well as memory tests and well-being tests. After this, each woman was taken off of their medicine during the six-week study and instead started up an aerobics program. They took 30-minute classes three days a week.

From the results, scientists found that initially, pain increased and cognitive function decreased, though as they study progressed, memory skills improved and pain was found to be reduced. Researchers were quick to point out that not all sufferers can work out so this isn't a solution for everyone with the disorder, though it may help some people. 

Seniors living at home who suffer from fibromyalgia may benefit from installing a medical alert system into their homes. This way, should they fall while exercising or have another problem due to their condition, they'll be able to call for help immediately.