About this Research Topic
Pathological fatigue is one of the most distressing and long-lasting symptoms following neurological disorders. The endurance of patients is limited and the recovery from exertion can be extremely long. The mental energy varies depending on activities performed, but it never goes back to levels an individual experienced before a neurological insult, and does not recover following a night’s sleep. When not resolved within months, long-lasting or chronic pathological fatigue limits the ability to perform normal daily activities including work, education, and social activities. This results in a negative impact on the overall well-being and quality of life.
Pathological fatigue is commonly reported in many neurologic illnesses, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Recent research findings suggest a neurobiological origin for brain fatigue. A dopamine imbalance in the brain has been suggested to cause fatigue, while another theoretical model proposes reduced glutamate handling by astrocytes, more unspecific signaling of larger cell networks, and reduced energy supply to be the culprit. Recent neuroimaging studies on pathological fatigue in neurological illnesses has been suggested to be linked to dysfunction in brain activity as measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging and functional near-infrared spectroscopy, as well as altered brain connectivity, cerebral blood flow, and glucose metabolism. However, there is still no clear explanation regarding the neurobiological underpinnings of brain fatigue. In addition, the inadequacy and subjective cognitive impairment commonly reported by patients is not well understood contributing to the limitations regarding efficient treatment alternatives.
It is important to focus the research efforts to reduce the existing gap between neuronal functioning and behavioral outcomes in relation to the pathological condition and symptoms that are present in brain fatigue. A better understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms occurring in individuals affected by brain fatigue will provide insight into this condition, paving the path for future research aiming at developing efficient testing and treatment options for brain fatigue.
The aim of the current Research Topic is to collect promising, recent, and novel research output dissecting and advancing our knowledge on brain fatigue and the impact on cognitive and emotional abilities.
We welcome authors to contribute to this important theme focusing on pathological fatigue evidence, its relation to and impact on biochemical and neuronal functioning, energy metabolism, and the impact on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning that influence the quality of life of patients.
Keywords: Pathological Fatigue, Neurological Diseases, Cognition, Biochemical, Neurological Function
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