Research Topic

Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

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Fatigue is very prevalent among patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Seventy to ninety percent of MS patients suffer from fatigue. It is often the most disabling symptom and often leads to early retirement. Its economic burden is enormous. ...

Fatigue is very prevalent among patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Seventy to ninety percent of MS patients suffer from fatigue. It is often the most disabling symptom and often leads to early retirement. Its economic burden is enormous.
It is a complex symptom and its pathophysiology is not clear. There are different components, which might among others contribute to the phenomenon of fatigue: cytokines and immunological processes, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis-malfunction, adaptation and reorganization after disseminated lesions, demyelenisation and axonal loss and use-dependent conduction block. At least there is no consensus among researches about the main pathophysiological factors. Its controversial pathophysiology makes the topic particularly suitable for an open access platform.
Functional imaging had only limited impact on the development of new concepts concerning fatigue or its better understanding.
There is also no agreement how to estimate or measure fatigue. There is a variety of questionnaires reflecting the patient`s perception. There are new proposals to measure change of performance or change of cognitive or motor performance by loading tests.
Medical interventions are limited. There are proposals for cognitive training. Psychotherapy might add some support to arrange with a disabling symptom.


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