All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for April 2003

Fatigue in multiple sclerosis : definition, pathophysiology and treatment

CNS Drugs 2003;17(4):225-34
Krupp L.
Department of Neurology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, New York, New York, USA.

Fatigue is a common disabling symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS).

It is often considered a state of exhaustion distinct from depressed mood or physical weakness.

Fatigue can be assessed by either self-report scales or performance-based measures; however, neither method captures all features of fatigue.

Fatigue in MS frequently leads to unemployment.

It is associated with a sense of loss of control over one's environment, low positive affect, psychological distress and neurological impairment.

To date there is no reproducible neuroimaging marker or biological correlate that has been identified.Proposed pathological mechanisms of fatigue in MS include

Treatment of fatigue is best approached in a multidisciplinary fashion that incorporates nonpharmacological interventions as well as medication.

Amantadine and modafinil are among the most commonly used medications for fatigue associated with MS.

Both medications have been studied with positive results in controlled clinical trials.

Additional research towards measurement and pathogenesis of fatigue will hopefully lead to improved therapies.