Exton MS, Baase J, Pithan V, Goebel MU, Limmroth V, Schedlowski M.
Institute for Medical Psychology, University Clinics of Essen, Germany.
Interferon-beta-1b (IFN-beta-1b) has been shown to reduce the relapse rate in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) and disease progression in patients with secondary progressive MS.
While acute administration of IFN-beta-1b is known to cause flu-like symptoms, chronic medication has been suggested to cause mood alterations and anxiety attacks, and secondary to this neuropsychological deficits that may impair daily life.
It is unknown, however, whether the latter symptoms are induced by acute IFN-beta-1b administration.
Therefore, we examined the impact of a single subcutaneous injection of IFN-beta-1b in 8 healthy males.
In a crossover design, each subject was injected subcutaneously with either 8 million IU IFN-beta-1b or placebo (NaCl) at 8:00 h.
Flu-like symptoms (body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure), mood status ['profile of mood states', Befindlichkeitsskala (BFS)] and neuropsychological performance (trail marking test, verbal memory test, d2 attention test) and were assessed at baseline, 4, 8 and 24 h after injection.
IFN-beta-1b increased body temperature, heart rate and fatigue.
Nevertheless, acute IFN-beta-1b injection did not impair any parameters of neuropsychological performance.
Thus, although IFN-beta-1b produces physiological symptoms indicative of sickness behavior, these data suggest that IFN-beta-1b administration does not have an impact on the cognitive capacity following acute administration.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel