All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for June 2004

The effect of immunomodulatory treatment on multiple sclerosis fatigue

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2004 Jul;75(7):1045-7
Metz LM, Patten SB, Archibald CJ, Bakker JI, Harris CJ, Patry DG, Bell RB, Yeung M, Murphy WF, Stoian CA, Billesberger K, Tillotson L, Peters S, McGowan D.
Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary. Multiple Sclerosis Program, Foothills Medical Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


To assess the effects of glatiramer acetate and beta interferon on fatigue in multiple sclerosis.


Fatigue was measured at baseline and six months using the fatigue impact scale (FIS).

Groups (glatiramer acetate and beta interferon) were evaluated for the proportion improved, using Fisher's exact test.

Logistic regression analysis assessed the relation between treatment group and improvement and controlled for confounding variables.


Six month paired FIS assessments were available for 218 patients (76% female).

Ages ranged between 19 and 61 years, with 86% having relapsing-remitting disease.

Glatiramer acetate was used by 61% and beta interferon by 39%.

At baseline, total FIS and subscale scores were comparable in the two groups.

More patients improved on glatiramer acetate than on beta interferon on total FIS (24.8% v 12.9%, p = 0.033; adjusted odds ratio = 2.36, 95% confidence interval 1.03 to 5.42), and on physical (28.6% v 14.1%, p = 0.013) and cognitive subscales (21.1% v 10.6%, p = 0.045).

Logistic regression analysis confirmed the association between glatiramer acetate use and improved fatigue, after accounting for baseline group differences.


The odds of reduced multiple sclerosis fatigue were around twice as great with glatiramer acetate treatment as with beta interferon.

Confirmation of this result is required.