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More MS news articles for October 2002

Management of MS-Related Fatigue

Expert Opinion Paper
Medical Advisory Board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Treatment Recommendations for Physicians


Fatigue is the most common MS symptom—experienced by 75 to 95% of people with the disease. Approximately 50 to 60% of people with MS describe fatigue as one of their most troubling symptoms, regardless of their disease course or level of disability. The Social Security Administration recognizes fatigue as a significant cause of unemployment among people with MS.

Fatigue was recently defined by the Fatigue Management Panel of the Multiple Sclerosis Council on Clinical Practice Guidelines as:

A subjective lack of physical and/or mental energy that is perceived by the individual or caregiver to interfere with usual and desired activities.


Based on clinical experience and careful review of the medical literature and research findings pertaining to MS-related fatigue, the Medical Advisory Board of the National MS Society makes the following recommendations:


Fatigue is a complex, potentially debilitating symptom experienced by the majority of people with MS. Anyone experiencing ongoing fatigue, or the sudden onset of severe, disabling fatigue should consult his or her physician so that the factor(s) contributing to the fatigue can be identified and effectively managed. Successful treatment of fatigue may require a variety of interventions, including behavioral adaptations, environmental modifications, and medication.

Copyright © 2002, National Multiple Sclerosis Society