More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Fatigue is not associated with raised inflammatory markers in multiple sclerosis

Neurology 2001 Aug 28;57(4):676-681
Giovannoni G, Thompson AJ, Miller DH, Thompson EJ.

Departments of Neurochemistry (Drs. Giovannoni and E. Thompson), Clinical Neurology (Drs. Giovanni, A. Thompson, and Miller), and Neurorehabilitation (Dr. A. Thompson), Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom.


The pathogenesis of fatigue in patients with MS is poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that fatigue in MS is related to inflammatory disease activity as measured by systemic markers of inflammation.


Fatigue as assessed by the Fatigue Questionnaire Scale (FQS) and Krupp's Fatigue Severity Scale (KFSS) was correlated with several inflammatory markers in 38 patients with MS (16 relapsing-remitting [RR; 7 of whom had benign MS), 9 secondary progressive [SP], 13 primary progressive [PP]). The markers included daily urinary neopterin excretion, a marker of interferon-gamma-activated macrophage activity, and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1) levels. Urinary neopterin excretion was measured daily for 2 weeks.


No correlation was found between urinary neopterin excretion, CRP, or sICAM-1 and the fatigue scores. However, patients with a raised serum CRP level had higher KFSS, but not FQS, scores than patients with normal CRP levels (KFSS, 50 +/- 8 vs 41 +/- 14, p = 0.05; FQS, 13 +/- 4 vs 11 +/- 5, p = NS). When assessed using the FQS, patients with RR and SP MS were more fatigued than patients with PP MS (RR = 12.5 [4 to 23] vs SP = 13 [8 to 18] vs PP = 9 [7 to 14], p = 0.02). The patients with benign MS were as fatigued as patients with nonbenign disease.


The pathogenesis of fatigue in MS is complex and does not appear to be directly related to systemic markers of inflammatory disease activity. Interestingly, patients with PP MS were less fatigued than patients with RR disease.

PMID: 11524478 [PubMed - in process]