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Wednesday 01 March 2006

[Pathophysiology and treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis]

By: Boerio D, Lefaucheur JP, Hogrel JY, Creange A.

Rev Neurol (Paris) 2006 Mar;162(3):311-20

Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently complain of fatigue (53 to 92 percent depending on studies). Fatigue can be one of the most disabling symptoms of MS and presents as physical or mental fatigue in daily living activities. Besides this permanent feeling of exhaustion, MS patients can suffer from an abnormal tiredness and lack of energy after a given motor or mental task, which defines fatigability. A number of studies explored the origins of fatigue and fatigability by means of subjective and objective tools. The implication of central nervous system dysfunctions has been established in several studies; however the contribution of peripheral nervous system factors and systemic abnormalities associated with inflammatory and immunological parameters was also suggested. The aim of this review is to present the different types of fatigue and fatigability occurring in MS patients, their origins, the investigation tools which allow the quantification of fatigue and fatigability and characterization of their mechanisms. The currently available therapeutic strategies that have been proposed to relieve this disabling symptom are presented.

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