Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: (An update)

Hossein Zarei


BACKGROUND:To study the dimensions of fatigue in multiple sclerosis, its pathophysiology, the efficacy, tolerability and safety of drug and non-drug treatments and measurement of fatigue. METHODS: Relevant articles from PubMed and Google scholar search engines from January 1987 until September 2006 were studied to compose a short clinical update (not a systematic review) and make the required clinical information available for the clinicians. RESULTS: There is evidence that fatigue is very common in all types and stages of multiple sclerosis, but its pathophysiology is not well explained. Consequently, few drug options have been offered for its treatment. Amantadine is the bestknown drug, though its efficacy and duration of action are limited. Pemoline and modafinil are alternatives and have
some effects on fatigue. DAP (diaminopyridine), ASA (acetylsalicylic acid), methylphenidate and fluoxetine are other possible options but await further confirmation. Neurorehabilitation, regular exercise and cooling are confirmed to be of value in MS treatment. Measurement of fatigue is a complicated issue. At present fatigue does not have a laboratory marker. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this short clinical update provide guidelines for diagnosing MS-related fatigue and differentiating
it from other similar physical and psychological conditions. It also examines prescription drug options and other therapies for MS patients with fatigue.
KEYWORDS: Multiple sclerosis, fatigue, pathophysiology, treatment, measurement.


Multiple sclerosis, fatigue, pathophysiology, treatment, measurement.

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