Fatigue Correlates With Disability in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting MS

Lower disability, better physical condition, and higher daily-living activity predict lower fatigue is patients with MS.

HealthDay News A lower disability rate, better physical condition, and higher daily-living activity predict lower fatigue levels in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a study published online July 21 in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Marko Luostarinen, from University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio, and colleagues examined the association between patients’ disability, fatigue, and accelerometer-measured physical activity. The analysis included data from 41 patients with RRMS and 20 healthy controls.

The researchers found that patients with an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) level of 0 to 2.5 had higher fatigue levels than healthy controls but lower levels than patients with an EDSS level of 3 to 5.5. There was a significant correlation seen between fatigue and disability level. A similar correlation was observed with the MS Functional Composite (MSFC) test in the patient group. While there was no correlation seen between daily activity and the EDSS or the MSFC, total daily activity correlated with fatigue as measured by the Fatigue Severity Scale.

“A suitable form of exercise should be found for MS patients, considering their functional capacity, to maintain their ability to function as well as possibly reduce their incidence of fatigue,” the authors write. “This research is unique because it was extensive and used modern methods. Furthermore, more specific research is required into patients’ disability and actual physical activity levels, taking the existing levels of patients’ disability into account.”

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