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Study aims to reform understanding and treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has provided a $722,602 grant to Kessler Foundation scientist Glenn Wylie DPhil, for his study “Establishing a clearer measure of cognitive fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: State vs. Trait.” Dr. Wylie is the director of the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center.

Conventional fatigue assessment methods fail to distinguish between primary and secondary fatigue, hindering progress in understanding and treating fatigue in multiple sclerosis. “Previous investigations into fatigue have predominantly focused on secondary factors such as sleep disturbances or depression, failing to adequately capture the essence of primary fatigue directly resulting from multiple sclerosis,” explained Dr. Wylie.

Recent findings challenge the conventional wisdom that both 'state' and 'trait' measures of fatigue evaluate the same underlying construct. “It's proposed that 'state' measures reflect instantaneous experiences of fatigue and offer a more accurate assessment of primary fatigue, while 'trait' measures that gauge fatigue over extended periods are susceptible to extraneous influences, thus representing secondary fatigue,” Dr. Wylie stated.

“Our study aims to validate ‘state’ measures of fatigue, offering a more accurate assessment of primary fatigue through correlation with objective performance and brain activation patterns,” he said. “We will do this by employing neuropsychological testing, functional neuroimaging, and connectivity mapping,” said Dr. Wylie.

This study signifies a crucial shift in clinical practice and research, prioritizing the assessment of primary fatigue attributed directly to multiple sclerosis. “By redirecting focus towards understanding and alleviating primary fatigue, our research aims to substantially improve the quality of life for individuals living with multiple sclerosis, whose daily activities are often severely constrained by debilitating fatigue,” Dr. Wylie concluded.

Funding: National Multiple Sclerosis Society Grant # RG-2307-41989.

Source: News Release
Kessler Foundation
Arpil 9,

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