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Brain damage seen in multiple sclerosis patients

Brain scans suggest that nerve fiber damage may be the cause of the fatigue suffered by patients with multiple sclerosis.

Nearly nine out of ten patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) report a debilitating level of fatigue, as well as neurological symptoms such as weakness, tremors and slurred speech. Now researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute think they have a new insight into the origins of this fatigue.

They gave magnetic resonance spectroscopy scans to a group of 60 patients with MS so that the extent of nerve fiber damage within the nervous system could be measured. They divided the patients into low and high fatigue sub-groups depending upon the level of fatigue reported. They found that there was more nerve fiber damage and poorer nerve functioning within the high fatigue group. This is an interesting study that sheds new light on MS and explains, perhaps, why existing therapies to tackle fatigue often don’t work.


February 19, 2004 in bummer, symptom management, treatment | Permalink