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      Fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis: diagnosis, impact and management.

      Multiple Sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)
      Amantadine, therapeutic use, Central Nervous System Stimulants, Fatigue, diagnosis, etiology, physiopathology, therapy, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Multiple Sclerosis, complications, Quality of Life, Tomography, Emission-Computed

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          Abstract

          In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) fatigue is the most common symptom and one of the most disabling features. As many as 40% have described it as the single most disabling symptom--a higher percentage than weakness, spasticity, motor problems, or bowel or bladder problems. The etiology and pathophysiology of MS-related fatigue remain unknown. Studies have failed to demonstrate an association between MS-related fatigue and the level of disability, clinical disease subtype, or gender, although recent data show an association between MS-related fatigue and depression and quality of life. Imaging studies using positron emission tomography suggest that fatigue in MS is related to hypometabolism of specific brain areas, including the frontal and subcortical circuits. The impact of fatigue on patient functioning and quality of life clearly warrants intervention. In addition to nonpharmacologic measures, such as exercise and energy conservation strategies, several pharmacologic agents have been evaluated for their ability to reduce MS-related fatigue, including amantadine, central nervous system stimulants (pemoline), and the novel wake-promoting agent modafinil.

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