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      Andrographis paniculata decreases fatigue in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a 12-month double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study


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          Andrographis paniculata ( A. paniculata) , a medicinal plant, has shown anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and antifibrotic effects in animal models as well as clinical efficacy in different studies, including an anti-fatigue effect in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. In multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue is rated as one of the most common and disabling symptoms. In the present trial, we investigated the effect of A. paniculata on relapse rate and fatigue in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients receiving interferon beta.


          A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial assessed the effects of 170 mg of A. paniculata dried extract tablet b.i.d. p.o. on relapse rate and fatigue using the Fatigue Severity Scores (FSS) over 12 months in RRMS patients receiving interferon. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score, inflammatory parameters and radiological findings were also investigated. Twenty-five patients were enrolled, and twenty-two patients were ultimately analysed and randomised to the active or placebo group.


          Patients treated with A. paniculata showed a significant reduction in their FSS score as compared to the placebo, equivalent to a 44 % reduction at 12 months. No statistically significant differences were observed for relapse rate, EDSS or inflammatory parameters, with a trend in reducing new lesions among the A. paniculata group. One patient in the A. paniculata group presented with a mild and transient skin rash, which was alleviated with anti-histamine treatment for three weeks.


          A. paniculata was well tolerated in patients and no changes in clinical parameters were observed. A. paniculata significantly reduces fatigue in patients with RRMS receiving interferon beta in comparison to placebo and only interferon beta treatment.

          Trial registration

          ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02280876; Trial registration date: 20.10.2014.

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          The Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognitive Functions (FSMC): validation of a new instrument to assess multiple sclerosis-related fatigue.

          Fatigue symptoms are reported by a majority of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Reliable assessment, however, is a demanding issue as the symptoms are experienced subjectively and as objective assessment strategies are missing. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a new tool, the Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognitive Functions (FSMC), for the assessment of MS-related cognitive and motor fatigue. A total of 309 MS patients and 147 healthy controls were included into the validation study. The FSMC was tested against several external criteria (e.g. cognition, motivation, personality and other fatigue scales). The item-analysis and validation procedure showed that the FSMC is highly sensitive and specific in detecting fatigued MS patients, that both subscales significantly differentiated between patients and controls (p 0.91) as well as test-retest reliability (r > 0.80) were high. Cut-off values were determined to classify patients as mildly, moderately or severely fatigued. In conclusion, the FSMC is a new scale that has undergone validation based on a large sample of patients and that provides differential quantification and graduation of cognitive and motor fatigue.
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            Fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis: diagnosis, impact and management.

            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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              Basal ganglia and frontal/parietal cortical atrophy is associated with fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

              Fatigue is one of the most frequent symptoms suffered by patients affected by multiple sclerosis. The patho-physiological basis of multiple sclerosis-related fatigue remains to be elucidated. Our aim was to investigate whether a particular pattern of deep and/or cortical grey matter atrophy is associated with fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis. A total of 152 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis were evaluated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale, the Fatigue Severity Status Scale (FSS), the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory. The thalamic and basal ganglia volume and the regional cortical thickness were analysed by means of FreeSurfer. Based on Fatigue Severity Status Scale score, patients were divided into fatigued (FSS ≥ 4, 71 patients, 46.6%) and non-fatigued (FSS < 4, 81 patients, 53.4%). A significant atrophy of striatum, thalamus, superior frontal gyrus and inferior parietal gyrus was observed in fatigued patients compared with non-fatigued patients. The cognitive domain of Modified Fatigue Impact Scale significantly correlated with the volume of the striatum and with the cortical thickness of the posterior parietal cortex and middle frontal gyrus (R = 0.51-0.61), while the physical domain of Modified Fatigue Impact Scale significantly correlated with striatum volume and superior frontal gyrus cortical thickness (R = 0.50-0.54). The regional analysis of deep and cortical grey matter atrophy suggests an association between the neurodegenerative process taking place in the striatum-thalamus-frontal cortex pathway and the development of fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The inclusion of the posterior parietal cortex as one of the best predictors of the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale cognitive domain suggests the major role of the posterior attentional system in determining cognitive fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

                Author and article information

                +5663221216 , rburgos1@uach.cl
                BMC Neurol
                BMC Neurol
                BMC Neurology
                BioMed Central (London )
                23 May 2016
                23 May 2016
                : 16
                [ ]Instituto de Medicina, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
                [ ]Departamento de Neurología, Hospital Regional de Valdivia, Valdivia, Chile
                [ ]Centro de Esclerosis Multiple, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile
                [ ]Programa de Salud Ambiental, Escuela de Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
                [ ]Instituto de Medicina Preventiva Veterinaria y Programa de Investigación Aplicada en Fauna Silvestre, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
                [ ]Instituto de Farmacología, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile
                © Bertoglio et al. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: FONDEF CONICYT
                Award ID: D09I1085
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2016


                andrographis paniculata, fatigue, multiple sclerosis


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