Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rehabilitation is More Effective Against MS Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) affecting up to 90% of people with MS.  Fatigue has the power to negatively impact any aspect of a person’s life.  The type of fatigue which people with MS experience is often described as a feeling of extreme mental or physical exhaustion.  It can interfere with one’s ability to take care of themselves, function effectively at work, or participate in social activities.

There seems to be no single cause of fatigue in MS, which means that there cannot be only one approach to managing fatigue.  Neurologists will often prescribe medication or recommend rehabilitation (e.g., exercise, energy or fatigue self-management education, and cognitive behavioral therapy) for managing fatigue.  But which approach is more effective?

A number of studies investigating the effects of MS fatigue management strategies exist in the research literature, but until recently there has not been a thorough review comparing the effectiveness of individual types of interventions.  A new review summarizes the available research evaluating three types of fatigue management strategies (exercise, education, and medication) used to target MS fatigue.  Researchers included 25 randomized controlled trials in the review, including 7 medication trials and 18 rehabilitation trials (10 exercise trials and 8 education trials), that involved 1499 people living with MS (Asano et al., 2014).

The goal of the review was to answer the following questions:
    •    How effective are exercise interventions for reducing the impact or severity of self-reported fatigue?
    •    How effective are educational programs for reducing the impact or severity of self-reported fatigue?
    •    How effective are commonly used fatigue medications for reducing the impact or severity of self-reported fatigue?
    •    Are MS fatigue rehabilitation interventions (i.e., exercise and educational programs) more effective than the common MS fatigue medications?

Read this post in its entirety:
Exercise, Education, or Medication: Which is Better for MS-Related Fatigue?

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