Multiple Sclerosis May Now Be Predicted Through Fatigue And Leg Dysfunction, Experts Say

A new study has recently suggested that fatigue and lower limb problems may have the ability to predict conversion from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive MS in the long run. Researchers say that Multiple Sclerosis, being a disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and the body, is more likely to progress to advanced disease among patients who suffer from fatigue and limited use of their legs. It was found that nearly 80 percent to 85 percent of people with multiple sclerosis are first diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, which includes periods of remission between flare-ups.

Fatigue And Leg Dysfunction As MS Determiner

In one of his her statements reported by MedPage Today, study lead author Dr. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman together with her team from the New York State Multiple Sclerosis Consortium (NYSMSC), have explained that better understanding as to who is at a higher risk of getting worse may eventually allow them to tailor more specific treatments to these people. Dr. Weinstock-Guttman explains that these two factors were the only significant predictors of disease progression over 5 years in patients who had the disease for many years. Additionally, the researchers said that the presence of these symptoms should induce an increased concern, and physicians should consider more appropriate therapies, such as change to a more efficacious disease-modifying therapy while re-emphasizing the importance of active exercise, improved diet, the significance of sleep, and a general attention to wellness.

Furthermore, according to reports revealed by Medical Xpress, in conducting the study, the researchers had evaluated 155 people, whose age were 50 and older, and who had been diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis at least 15 years earlier, highlighting the fact that all of the patients' symptoms and their levels of disability were assessed when the study began. The researchers found that these patients were four times as likely to experience fatigue which has been supported when the team had considered other possible contributing factors, such as age, time since diagnosis and the severity of their disability. Consequently, Weinstock-Guttman has claimed that although more research is vital, their study allegedly brings them closer to understanding which older adults with MS may be at higher risk of getting worse.

The Study's Proposition

Meanwhile, the team finds that while the precise cause of fatigue in patients with MS is yet to be completely explained, they believe that it is most likely a result of the underlying complex inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes that characterize MS. Ultimately, the researchers say that fatigue may be a more sensitive indicator of the extent of the injury in the central nervous system, similar to patient-reported lower extremity dysfunction, which may not be fully assessed or gauged during a short neurological exam.


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