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Rehabilitation Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 670537, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/670537
Clinical Study

Treatment of Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Neurocognitive Approach

1Department of Medical, Surgical and Health Sciences, Cattinara Hospital, University of Trieste, Strada di Fiume 447, 34149 Trieste, Italy
2School of Physiotherapy, University of Trieste, Via G. Pascoli 31, 34129 Trieste, Italy

Received 21 April 2011; Accepted 11 July 2011

Academic Editor: Sherry L. Grace

Copyright © 2011 Mauro Catalan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The objective of the study was to treat fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) by a neurocognitive rehabilitation program aimed at improving motor planning by using motor imagery (MI). Twenty patients with clinically definite MS complaining of fatigue were treated for five weeks with exercises of neurocognitive rehabilitation twice a week. Patients were evaluated by Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), MSQoL54, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and MS Functional Composite (MSFC). After treatment, a decrease in fatigue was detected with both FSS ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ) and MFIS ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ). MSFC ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 3 5 ) and MSQoL54 ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 2 ) scores improved compared to baseline. At six-month followup, the improvement was confirmed for fatigue (FSS, 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 0 1 ; MFIS 𝑃 = 0 . 0 1 ) and for the physical subscale of MSQoL54 ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 4 9 ). No differences in disability scales were found. These results show that neurocognitive rehabilitation, based on MI, could be a strategy to treat fatigue in MS patients.