Multiple Sclerosis Cognitive Fatigue Affected by Task Length

Researchers gain insight into the cause of fatigue in MS patients.

Researchers gain insight into the cause of fatigue in MS patients.

A new study has provided insight into the various factors that affect fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients.

For the study, which was published recently in Frontiers in Neurology, researchers sought to evaluate the subjective and objective manifestations of cognitive fatigue.

Treatment of the condition has previously been limited by a lack of understanding of the factors that contribute to fatigue. The study evaluated how variables such as processing speed, working memory, task time, and cognitive load affected cognitive fatigue in 32 MS patients and 24 controls.

The researchers found that subjective and objective fatigue were independent of each other. The study noted that subjective cognitive fatigue grew as the time spent on a task increased.

The cognitive fatigue increase was observed to be greater in the MS group than it was in the control group. The researchers found no link between cognitive fatigue and the other cognitive variables.

"In our study, task length was the factor associated with subjective cognitive fatigue, which supports the hypothesis of temporal fatigue,” lead author Joshua Sandry, PhD, said in a press release. “This finding should be considered when designing cognitive studies in MS populations. More research is needed to look at these parameters in people with different types of MS, different levels of cognitive impairment and in more advanced stages."