Study shows poor sleep contributes to MS-related fatigue
Kessler Foundation's Lauren Strober, PhD, explores the association of secondary fatigue and sleep disturbances in multiple sclerosis (MS). "Fatigue in multiple sclerosis: a look at the role of poor sleep" was published in Frontiers in Neurology (doi: 10.3389/fneur.2015.00021) Dr. Strober, an MS researcher at Kessler Foundation, confirmed that sleep disturbances significantly contribute to MS-related fatigue, a common and often disabling symptom among individuals with MS.
Review of the pertinent literature showed that sleep may be the dominant factor in fatigue in MS. This was also the finding in Dr. Strober's study of 107 employed individuals with MS of whom 61% reported poor sleep. Sleep disturbances accounted for 25% of the variance in fatigue in this subset; depression accounted for another 7%.
"Fatigue is detrimental to daily functioning and well being," noted Dr. Strober. "It clearly interferes with a person's ability to participate fully in the community and the workplace. If we can determine what contributes to fatigue in MS, we can improve quality of life and keep people engaged in work and social activities. Routine screening for sleep problems and treatment of sleep disturbances may reduce fatigue and its debilitating effects."
Dr. Strober is the recipient of a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Career Development Award (K23) from the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation and Research, which is part of the Eunice Kennedy Shrive National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The (POR) Career Development Awards support the career development of clinically trained professionals who have the potential to develop into productive, clinical investigators focusing on patient-oriented research. Dr. Strober's research focuses on the impact of MS on employment of individuals with MS, a group with unemployment rates as high as 80%. Dr. Strober is a senior research scientist in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, and an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.