Fatigue In Multiple Sclerosis Is Associated With Abnormal Cortical Activation To Voluntary Movement-EEG Evidence

Leocani L, Colombo B, Magnani G, Martinelli-Boneschi F, Cursi M, Rossi P, Martinelli V, Comi G
Neuroimage 2001 Jun;13(6):1186-92
Scientific Institute H. San Raffaele, Dept of NeuroPhysiology, Milan, Italy
PMID# 11352624; UI# 21251266

Converging evidence is consistent with the view that Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis is independent from Pyramidal Tract involvement, suggesting a possible involvement of Frontal Areas.

During voluntary movement, changes of the EEG rhythms can be observed over SensoriMotor areas.

Event-Related Desynchronization (ERD) of the 10 and 20 Hz frequency bands occurs during Motor Planning and Execution and is followed after movement termination by Event-Related Synchronization (ERS), expressing Cortical idling or inhibition.

We evaluated the pattern of Cortical activation to voluntary movement in MS patients complaining of Fatigue assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale.

Fifteen MS patients complaining of Fatigue, 18 MS patients without Fatigue, and 14 normal controls were studied.

The two patients groups were similar for age, sex, disease duration, and were not disabled (score <1.5 at the Expanded Disability Status Scale).

Twenty-nine channel EEG was recorded during about 60 self-paced extensions of the right thumb:

  1. The onset latency and amount of the ContraLateral SensoriMotor (C3 electrode) 10 and 18-22 Hz ERD were similar in the three groups

  2. ERD was more widespread Anteriorly in the Fatigue group compared with normal controls (P < 0.01 over Fz electrode)

  3. Postmovement ContraLateral SensoriMotor 18-22 Hz ERS was significantly lower in Fatigue MS patients compared with normal subjects (P < 0.005) and with NonFatigue MS patients (P = 0.02)

These findings are consistent with a Central origin of Fatigue in MS and indicate Cortical Dysfunction even during a simple Motor Task.

Resulting in hyperactivity during movement execution and Failure of the Inhibitory Mechanisms intervening after movement termination.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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