Carnitine for fatigue in multiple sclerosis
Fatigue is commonly associated with multiple sclerosis and leads to significant disability and loss of quality of life. Several kind of interventions have been carried out, but definitive evidence on their relative efficacy and tolerability are not available. As quite recently it has been hypothesised a relationship between low carnitine levels in the blood and fatigue, and several studies showed that supplementation with carnitine produced improvement in fatigue symptoms. The Authors decided to perform a systematic review to assess the possible efficacy of carnitine in improving fatigue and to identify any adverse events in relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive MS patients. Most of the studies did not meet the inclusion criteria of methodological quality, but one with the enrollement of 36 patients for 12-month intervention with carnitine associated with amantadine, another drug commonly used to improve fatigue. From this report, it is unclear if carnitine supplementation in MS patients improves fatigue, reduces the disability that results from fatigue or improves quality of life. It is also unclear if the use of carnitine for MS related fatigue is safe.
Available from: Ichiro Nakashima
- "Depression and chronic fatigue are present in most patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and are often described as two of the most debilitating symptoms (Tomassini et al., 2004; Tejani et al., 2012). These symptoms are thought to be caused by the disseminated demyelination. "
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ABSTRACT: Depression and chronic fatigue are frequently present in multiple sclerosis (MS); however, the prevalence rates have not been investigated in neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Thirty-nine consecutive NMO and 75 MS patients were compared using self-rating questionnaires for depressive states, daily activity, and fatigue, as well as serum carnitine levels. A subgroup of patients with low carnitine levels were re-evaluated regarding depression and fatigue after levocarnitine treatment. Depression and fatigue were equally prevalent in MS and NMO and were strongly correlated with one another. Measurement of the serum carnitine levels and the administration of levocarnitine did not appear to be beneficial.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Available from: Roger Baker
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ABSTRACT: Fatigue is one of the most commonly reported and debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS); approximately two-thirds of people with MS consider it to be one of their three most troubling symptoms. It may limit or prevent participation in everyday activities, work, leisure, and social pursuits, reduce psychological well-being and is one of the key precipitants of early retirement. Energy effectiveness approaches have been shown to be effective in reducing MS-fatigue, increasing self-efficacy and improving quality of life. Cognitive behavioural approaches have been found to be effective for managing fatigue in other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, and more recently, in MS. The aim of this pragmatic trial is to evaluate the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a recently developed group-based fatigue management intervention (that blends cognitive behavioural and energy effectiveness approaches) compared with current local practice.
This is a multi-centre parallel arm block-randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a six session group-based fatigue management intervention, delivered by health professionals, compared with current local practice. 180 consenting adults with a confirmed diagnosis of MS and significant fatigue levels, recruited via secondary/primary care or newsletters/websites, will be randomised to receive the fatigue management intervention or current local practice. An economic evaluation will be undertaken alongside the trial. Primary outcomes are fatigue severity, self-efficacy and disease-specific quality of life. Secondary outcomes include fatigue impact, general quality of life, mood, activity patterns, and cost-effectiveness. Outcomes in those receiving the fatigue management intervention will be measured 1 week prior to, and 1, 4, and 12 months after the intervention (and at equivalent times in those receiving current local practice). A qualitative component will examine what aspects of the fatigue management intervention participants found helpful/unhelpful and barriers to change.
This trial is the fourth stage of a research programme that has followed the Medical Research Council guidance for developing and evaluating complex interventions. What makes the intervention unique is that it blends cognitive behavioural and energy effectiveness approaches. A potential strength of the intervention is that it could be integrated into existing service delivery models as it has been designed to be delivered by staff already working with people with MS. Service users will be involved throughout this research.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN76517470.
Available from: Cathy Payne
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ABSTRACT: Fatigue and unintentional weight loss are two of the commonest symptoms experienced by people with advanced progressive illness and can be of great concern to those affected and of even greater concern to formal and informal caregivers. No robust information currently exists on optimal interventions to manage fatigue and/or weight loss in any advanced progressive illness. This overview presents what we know from research held within Cochrane systematic reviews on treatments to manage these symptoms in non curative illnesses such as advanced cancer, heart failure, lung failure, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The treatment approaches for managing fatigue were pharmacological treatments including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), amantadine, carnitine and non pharmacological interventions including exercise and physical training, medically assisted hydration, psychosocial interventions including self management education programmes, occupational therapy and professional support services and dietary interventions including nutritional support. The treatment approaches for managing weight loss were pharmacological treatments including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), megestrol acetate and anabolic steroids and non pharmacological interventions including nutritional support, progressive resistive exercise and aerobic exercise. More research is required to determine which interventions help to manage these symptoms for those who are living with advanced illness. Researchers need to consider how they can reduce the variability of study design and outcome measurements to allow for meaningful comparisons across future studies.
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