Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the clinical manifestation of inflammation and scarring of the myelin sheath covering the neurones and axons of the brain and spinal cord. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with no definite cause or cure.
Relapses occur when the symptoms worsen suddenly leading to blurred vision, loss of balance, sensitivity, numbness and stiffness of muscles among others. Remitting is referred to the recovery of the situation which brings things under control. But with the passing of time, RRMS (Relapsing and Remitting Multiple Sclerosis) worsens with the relapses becoming less frequent yet severe. This leads to a condition called Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS).
A study conducted by the researchers at the Kessler Foundation, has for the first time linked elevated body temperature to more pronounced fatigue in RRMS patients. The study funded by the National Institutes of Health (R00HD060765 to JFS) and Kessler Foundation was published in the February 2014 issue of Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
50 patients with RRMS, 22 with SPMS against 40 normal controls, participated in the research. The study sought to determine whether body temperature was elevated in patients with RRMS compared to SPMS and control patients. Warmer body temperature was linked to worse fatigue — one of the prime symptoms of RRMS.
Dr. Sumowski, chief author of the study, research scientist in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research, concluded: “We found that body temperature was elevated among patients with RRMS and linked to worse fatigue. Our findings support those of randomized controlled trials of cooling garments and antipyretics, which have been shown to effectively reduce fatigue in MS. More studies are needed to investigate the complex relationships among fatigue, body temperature and inflammatory processes in RRMS.”