Physical Movement Improves Fatigue for Patients with MS: Federica Picariello, PhD


The postdoctoral researcher and health psychologist at King's College, London spoke at ECTRIMS 2022 about the most important aspect for improving fatigue in MS. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“I think what needs to happen in practice is almost like a clear treatment pathway, clear recommendations. The first and foremost thing is measuring fatigue in routine care. At the moment, that's not what’s happening in practice. Some neurologists will ask about fatigue and other symptoms, but some others won’t. We're not getting a picture of who needs treatment.”

Fatigue has been known as a common symptom for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS); however, there are no standard treatments currently. In a recent systematic review conducted by Federico Picariello, PhD, and colleagues, the use of balance exercise demonstrated to be significantly better for improving fatigue in these patients in comparison with other exercises and behavioral interventions.1

There were 34 fatigue-targeted and 79 non-fatigue-targeted trials selected from nine databases searched up to August 2018. Exercise interventions showed moderate to large effects, with balance exercise being the largest effect (standardized mean differences [SMD], n = 0.84). Additionally, cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs) showed moderate to large effects (SMD, n = 0.60) while larger effects were seen with fatigue-targeted treatments.1

Picariello, postdoctoral researcher, psychologist, King's College, London, recently attended the 2022 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress, from October 26-28, in Amsterdam, Netherlands. There, Picariello sat down with NeurologyLive® to talk about the most important aspect of treating fatigue with MS based on her research. She also spoke about ways to address the underlying mechanisms for improving fatigue for patients with MS.

1. Harrison AM, Safari R, Mercer T, et al. Which exercise and behavioural interventions show most promise for treating fatigue in multiple sclerosis? A network meta-analysis. Mult Scler. 2021;27(11):1657-1678. doi:10.1177/1352458521996002

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