MSRTE funded fatigue study shows role of basal ganglia in MS fatigue
An MS Research funded study on fatigue with the University of Bristol has now been published.
MS Research grant beneficiary Christelle Langley, has co-authored a paper on MS fatigue for her PhD. Carried out at the Clinical Research Imaging Centre Bristol University, the functional MRI study (fMRI) has shown a relationship between the basal ganglia and the subject and objective measures of fatigue. FMRI uses magnetic imaging to study changes in blood flow in brain activity.
The study, "Dysfunction of basal ganglia functional connectivity associated with subjective and cognitive fatigue in multiple sclerosis", is available now from Frontiers Journal.
The results are exciting as they suggest that reduced functional connectivity within the basal ganglia plays a role in cognitive fatigue. Functional connectivity refers to the strength of messages between different physical parts of the brain which may be separated into different parts. The basal ganglia is the area of the brain responsible for motor control (i.e. it regulates intentional movements such as picking up a cup or placing your foot on the floor) and learning (e.g. a new physically functional skill learned over time from practice, such as learning the piano), executive functions (these are things like cognitive control over activities like planning, focusing attention, memory and multi-tasking) and behaviours and emotions.
The study’s findings are important because the causes of fatigue in MS remain unclear and this adds to the body of knowledge. Additionally, this could lead to a greater understanding of MS-related fatigue, which affects around 90% of people living with MS.