Higher Body Temperature in RRMS Patients Could Cause Increased Fatigue

Higher Body Temperature in RRMS Patients Could Cause Increased Fatigue

multiple sclerosis and body temperatureResearchers have recently discovered that the fatigue that patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience is not the same kind of fatigue that healthy people feel from time to time, nor is it caused by the same factors. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports that around 80% of people who suffer from MS experience ongoing fatigue, and that the symptom has a major impact on daily life and work. As a result, fatigue is directly associated with the rate of early retirement reported among MS patients.

Those with Multiple Sclerosis often experience episodes of fatigue every day. Onset of the symptom can come suddenly, almost like an attack or exacerbation. Early research into MS-related fatigue by Dr. Victoria M. Leavitt, a noted neuropsychologist and a co-founder of the New York-based Manhattan Memory Center, revealed that outdoor heat aggravates both the disease and fatigue-related symptoms. The previous study also indicated that an MS patient’s internal temperature may affect the disease progression.

In a new study led by Leavitt along with Dr. James F. Sumowski, a senior research scientist in neuropsychology and neuroscience at the Kessler Foundation, the researchers studied fifty patients with RRMS, as well as twenty-two patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and forty healthy patients as controls in the experiment. The study, entitled, “Body temperature is elevated and linked to fatigue in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, even without heat exposure,” was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

MS FatigueAs a result of this new study, more extreme fatigue was observed in RRMS patients with warmer body temperatures. However, they could not reach a conclusion on whether body temperature played a role in secondary progressive MS patients because the patients did not present with a fever in the study.

Sumowski commented that body temperature issues in MS patients — including low-grade fevers, which are frequently reported as well — may be the result of the internal inflammatory process associated with the disease. He went on to say that, “Rather than chronic inflammation, however, we think that body temperature may fluctuate with day-to-day fluctuations in inflammation among RRMS patients, although this still needs to be investigated directly.”

These new research insights into inflammation, body temperature, and fatigue may give researchers and pharmaceutical companies a new angle for treating inflammation in MS in order to curtail body temperature fluctuations and ultimately control fatigue symptoms.

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8 comments

      • Mandarin says:

        The problem with that, is those of us who have been at this game a while know that the the western medical MS factions are not nearly as knowledgable as they claim, hence these articles and ‘discoveries’ are seriously lagging.
        I had an MS nurse not even KNOW about some of the symptoms of this disease because they aren’t uber common.
        That was a huge let down. My husband and I started keeping our own counsel. And we’re talking about a world class MS hospital in Vancouver Canada with some of the leading technologies and research.
        I was also told by my first neurologist fr there, “Oh don’t worry, it won’t affect you every day”.
        Except it had been already for years.
        Be cautious as newly diagnosed, and pay attention to us veterans as we’ve been through the gamut.

        Feel free to find me and talk to me on my FB page ‘MSing Around.’

  1. Chrissy says:

    I am currently having new symptoms after steroid treatment from a flare up and I’ve had a temperature of 99 degrees and above for 2 months now. My neurologist isn’t the greatest and wanted to ask to question. Is there something I need to get a second opinion on? I always have a normal temperature or below temperature reading until this flare up. I asked if I should have blood work to see if I had an infection and he said they would t be able to tell as my white blood count would still be off because of the steroids. But I’m getting a little concerned at this point and wondering if I should go to urgent care and ask them or follow doctors protocol with me. I don’t agree and feel like something if wrong just Incase. Because I think after almost 2 months the steroids should have worked there course. Any input on this is greatly appreciated.

    • R says:

      Did you ever get it figured out? A few months ago I had an inflamed optic nerve which made my doctors think I may have MS, no brain lesions on MRI but my next MRI is in a week to see if there are any brain lesions. Starting Christmas I have been experiencing fevers every. single. day. Seems to happen more frequently in the evening but I cannot tell during work hours due to labor. I have gotten blood drawn twice and nothing has showed up. I have a feeling it’s related to this but there isn’t any hard proof I can find besides this. My low fever is 99.8 and has sometimes gone up to 103, every day like clockwork.

  2. Joy says:

    Hi so I have not been officially diagnosed with Ms. I went to my most recent medical care provider , and asked to be tested for Ms. She said I don’t think that you have ms. The thing is I have the symptoms of it. Panic attacks with muscle spasms, chronic fatigue, inflammation in my left leg , either in my knee or ankle, very high body temperature, problems with urine control, problems with my bowels. I even have problems with my speech and thought process. The worst part is I can’t get no dr or medical providers to listen to me about my symptoms. They all want to call me crazy and say this all is in my head. So if I may I’m calling on those of you that have ms and have dealt with it from the symptoms that I’m describing does it sound like I have ms to you?

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