Fatigue in neuromuscular disorders: focus on Guillain-Barré syndrome and Pompe disease.

Fatigue accounts for an important part of the burden experienced by patients with neuromuscular disorders. Substantial high prevalence rates of fatigue are reported in a wide range of neuromuscular disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome and Pompe disease. Fatigue can be subdivided into experienced fatigue and physiological fatigue. Physiological fatigue in turn can be of central or peripheral origin. Peripheral fatigue is an important contributor to fatigue in neuromuscular disorders, but in reaction to neuromuscular disease fatigue of central origin can be an important protective mechanism to restrict further damage. In most cases, severity of fatigue seems to be related with disease severity, possibly with the exception of fatigue occurring in a monophasic disorder like Guillain-Barré syndrome. Treatment of fatigue in neuromuscular disease starts with symptomatic treatment of the underlying disease. When symptoms of fatigue persist, non-pharmacological interventions, such as exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy, can be initiated.

de Vries JM, Hagemans ML, Bussmann JB, van der Ploeg AT, van Doorn PA.  Fatigue in neuromuscular disorders: focus on Guillain-Barré syndrome and Pompe disease. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Mar;67(5):701-13

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Research article posted by: Rachael Lowe

Rachael Lowe is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Physiopedia. A physiotherapist and technology specialist Rachael has been working with Physiopedia since 2008 to create a resource that provides universal access to physiotherapy knowledge as well as a platform for connecting and educating the global physiotherapy profession.

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