alexa No Effect of Cooling on Cognitive Fatigue, Vigilance and Autonomic Functioning in Multiple Sclerosis
ISSN: 2376-0389

Journal of Multiple Sclerosis
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Research Article

No Effect of Cooling on Cognitive Fatigue, Vigilance and Autonomic Functioning in Multiple Sclerosis

Anja Gossmann1, Paul Eling2, Andreas Kastrup1 and Helmut Hildebrandt1,3*

1Klinikum Bremen-Ost, Department of Neurology, Züricher Str. 40, 28325 Bremen, Germany

2Radboud University Nijmegen, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

3University of Oldenburg, Institute of Psychology, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany

Corresponding Author:
Helmut Hildebrandt
Department of Neurology, Klinikum Bremen-Ost
Züricher Str. 40, 28325 Bremen, Germany
Tel: 00494214081599
Fax: 00494214082599
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 26, 2014; Accepted date: August 18, 2014; Published date: August 22, 2014

Citation: Gossmann A, Eling P, Kastrup A, Hildebrandt H (2014) No Effect of Cooling on Cognitive Fatigue, Vigilance and Autonomic Functioning in Multiple Sclerosis. J Mult Scler 1:112. doi:10.4172/2376-0389.1000112

Copyright: © 2014 Hildebrandt H, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Background: Fatigue is a common symptom in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and body cooling may be an important non-pharmacological treatment strategy for fatigue by, for instance, reducing the loss of axonal conduction efficiency due to Uhthoff’s phenomenon. However, up to now, no studies have demonstrated such a treatment effect for mentally induced fatigue.
Methods: In this single-blinded randomized placebo controlled cross-over design we studied the effects of cooling on cognitive fatigue and autonomic functioning (heart rate variability and sympathovagal balance measures) during a vigilance task in 31 MS patients and 10 controls.
Results: Task performance, fatigue and sympathovagal balance did not differ between verum- and placebo condition after controlling for depressive mood. MS patients showed more omissions on the vigilance test than controls; their performance declined during the task and this correlated significantly with cognitive fatigue. Cardiac sympathetic drive remained unchanged during vigilance testing in MS patients, but it increased significantly in controls.
Conclusion: Cooling has no impact on experienced cognitive fatigue and on cognitive performance in MS patients. Vigilance testing seems to be an appropriate behavioural measure of cognitive fatigue. Cardiac sympathetic drive to compensate for mental strain is reduced in MS patients, indicating an autonomic dysfunction.

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