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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Sleep Disturbances in Multiple Sclerosis


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By Gloria Arminio Berlinski, MS
Reviewed by Aaron Miller, MD, Professor of Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Medical Director at the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis, New York, NY

In the last several years, researchers have begun to focus on the potential risk of sleep problems in multiple sclerosis (MS) and the hypothesis that this risk may contribute significantly to the highly prevalent symptom of fatigue in MS patients.1 Experts indicate that MS-related fatigue is multifactorial in origin and often ascribed to the primary diagnosis of MS itself.2,3 Consequently, sleep disorders have often gone unrecognized in MS patients, despite the intuitive connection between these disorders and fatigue.1-3

To illustrate, in a recent cross-sectional study conducted by Brass and colleagues among approximately 2,300 MS patients, 38% screened positive for obstructive sleep apnea, 32% for insomnia, and 37% for restless legs syndrome, but only 4%, 11%, and 12% of the study cohort, respectively, had been diagnosed by a clinician with these sleep disorders.

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