Neurology Central

Viola Biberacher: fatigue in multiple sclerosis

We spoke to Viola Biberacher, Technical University of Munich (Munich, Germany), at this year’s ECTRIMS congress in London, UK (14–17 September 2016). Her group has been researching the driver of fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS), which has a major impact on patients and their quality of life but as yet is not fully understood. Viola discusses her work and her thoughts on the correlation observed between fatigue and the inflammatory environment in the CNS in MS.

Could you tell us about your background and current research?

I’m a medical doctor practicing at the Technical University of Munich. I’m a resident in neurology and I also do research beside my normal work. My research field is mainly MRI in MS but we are also interested in how these MRI changes are associated with laboratory findings in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

You recently presented your research, ‘Chasing the driver of fatigue in multiple sclerosis: brain MRI versus CSF’ at ECTRIMS 2016 – please could you provide our readers with a brief overview of this?

We were interested in the driver of fatigue in MS patients. We performed a follow-up study where we analyzed different CSF parameters of disease onset and brain MRI scans during the first few years of the disease and compared these data with the development of fatigue. We found that disability and disease duration have a major impact on fatigue – we additionally found hints that the inflammatory milieu in the CSF at disease onset is also independently associated with the development of fatigue.

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