A wireless body measurement system to study fatigue in multiple sclerosis

Dolphin

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Objective ways to study fatigue would be good. This is a new study on fatigue in MS.


http://iopscience.iop.org/0967-3334/33/12/2033

Physiological Measurement Volume 33 Number 12

Fei Yu et al 2012 Physiol. Meas. 33 2033 doi:10.1088/0967-3334/33/12/2033

A wireless body measurement system to study fatigue in multiple sclerosis

Fei Yu1, Arne Bilberg1, Egon Stenager2, Chiara Rabotti3, Bin Zhang1 and Massimo Mischi3

fei@mci.sdu.dk

1 Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Alsion 2, Sønderborg, DK-6400, Denmark
2 MS-Clinic of Southern Jutland, Department of Neurology, Sønderborg Hospital, Sønderborg, DK-6400, Denmark
3 Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands


Fatigue is reported as the most common symptom by patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The physiological and functional parameters related to fatigue in MS patients are currently not well established.

A new wearable wireless body measurement system, named Fatigue Monitoring System (FAMOS), was developed to study fatigue in MS.

It can continuously measure electrocardiogram, body-skin temperature, electromyogram and motions of feet.

The goal of this study is to test the ability of distinguishing fatigued MS patients from healthy subjects by the use of FAMOS.

This paper presents the realization of the measurement system including the design of both hardware and dedicated signal processing algorithms.

Twenty-six participants including 17 MS patients with fatigue and 9 sex- and age-matched healthy controls were included in the study for continuous 24 h monitoring.

The preliminary results show significant differences between fatigued MS patients and healthy controls.

In conclusion, the FAMOS enables continuous data acquisition and estimation of multiple physiological and functional parameters.

It provides a new, flexible and objective approach to study fatigue in MS, which can distinguish between fatigued MS patients and healthy controls.

The usability and reliability of the FAMOS should however be further improved and validated through larger clinical trials.
(I gave each sentence its own paragraph)
 
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Objectively measuring fatigue is a fine goal but I can't see how this does so: measuring heart & muscle activity, skin temp and feet movement looks like it's better suited to recording activity than fatigue. Being able to distinguish between fatigued MS patients and healthy controls doesn't necessarily show anything about about acurately measuring fatigue: fatigued vs non-fatigued MS patients with similar levels of disability would be more informative.

As SL says, comparing with self-reported fatigue would be very interesting.

I liked this approach to measuring fatigue, which takes multiple measures across a day and compares with activity (from actometers). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904590/ . It still depends on self-report but removes recall issues by timely measurement - and compares fatigue relative to activity so is likely to produce more reliable data.
 

Firestormm

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I am rather reluctant to say this, but, what is to say that someone with MS or ME or even a control is putting the same effort into the period under study? Maybe I am misunderstanding, but unless a correlation is recorded between a physiological response and the lack of ability to 'move' then where is the objectivity? I'd appreciate some insight here chaps. Bit muddled. Thanks.