Background Fatigue presents as a significant problem in multiple sclerosis (MS). Cognitive fatigue (CF) can be defined as a decrease in, or inability to maintain task performance throughout the duration of a continuous cognitive task. CF was evaluated using the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT) both pre- and post-immunoablation and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (IA-HSCT) over a 3-year follow-up period. The magnitude of CF was examined and the impact of scoring methodology was evaluated. Methods Twenty-three individuals with rapidly progressive MS and poor prognosis underwent high dose immunosuppression and subsequent HSCT. Individuals completed the 3″ and 2″ PASAT at baseline and every 6 months thereafter over a period of 36 months. As scoring methodology can impact its sensitivity to CF, the PASAT was scored according to three scoring methods. Results CF was noted across all three scoring methods at baseline and at the majority of time points post-IA-HSCT on both the 3″ and 2″ PASAT. The magnitude of CF remained consistent both pre-and post-IA-HSCT. Conclusions While results suggest that the procedure itself does not ameliorate an individual's susceptibility to CF; neither does it seem to negatively impact levels of CF. As such, results support the notion that the IA-HSCT procedure, despite its aggressive nature, does not exacerbate CF in this particular sample.

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Keywords Cognitive fatigue, Fatigue, HSCT, Multiple sclerosis, Neuropsychology, PASAT
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Journal Journal of the Neurological Sciences
Berard, J.A. (Jason A.), Bowman, M. (Marjorie), Atkins, H.L. (Harold L.), Freedman, M.S. (Mark S.), & Walker, L.A.S. (2014). Cognitive fatigue in individuals with multiple sclerosis undergoing immunoablative therapy and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 336(1-2), 132–137. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2013.10.023