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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2005 Oct;76(10):1406-9.

Experienced fatigue in facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy, and HMSN-I.

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  • 1Expert Centre Chronic Fatigue, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, Netherlands. j.kalkman@nkcv.umcn.nl



To assess the prevalence of severe fatigue and its relation to functional impairment in daily life in patients with relatively common types of neuromuscular disorders.


598 patients with a neuromuscular disease were studied (139 with facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, 322 with adult onset myotonic dystrophy, and 137 with hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type I). Fatigue severity was assessed with Checklist Individual Strength (CIS-fatigue). Functional impairments in daily life were measured with the short form 36 item health questionnaire (SF-36).


The three different neuromuscular patient groups were of similar age and sex. Severe experienced fatigue was reported by 61-74% of the patients. Severely fatigued patients had more problems with physical functioning, social functioning, mental health, bodily pain, and general health perception. There were some differences between the three disorders in the effects of fatigue.


Severe fatigue is reported by the majority of patients with relatively common types of neuromuscular disorders. Because experienced fatigue severity is associated with the severity of various functional impairments in daily life, it is a clinically and socially relevant problem in this group of patients.

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