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Neuromuscul Disord. 2009 Jun;19(6):397-402. doi: 10.1016/j.nmd.2009.03.007. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

Fatigue and daytime sleepiness in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1: to lump or split?

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  • 1ECOBES, Cégep de Jonquière, Jonquière, Qc, Canada; Département des sciences de l'éducation et de psychologie, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, 555, boul. de l'Université, Chicoutimi, Qc, Canada G7H 2B1.


We assessed the relationship and clinical correlates of fatigue and Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) in 200 myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) patients by means of questionnaire and neuropsychological evaluation. Fatigue levels were higher in patients with EDS and daytime sleepiness levels higher in patients with excessive fatigue. However, EDS without fatigue was rarely observed. Also, DM1 patients with fatigue (with or without EDS) showed greater muscular impairment, CTG repeats, abnormalities regarding personality, depressive symptoms and lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than patients without these symptoms. These findings do not readily support the contention that fatigue and EDS constitute distinct clinical manifestations in DM1. Clinicians should systematically evaluate both symptoms since fatigue and EDS have a greater impact on HRQoL than fatigue alone. However, specific rating scales for fatigue in DM1 have yet to be devised.

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