Motor imagery as a treatment for fatigue

Catalan et al. Treatment of Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Neurocognitive Approach. Rehabil Res Pract. 2011;2011:670537. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

The objective of the study was to treat fatigue in MS'ers by a neurocognitive rehabilitation program aimed at improving motor planning by using motor imagery (MI). 20 MS'ers complaining of fatigue were treated for 5 weeks with exercises of neurocognitive rehabilitation twice a week. MS'ers were evaluated by Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), MSQoL54, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and MS Functional Composite (MSFC). 

After treatment, a decrease in fatigue was detected with both FSS (P = 0.0001) and MFIS (P = 0.0001). MSFC (P = 0.035) and MSQoL54 (P = 0.002) scores improved compared to baseline. At six-month followup, the improvement was confirmed for fatigue (FSS, P = 0.0001; MFIS P = 0.01) and for the physical subscale of MSQoL54 (P = 0.049). No differences in disability scales were found. These results show that neurocognitive rehabilitation, based on MI, could be a strategy to treat fatigue in MS patients.

"This study is too small to draw any conclusions, but it does suggest that fatigue may respond to some interventions. I don't have any experience with motor imagery. Do any of you?"

"This study will need to be reproduced; it is too small."