Autonomic symptom burden is associated with MS-related fatigue and quality of life

M. M. Cortez, S. K. Nagi Reddy, B. Goodman, J. L. Carter, D. M. Wingerchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background Nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness are common in multiple sclerosis (MS), even in patients with normal exams. Little is known about the relationship of autonomic dysfunction with these symptoms and quality of life. Objective Assess the association of autonomic symptom burden with fatigue, clinical status and quality of life. Methods Subjects completed an autonomic symptom (COMPASS-31), quality of life (MSQOL-54) and fatigue (FSS) questionnaire at their routine MS clinic follow-up. Demographic and clinical data were collected from the medical record. Pearson correlations were assessed between autonomic symptoms and fatigue, quality of life, disability and disease duration. Results One-hundred subjects completed the study (mean age 48 years; 78% female; 84% relapsing-remitting), mean disease duration was 14.7 years and mean EDSS 2.5. MSQOL-54 composite scores were 58 physical and 65 mental. COMPASS-31 correlated with MSQOL-54 (Physical R= -0.60; Mental -0.54; p<0.001) and FSS (R=0.51; p<0.001). There was no relationship between COMPASS-31 and EDSS (R=0, p=0.97) or disease duration (R= -0.02, p=0.84). Conclusions Autonomic symptom burden is correlated with decreased quality of life and increased fatigue. Autonomic symptoms are present early in the disease and at low disability and may reflect aspects of disease burden that are not well-captured by current disability measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-263
Number of pages6
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Autonomic nervous system diseases
  • Fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Quality of Life
  • Symptom assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Autonomic symptom burden is associated with MS-related fatigue and quality of life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this