Premenstrual multiple sclerosis pseudoexacerbations: Role of body temperature and prevention with aspirin

Dean M. Wingerchuk, Moses Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Many women with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience transient neurologic symptom worsening and fatigue in conjunction with the menstrual cycle. Aspirin reduces MS fatigue in some patients. Objective: To describe 3 women with MS who experienced stereotypic, temperature-independent neurologic symptoms and diurnal fatigue in the mid-to-late luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Aspirin treatment prevented the symptoms. Design and Setting: Case series at the Mayo Clinic outpatient MS clinics, Scottsdale, Ariz, and Rochester, Minn. Patients: Three women with relapsing-remitting MS. Interventions: Body temperature measurement, symptom diary, and oral aspirin. Main Outcome Measures: Body temperature, Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, and evaluation of neurologic symptoms and signs. Results: Morning oral body temperature did not differ during symptomatic vs asymptomatic portions of the luteal phase (P= .55). Aspirin (650 mg twice daily) prevented symptoms but did not significantly alter the luteal phase body temperature. Conclusions: Aspirin prophylaxis may prevent luteal phase-associated MS pseudoexacerbations. However, the observed relationship between the luteal menstrual phase and MS symptom worsening is not fully explained by thermoregulation, which implicates other hormonal or immunologic mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1008
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 17 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology


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