Fatigue brought on by malfunction of the central and peripheral nervous systems.
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Increased fatigability necessarily occurs in every patient with muscle weakness, regardless of whether the latter is due to a central or peripheral neurological disorder. The tendency for disuse to increase fatigability, as a secondary phenomenon, must also be considered; disuse affects both motoneuron recruitment and the biochemical and physiological properties of the muscle fibers. In recent studies impaired recruitment has been observed in postpolio patients, while patients with multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury have shown, in addition, altered neuromuscular function. Findings are also presented in ALS and the chronic fatigue syndrome. In general, the most dramatic increases in fatigability take place in disorders of the peripheral nervous system and almost any cell component can be incriminated. There is a need to study fatigability systematically in neurology and rehabilitation.
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