Background: The burden of multiple sclerosis (MS) includes fatigue, depression and worsening of health-related quality of life (HRQOL). These changes have not been yet measured in neuromyelitis optica (NMO). Our aim was to assess the HRQOL, fatigue and depression in NMO.
Methods: We administered French validated self-questionnaires on HRQOL (SEP-59), fatigue (EMIF-SEP) and depression (EHD) to 40 patients followed up in two centres. We assessed the relationship of these parameters with gender, age, disability, disease duration, visual acuity and NMO-antibody status and also compared our results with equivalent data in MS and normal subjects derived from previous studies.
Results: Health-related quality of life scores were lower (P < 0.01) in patients with NMO when compared to normal subjects. No significant difference was noted between patients with NMO and MS for most scores, the exceptions being HRQOL related to cognitive function (better in NMO than in MS), HRQOL related to sphincter dysfunction (worse in NMO than in MS) and the psychological dimension of fatigue (milder in NMO than in MS). Disability was the main predictive factor of an unfavourable evolution.
Discussion: This study reveals the strong impact of NMO on HRQOL, fatigue and depression and the importance of screening patients, especially the more disabled, so as to initiate suitable treatment.
© 2010 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2010 EFNS.