Background: Fatigue and sleep disturbance are common features of multiple sclerosis (MS). Our objectives were to determine cerebrospinal fluid levels of orexin A (hypocretin-1), a hypothalamic peptide involved in sleep, in patients with MS, and correlate them with fatigue, sleepiness, and levels of cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) another neuropeptide regulating metabolism with wider nervous system distribution.
Methods: Consecutive patients with MS (n=34), other inflammatory (n=24) or non-inflammatory (n=42) neurological diseases, undergoing lumbar puncture were investigated. Orexin and CART were measured by RIA by investigators unaware of the patients' diagnosis.
Results: Orexin A was slightly decreased in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with inflammatory disease. There was no evidence of orexin A deficiency in MS, although there was a non-significant trend toward a decrease compared to non-inflammatory neurological diseases (p=0.06). CART levels were increased in MS compared to the non-inflammatory disease group (p=0.03). There were no significant correlations between CSF levels of orexin A and CART, fatigue, and hypersomnolence.
Conclusions: Cerebrospinal fluid orexin A is decreased in CNS inflammatory diseases other than MS, where it shows a trend toward reduction, but does not correlate significantly with CART or with measures of fatigue and hypersomnolence.
Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.