Friday 1 May 2015

Dr Anna Kuppuswamy is one of our Postdoctoral Fellows. We fund her research, which looks at is what happening in the brains of people who experience fatigue because of a stroke.

Her latest research was recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (JNNP).  (A related, previous research paper was published in the journal Brain in November 2014).

Yesterday, the JNNP released a six-minute video which summarises the study, and which also features Dr Kuppuswamy herself (see below).

What is post-stroke fatigue?

Fatigue is one of the most common effects of stroke. It can make people feel unwell and like they're not in control of their recovery. They may feel like they lack energy or strength and feel constantly weary or tired. Post-stroke fatigue does not always improve with rest and is not necessarily related to recent activity. So it is not like typical tiredness.

Post-stroke fatigue can range from relatively mild to severe and the intensity of the tiredness does not seem to be related to the severity or type of stroke experienced.

Although post-stroke fatigue is poorly understood, it is thought to be due to problems in the central nervous system (the brain and thes spinal cord) caused by stroke.

Video Summary

Watch Dr Kuppuswamy describe her latest published research.  She starts by explaining how symptoms of post-stroke fatigue may relate to what's known as:

  • 'motor cortex excitability' - which is the responsiveness of brain cells in the part of the brain that controls movement
  • and in the 'lesioned hemisphere' - which is the half of the brain (left or right) that was damaged by stroke

Although this research is at a very early stage, it lays important foundations which could help discover future treatments for stroke patients with fatigue.

Dr Kuppuswamy is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at University College London. Visit her website for more information.

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