Background and Objective: Fatigue and physical impairments are a major concern in children with multiple sclerosis (MS) and after acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (post-ADEM). We here aimed to evaluate the interaction between fatigue, exercise capacity, motor performance, neurological status, and quality of life (HRQoL). Methods: In this cross-sectional study, data of 38 children (MS n = 22, post-ADEM n = 16), aged 4–17 years attending our national pediatric MS center, were studied. Fatigue was measured with the Pediatric Quality of Life Multidimensional Fatigue Scale, exercise capacity with the Bruce Protocol, motor performance with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children second edition, HRQoL with the Pediatric Quality of Life Questionnaire, and extent of disability with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Results: Children with MS and post-ADEM experienced more fatigue (p < 0.001), reduced exercise capacity (p < 0.001), and impaired motor performance (p < 0.001), despite low scores on the EDSS. Fatigue, but not the other parameters, was significantly correlated with HRQoL. Fatigue was not correlated with exercise capacity. Conclusion: We confirm the major impact of fatigue on quality of life in children with MS and post-ADEM. Fatigue was not explained by reduced exercise capacity or impaired motor performance. An important finding for clinical practice is that the low EDSS score did not reflect the poor physical functioning.

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Keywords acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, EDSS, exercise capacity, fatigue, motor development, Multiple sclerosis, physical functioning, quality of life
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Journal Multiple Sclerosis: clinical and laboratory research
Toussaint, L.C.C, Wong, Y.Y.M, van der Cammen-van Zijp, M.H.M, Van Pelt-Gravesteijn, D. (Daniëlle), Catsman-Berrevoets, C.E, Hintzen, R.Q, & Neuteboom, R.F. (2017). Fatigue and physical functioning in children with multiple sclerosis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis. Multiple Sclerosis: clinical and laboratory research. doi:10.1177/1352458517706038