Although fatigue has been actively investigated for more than 100 years, we have progressed little in either its theoretical or practical understanding. Fatigue has been considered to be both a symptom and an illness. Fatigue is a primary reason for patient visits to the physician's office, but it is difficult to measure and offers doctors little important information for diagnosis. Fatigue as a Window to the Brain gathers experts on a wide variety of disorders to consider what the presence of fatigue tells us about how the brain works—more specifically, to identify the neural mechanisms potentially responsible for fatigue. The book looks at many of the major conditions in which fatigue is observed, with the hope that patterns may emerge that will suggest paths for future research. It will be of interest to neuroscientists, clinical researchers, and physicians and other clinicians.
After discussing the nature of fatigue—its history and epidemiology and its assessment, measurement, and interpretation—the book turns to specific conditions associated with fatigue. It considers neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis and stroke; psychiatric conditions as well as the overall treatment of fatigue in psychiatry; and general medical conditions, including HIV, heart disease, lupus, cancer, and others. The book then offers an overview of treatment approaches. It concludes with a definition of fatigue—both "primary" and "secondary"—and suggestions for future study.
About the Editor
John DeLuca is Director of Neuroscience Research at the Kessler Medical Rehabilitation Research and Education Corporation, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Professor of Neurosciences at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School.
"...enlightening and loaded with updates from recent research. All physicians treating patients with fatigue should read it.", Ingvard Wilhelmsen, MD, PhD, The New England Journal of Medicine
"Advances in our understanding of the brain's workings have revitalized our faltering efforts to understand the ubiquitous symptom of fatigue. This book is a succinct yet comprehensive summary of what we have learned so far."
—Michael Sharpe, Professor of Psychological Medicine and Symptoms Research, University of Edinburgh
"This important book embraces a very welcome shift in the neurological study of the brain, broadening the horizons of thinking about fatigue states across the boundaries of individual diseases and disciplines. It also offers a more sophisticated conceptualization of fatigue to include notions of perceived effort, motivation, and accompanying affect. Researchers in this field have long needed a summary of such approaches for further investigation; this book provides it."
—Andrew Lloyd, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia