Circadian Activity Rhythm in Early Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Lorenzo Tonetti, Federico Camilli, Sara Giovagnoli, Vincenzo Natale, Alessandra Lugaresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While relapsing-remitting is the most prevalent course of multiple sclerosis, the prognostic/predictive markers of the worsening of symptomatology are still debated. With reference to other diseases, the study of the circadian activity rhythm, according to the theoretical framework of the two-process model of sleep regulation and applying functional linear modeling, proved to be useful to identify a possible marker. The usefulness of the study of circadian activity rhythm in multiple sclerosis is strengthened by recent findings indicating a potential involvement of circadian factors in the multifactorial etiopathology of the disorder. The aim of the present study was to verify whether circadian activity rhythm of early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients presents specific alterations, through functional linear modeling. Thirty-five relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients (24 females; mean age ± SD = 31.51 ± 7.74) and 35 healthy controls (24 females; mean age ± SD = 31.29 ± 8.02) were enrolled. They wore an actigraph around the non-dominant wrist for one week. Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients showed a peak in motor activity around 5:00 a.m., higher than that of healthy controls. The timing of the peak in motor activity in the patients could be explained according to the hyperactive hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and higher cortisol awakening response reported in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 15 2019


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