Electroencephalography-Derived Sensory and Motor Network Topology in Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue

Fabrizio Vecchio, Francesca Miraglia, Camillo Porcaro, Carlo Cottone, Andrea Cancelli, Paolo Maria Rossini, Franca Tecchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People with multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently complain of excessive fatigue, which is the most disabling symptom for half of them. While the few drugs used to treat MS fatigue are of limited utility, we recently observed the efficacy of a personalized neuromodulation treatment. Here, we aim at strengthening knowledge of the brain network changes that occur when MS fatigue increases, using graph theory. We collected electroencephalographic (EEG; 23 or 64 channels) data in resting state with eyes open in 27 relapsing-remitting (RR) patients with mild MS (EDSS ≤2), suffering a wide range of fatigue as scored by the modified Fatigue Impact Scale (mFIS) (2-69, within a total range 0-84). To estimate graph theory small-world index (SW), we calculated the lagged linear coherence between EEG cortical eLORETA sources, in the standard frequency bands delta (2-4 Hz), theta (4-8 Hz), alpha1 (8-10.5 Hz), alpha2 (10.5-13 Hz), beta1 (13-20 Hz), beta2 (20-30 Hz), and gamma (30-45 Hz). We calculated the SW of these undirected and weighted networks separately in the four left and right frontal (motor) and parieto-occipito-temporal (sensory) brain networks. A correlative analysis demonstrated increased fatigue symptoms along with the SW specifically in the Sensory network of the left dominant hemisphere in the beta1 band (Pearson's r = 0.404, P =.020). Our study indicates a specific involvement of the dominant-hemisphere sensory network in MS fatigue. It suggests that compensatory neuromodulation interventions could enhance efficacy in relieving this debilitating symptom by targeting this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-64
Number of pages9
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • delta and alpha bands
  • EEG
  • fatigue
  • functional connectivity
  • graph theory
  • multiple sclerosis
  • small-world networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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