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Journal Articles European Journal of Neuroscience Year : 2023

Interoceptive and metacognitive facets of fatigue in multiple sclerosis


Numerous disorders are characterised by fatigue as a highly disabling symptom. Fatigue plays a particularly important clinical role in multiple sclerosis (MS) where it exerts a profound impact on quality of life. Recent concepts of fatigue grounded in computational theories of brain-body interactions emphasise the role of interoception and metacognition in the pathogenesis of fatigue. So far, however, for MS, empirical data on interoception and metacognition are scarce. This study examined interoception and (exteroceptive) metacognition in a sample of 71 persons with a diagnosis of MS. Interoception was assessed by pre-specified subscales of a standard questionnaire (MAIA), while metacognition was investigated with computational models of choice and confidence data from a visual discrimination paradigm. Additionally, autonomic function was examined by several physiological measurements. Several hypotheses were tested based on a preregistered analysis plan. In brief, we found the predicted association of interoceptive awareness with fatigue (but not with exteroceptive metacognition) and an association of autonomic function with exteroceptive metacognition (but not with fatigue). Furthermore, machine learning (elastic net regression) showed that individual fatigue scores could be predicted out-of- sample from our measurements, with questionnaire-based measures of interoceptive awareness and sleep quality as key predictors. Our results support theoretical concepts of interoception as an important factor for fatigue and demonstrate the general feasibility of predicting individual levels of fatigue from simple questionnaire- based measures of interoception and sleep.
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Dates and versions

hal-04102890 , version 1 (22-05-2023)





Marion Rouault, Inês Pereira, Herman Galioulline, Stephen M Fleming, Klaas Enno Stephan, et al.. Interoceptive and metacognitive facets of fatigue in multiple sclerosis. European Journal of Neuroscience, In press, ⟨10.1111/ejn.16048⟩. ⟨hal-04102890⟩
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