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Therapy for fatigue and cognitive dysfunction in postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

Article published in Cardiology in the Young by Jeffrey Boris, Thomas Bernadzikowski

IntroductionSevere fatigue and cognitive dysfunction are frequent symptoms in patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. They can be debilitating, and often do not resolve despite improvement in haemodynamic symptoms. Our analysis was intended to assess clinical outcomes of medication treatment for these symptoms in a large, single-centre paediatric programme.Materials and MethodsWe performed a retrospective review of patients treated for fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. Patients aged 18 years or younger at the time of initial diagnosis were included. Patients who had a specific medication ordered five or more times for these symptoms were confirmed by chart review for clinical improvement. Percentage of patients with clinical improvement for each medication and overall for all medications, as well as the number of medications per patient required to achieve improvement, were assessed. Data were analysed based on gender as well. t-Test and χ2 analyses were used to assess for differences between means in variables, or specific variables. RESULTS: A total of 708 patients met study criteria, of whom 517 were treated for fatigue or brain fog. Overall efficacy was 68.8%, with individual medication effectiveness ranging from 53.1 (methylphenidate) to 16.5% (atomoxetine). There was no significant difference in efficacy with respect to gender. The median number of medications used per patient was 2, without gender difference. Therapy was limited by side effects or lack of efficacy.DiscussionMedications are effective in the improvement of fatigue and cognitive dysfunction in these patients. However, trials of multiple medications may be needed before achieving clinical improvement.

Read the full article at Cambridge University Press.


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