Fatigue Meeting 2023


On the 19th May, 2023, NCMD hosted a symposium on “A transdiagnostic approach to fatigue” as a hybrid event which was well attended both in person and on line. Fatigue is a symptom (or symptoms) common to many disorders, both of mental and physical health, and is a major determinant of quality of life. Many questions remain un-answered, including whether the symptom has the same underlying pathology in all diagnoses, and how it might be treated.

The symposium [attached the programme] included four presentations. The first was “The mystery of fatigue: a symptom across the conditions or a condition in its own right?” given by Dr Beata Godlewska (from Oxford University), discussed the nature of fatigue and the range of different conditions in which it is found, prior to focusing on chronic fatigue syndrome [link to presentation]. Dr Godlewska presented imaging data exploring the neural underpinnings of the symptom. The second presentation was from Dr Tiago Costa (Newcastle) on “Fatigue, depression and quality of life: linked by the vagus?” [link to presentation] which explored the role of the vague nerve not just in terms of the pathology underlying fatigue but also as a potential target for treatment using vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). The third talk was from Prof Fai Ng (Newcastle) on “Fatigue in people with Sjogren's syndrome” [link to presentation]. Prog Ng described a large study in which he had investigated both physical and psychological fatigue in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome and the role that VNS might have in reducing the severity of the symptom. The final presentation was from Dr Demitris Soteropoulos (Newcastle) with the title “Neural Dysregulation in Post-COVID Fatigue” [link to presentation], in which Dr Soteropoulos presented data examining central and peripheral neuronal function in patients suffering from long COVID.

It is hoped that this will be the first meeting in a series of symposiums regarding fatigue led by Prof Ng as a cross-theme area of collaborative interest within the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, and the wider research community in Newcastle and beyond.