Lana Pasek, B.S.’79, BNS’81, is the recipient of a 2022 Nightingale Award for research from the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses in conjunction with EMD Serono Health Care. The $5,000 award, which recognizes significant accomplishments in MS nursing and commitment to the MS community, will help support a pilot study on cognitive fatigue in MS patients that Pasek will launch this fall.
Although cognitive fatigue is experienced by 80-90% of MS patients and can significantly impair their ability to function and their quality of life, it is one of the least understood symptoms of the disease. Pasek plans to survey MS patients on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of their condition, as well as the support systems available to them, to determine how their mental exhaustion impacts their well-being. Using this information, she hopes to develop a definition for the phenomenon and determine the ways it affects quality of life so that better therapies can be found.
While Pasek’s focus is on MS patients, she notes that the results of the study have implications beyond that population, including post-COVID patients with brain fog and soldiers with battle fatigue.