Kessler Foundation neuroimaging study reveals fatigue-related differences by age and gender

male scientist at Kessler Foundation
Dr. Wylie serves as director of the Rocco

Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler

Foundation. He is also a research scientist at

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs War-related

Injury and Illness Study Center in the VA New

Jersey Healthcare System.

 

Study reveals new information on responses of healthy men and women ages 20 to 63 to state and trait fatigue 

East Hanover, NJ. August 5, 2022. To study the relationship between age and fatigue, Kessler Foundation researchers conducted a novel study using neuroimaging and self-report data. Their findings were published online on May 9, 2022, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in the open access article, “Fatigue across the lifespan in men and women: State vs. trait ” (doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.790006).

The authors are Glenn Wylie, DPhil, Amanda Pra Sisto, Helen M. Genova, PhD, and John DeLuca, PhD, of Kessler Foundation. All have faculty appointments at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Dr. Wylie is also a research scientist at The Department of Veterans’ Affairs War-related Injury and Illness Study Center at the New Jersey Healthcare System.

Their study is the first to report the effects of gender and age on both ‘state’ and ‘trait’ fatigue, and the first to report fatigue-related differences in brain activation across the lifespan and across gender during a cognitively fatiguing task.  “State” measure of fatigue assesses a subject’s instantaneous experience of fatigue at the time of testing; “trait” measure of fatigue assesses how much fatigue a subject experienced over a longer period of time, such as the previous four weeks.

Researchers collected data on trait fatigue and state fatigue from 43 healthy men and women aged 20 to 63 years. State fatigue was measured during fMRI scans while participants performed a cognitively challenging task. The study was conducted at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation, a specialized facility dedicated solely to rehabilitation research. They found that older individuals reported less state fatigue.

Dr. Wylie, director of the Ortenzio Center, commented: “Our neuroimaging data show that the role of middle frontal areas of the brain changes with age. Younger individuals may use these areas to combat fatigue, but this is not the case with older individuals. Moreover, these results suggest that women show greater resilience when faced with a fatiguing task.

“This study is an important first step toward explaining some of the differences reported in the literature of fatigue, by showing that state and trait measures of fatigue measure different aspects of fatigue, and that age and gender both appear to affect the relationship between state fatigue and brain activation,” Dr. Wyle concluded.

Funding: National MS Society (RG 4232A1), New Jersey Commission for Brain Injury Research (10.005.BIR1), Department of Veterans’ Affairs (5I01CX000893), and Kessler Foundation

Learn more about ongoing studies at Kessler Foundation at Join Our Research Studies | Kessler Foundation

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that improves cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities.


About nTIDE Updates
National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) is a joint project of Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability. The nTIDE team closely monitors the job numbers, issuing semi-monthly reports that track the impact of economic shifts on employment for people with and without disabilities. As the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wane and inflation persistently rises, the nTIDE team has superseded its mid-month COVID Update to a “Deeper Dive” into the BLS data for people with disabilities. The statistics in the nTIDE are based on BLS numbers but are not identical. They are customized by UNH to combine the statistics for men and women of working age (16- 64). nTIDE is funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR; 90RTGE0005) and Kessler Foundation. Each nTIDE release is followed by an nTIDE Lunch & Learn online webinar. This live broadcast, hosted via Zoom Webinar, offers attendees Q&A on the latest nTIDE findings, provides news, updates from the field, and features invited panelists who discuss current disability-related findings and events.

About the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire
The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire was established in 1987 to provide a university-based focus for the improvement of knowledge, policies, and practices related to the lives of persons with disabilities and their families. For information on the Intitute’s NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC), visit ResearchOnDisability.org.

About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research. Our scientists seek to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes, including employment, for adults and children with neurological and developmental disabilities of the brain and spinal cord including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and autism. Kessler Foundation also leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. KesslerFoundation.org.

For more information, contact:
Deb Hauss, [email protected]

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