Disease associations of excessive daytime sleepiness in multiple sclerosis: A prospective study

Peter V. Sguigna*, Sabeen Toranian, Lauren M. Tardo, Kyle M. Blackburn, Lindsay A. Horton, Darrel Conger, Ethan Meltzer, R. Nick Hogan, Morgan C. McCreary, Phyllis C. Zee, Joseph S. Takahashi, Benjamin M. Greenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a significant source of disability. Despite this, its prevalence as a patient-reported outcome in this condition has not been well established, and its causes are not well understood. Methods: We prospectively assessed EDS as part of an observational study for patients referred for diagnostic neuro-ophthalmological testing. EDS was evaluated by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), and visual data were also collected as part of a research protocol. Analysis with patient data was performed following the exclusion of patients with known primary sleep disorders. Results: A total of 69 patients with MS were included in the analysis. The mean ESS was 6.5 with a SD of 4.3. ESS ≥ 10 was present in 23% of the cohort even in the presence of minimal mean neurological disability (Patient Determined Disease Steps (PDDS) = 1.5). The ESS score was not associated with age, sex, disease-related disability, retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), or optic neuritis (ON), but displayed an association with visual dysfunction. Conclusions: There is an increased prevalence of EDS in MS. The increased values of the ESS are not explained by other sleep disorders, suggesting separate mechanisms. Further study of the underlying mechanisms is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • excessive daytime sleepiness
  • ipRGC
  • optic neuritis
  • outcome measurement
  • symptomatic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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