Dr. Bernadette Brady

Dr. Bernadette Brady

Bernadette is a palliative medicine consultant in Tallaght University Hospital. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin and has worked in palliative medicine since 2009, completing higher specialist training in 2015.

During her training, she spent nine months working with Hospice Africa Uganda in Kampala & Mbarara, Uganda.

Bernadette’s qualifications include an MSc in Healthcare Ethics & Law from RCSI (2012) with a thesis on Artificial Hydration & Nutrition at End of Life, a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Education (NUIG, 2016) and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine (RCSI 2012).

In addition to her clinical work, Bernadette is currently a Research Scholar based in Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services and a PhD candidate in the School of Medicine, UCD. Her research interests are in cancer-related fatigue, and cardiac and autonomic nervous system function in cancer. She has published in the areas of fatigue, oncology and renal medicine.

ABSTRACT

Title: Pathophysiology of Cancer-Related Fatigue

Summary: Fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating cancer symptoms, and is associated with impaired quality of life. Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is not relieved by sleep or rest and can have physical, emotional and psychological manifestations. The exact pathophysiology of CRF is poorly understood, but in any individual, it is likely multifactorial and involves inter-related cytokine, muscular, neurotransmitter, and neuroendocrine changes.

One hypotheses is that abnormalities in cardiac & autonomic nervous system (ANS) function may have a role in causing CRF. Cancer patients may have disease-related changes to cardiac muscle, separate from treatment-related cardiotoxicity. This may be particularly the case for those who have cancer cachexia. ANS dysfunction, another common syndrome in cancer, can contribute to fatigue and reduced quality of life.

If we can better define the pathophysiology of CRF, we can target interventions to improve fatigue and quality of life in this condition.

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