More evidence that stress makes MS symptoms worse


Association between stressful life events and exacerbation in multiple sclerosis: a meta-analysis BMJ Online First

Most patients with multiple sclerosis believe that stressful life events make their symptoms worse, but this theory remains controversial among care providers and academics.

However, new research to be published on on Friday 19 March 2004, confirms the association between stressful life events and exacerbation in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco analysed data from 14 trials of stress and multiple sclerosis and found a modest but significant risk of exacerbation after non-traumatic stressful life events, such as job stress or financial problems.

However, these data did not allow the linking of specific types of stress to exacerbations, nor should they be used to infer that patients are responsible for their exacerbations, say the authors.

These findings will hopefully open investigation into new avenues of managing multiple sclerosis, either through stress management or through treatment of the physical responses to stress, they conclude.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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