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More MS news articles for April 2004

Multiple sclerosis and depression

Rev Neurol. 2004 Mar 16-31;38(6):524-9
Sanchez Lopez MP, Olivares Perez T, Nieto Barco A, Hernandez Perez MA, Barroso Ribal J.
Universidad de la Laguna. Facultad de Psicologia, La Laguna, Espana.


Depression has frequently been reported in multiple sclerosis.

However, prevalence rates must be interpreted in the light of the conceptual and methodological limitations of these studies.

Depression has traditionally been associated with response to the diagnosis of this disease, the presence of physical and cognitive limitations, the damage of specific neural systems and inmunomodulatory therapy.


To assess the evolution of emotional state and its relationship with motor and cognitive slowness, in relapsing remitting patients with minimal levels of neurological disability.

Patients and methods.

Data are reported for 35 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, 27 treated with interferons and 8 without interferon treatment.

Mood disturbance (Beck Depression Inventory, BDI), physical disability (Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale, EDSS) and speed of information processing (reaction times) were assessed.

The first testing was carried out before the start of treatment and the second testing one year later.

Results and conclusions.

The group of patients showed a total BDI score indicative of minimal depression associated with items expressing performance difficulties and somatic complaints.

Emotional state was not related to physical disability but was related to processing speed measures.

A significant improvement of depression was observed after one year of treatment with inmunomodulatory therapy.