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Management Slows Multiple Sclerosis Progress


Management Slows Multiple Sclerosis Progress

(ePharmaNews) – Multiple sclerosis (MS) scares both patients and healthy people and results in stress that accompanies this condition. This stress can have adverse impact on MS patients, and by managing it the disease’s progress can be limited.

In a new study, published in the July 11, 2012, online issue of Neurology, researchers found that taking part in a stress management program may help people with MS prevent new disease activity.

Multiple sclerosis is a potentially debilitating disease in which the body's immune system eats away at the protective sheath that covers the nerves. Depending on which particular nerves are affected and the amount of damage, symptoms vary widely. The ability to speak or walk may be lost in people with severe cases of multiple sclerosis. Because symptoms often come and go, sometimes disappearing for months, multiple sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose early in its course.

The study included 121 MS patients, half of them received the stress management program, meeting with a therapist for 16 individual 50-minute sessions over five to six months. They also chose between optional sessions on topics such as fatigue management, anxiety reduction, pain management and insomnia treatment. The remaining participants were put on a waiting list as a control group.

During the treatment period, the researchers found that 77 percent of patients who underwent the stress management program were free of new lesions, or brain damage that indicates disease activity, during the treatment period, compared to 55 percent of those in the control group.

“The size of the effect is similar to other recent phase II trials of new drug therapies for MS,” said study author David C. Mohr, PhD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “While it’s premature to make any specific recommendations about using this type of stress management training to manage MS disease activity, it will be important to conduct more research to identify specifically how this treatment is benefiting people with MS.”

However, these positive effects did not persist after the treatment period was over, the authors noted. “This was unexpected,” Mohr said. “It’s possible that people were not able to sustain their new coping skills once the support ended, or that some aspect of the treatment other than stress management skills, such as the social support, was the most beneficial part of the treatment.”


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Prepared by: Laila Nour


Source :

ePharmaNews






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