MND: Ever thought that stressful life events caused you to have MS? Well a new study from Norway [1] did not find a connection between stress and MS onset. Note that the study scale was fairly small (77 participants) , all female nurses, and that the study focused on childhood or adolescent sexual abuse. a bit narrow? that is probably why the soft tone of the conclusion and the  caveat about “needing more studies”. The MS society [2] mentioned a second similar study with the same conclusion, this time with 292 women participants.

MND: However, a previous study reported, a weak correlation between anxiety, infections with MS relapses [3]. “Thirty seven women with multiple sclerosis were regularly seen every four weeks, for one year”. This study concluded that emotional  stress does play a role in MS relapses. A third study [4], reported a correlation between “stressful life events” and MS relapses, excluding infections.

MND: It seems easier to correlate MS relapses than MS onset to stress , this is confirmed by the last study we are bringing on”Trauma stress and MS” [5]

MND: A psychiatrist goes further, suggesting that decreasing the stressors of a patient having MS could actually decrease the brain lesion seen on MRI [6]. The hard proof is not clear, though

MND: That was for  Researchers, but what does the blogosphere agree?

  • The San Francisco Injury Board Blognet , a private lawyer, also quotes medical research [published in  from 2000 and 2002] to suggest that claims of trauma injury worsening of MS can be argued.
  • MSNBC posts” Stress at work or home doesn’t raise risk of MS” based on the same primary study we are quoting. How did they jump from studies on sexual abuse trauma to “stress at work or at home” is a mystery to us..

Talk to your Doctor

Sources:

  1. Riise T, et al “Stress and the risk of multiple sclerosis” Neurology 2011; 76: 1866-1871.
  2. PRNews/MS Society
  3. Mult Scler. 2008 Nov;14(9):1262-8. Epub 2008 Aug 28.
  4. BMJ. 2003 Sep 20;327(7416):646.
  5. Neurol Sci. 2000;21(4 Suppl 2):S849-52.
  6. Psychiatric times, Neuropsychiatry, Vol. 3No. 8

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