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March 19, 2019
Depression and psychological distress symptoms can have a significant impact on the overall quality of life of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), revealed a recent study, conducted by researchers at the University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany. Since the symptoms of psychological distress and depression can be therapeutically targeted, the study focused on mental health disorders in MS patients, in order to improve their quality of life.
MS is a central nervous system disease in which the immune system slowly damages the protective covering of the nerves. A highly unpredictable and often disabling disease, it disrupts the flow of information between the brain and the different parts of the body. MS can have a severe impact on the quality of life of patients as it affects their ability to perform daily routine tasks effectively.
It is observed that patients with greater physical disability usually report having a poorer quality of life. If the patient is physically exhausted, the quality of life also tends to diminish. Cognition impairment in MS patients leads to not only a decrease in the overall quality of life, but also decreased levels of cognitive reserve in the patients.
Negative influence of psychopathological disorders on MS patients
According to the study, the presence of co-occurring disorders such as depression, exerts a negative influence on the overall quality of the patients’ life. In order to improve MS treatment management, it is important to understand the various underlying factors that affect the quality of life in MS patients. The research, however, did not thoroughly explore if these factors differed across different types of MS, such as primary progressive MS (PPMS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and secondary progressive MS (SPMS).
The group of researchers further investigated how various factors tend to affect the quality of life of MS patients. The team of researchers specifically studied the effects of physical impairment, cognitive impairment, upper extremity function, depression, cognitive reserve, psychological distress symptoms, age and disease duration, and fatigue on patient-reported measures of quality of life.
Focusing on mental comorbidity can increase quality of life
As part of the study, the researchers analyzed 55 MS patients, of which 39 suffered from RRMS and 16 from progressive MS. The results of the study revealed that MS patients with a university degree, RRMS, shorter disease duration, reduced disease severity, and lower levels of depression and psychological distress symptoms, led a significantly better quality of life. However, no link was found between measures of quality of life and physical disability, cognitive impairment, or upper extremity disability.
The researchers could also not find a link between fatigue and the quality of life in MS patients. According to them, out of all the aforementioned factors, psychological distress and depression symptoms were treatable. Since both these conditions can be targeted with psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological treatment modalities, by focusing on mental comorbidity, the quality of life in MS patients can be substantially improved.
This is particularly significant, since, psychopathological disorders, which often co-occur with MS, tend to remain undertreated or undiagnosed. Patients with MS consider their mental health disorders to be as significant as their physical health condition and often express the need for mental healthcare. The research team concluded that the current results derived from this study, highlighted the urgency for effective and early symptomatic treatment of mental comorbidity in MS patients.
Treatment at Invictus Health Group
With a complete commitment towards mental health, the Invictus Health Group facility ranks among those in the higher strata of the mental and addiction recovery health industry. Invictus Health Group offers compassionate care and support that empowers individuals by instilling hope, encouragement, recovery, and the power to heal in them. The various inpatient treatment programs for mental health have been designed to provide treatment and therapy for every age group, be it children, adolescents, or adults.
If you or a loved one is battling any kind of mental illness, feel free to reach out to us at Invictus Health Group. You can directly call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline 866-548-0190 for more information about our research-backed depression treatment programs. You can also chat online with a representative from the admissions team to learn more about our treatment modalities as well as about our mental health disorder treatment centers.