Relapse-remitting MS associated with depression and altered attentiveness

Depression and attention deficit are recurring in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to study results presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) October 25-28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida, were presented.

MS is a debilitating, chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with physical symptoms. In addition, depression and changes in cognition are commonly reported. The aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between symptoms of depression and attentiveness in patients with MS.

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The study included 41 patients with RRMS aged 23 to 58 years (mean [SD] Age, 42.70 [10.62] Years; 27 women), with an EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) score of 0 to 6.5 (mean 3.09.). [2.10]). Patients also had a diagnosis time of 1 to 26 years (mean 10.09 [6.67]) and an average education of 14.48 [2.64] Years. The data comes from interviews and the use of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and attention performance tests.

Of the cohort, 31.7% of the patients had depression – 17.1% mild, 12.2% moderate and 2.4% severe. In addition, 20 patients (48.8%) had a change in sustained attention, 29 patients (70.7%) had a change in alternating attention, and 27 patients (65.9%) had a change in divided attention.

A marginal correlation was found between depression and EDSS score (P = .077). No significant correlation was observed between depression and gender (P = .607), age (P = .304), time of diagnosis (P = .445), and duration of education (P = .341).

For sustained attention performance, a positive correlation between depression and percent error (P = 0.009) and the inconstancy index (P = 0.012) was found, and no significant correlation was observed between depression and the number of items recorded (P = 0.993.). ).

There was also no significant correlation between alternating (P = .166) and divided (P = .161) attentional performance.

“The results of this study suggest that both depression and changes in attention are very common [patients] with MS, and there was an association between depression and sustained attention [patients] with MS, ”said the researchers. “There seems to be no connection between depression and alternating and divided attention, as well as between gender, age, time of diagnosis and time of education.”

Head to the Neurology Advisor meeting section for full coverage of the CMSC 2021.


Bando MO, Dias AE, Canzonieri AM, et al. Study of depression and attention performance in people with multiple sclerosis. Presented at: CMSC Annual Meeting 2021; 25.-28. October 2021; Orlando Florida. Summary MDC02.

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