Pain, Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety Prevalent After MS Diagnosis

Most patients had co-occurring symptoms: 21.3, 19.1, and 17.4 percent had two, three, and four symptoms, respectively

TUESDAY, Aug. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety are prevalent in the year following diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS)/clinically isolated syndrome, according to a study recently published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

Thomas R. Valentine, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the rates of pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety at one, two, three, six, nine, and 12 months after MS diagnosis among 230 newly diagnosed adults with MS/clinically isolated syndrome.

The researchers found that at some point in the postdiagnosis year, participants endorsed clinically significant symptoms at rates of 50.9 percent for pain, 62.6 percent for fatigue, 47.4 percent for depression, and 38.7 percent for anxiety. Co-occurring symptoms were reported for most patients: 21.3 percent with two, 19.1 percent with three, and 17.4 percent with four symptoms. Over time, the proportions of patients with clinically significant symptoms was generally stable; however, there was fluctuation noted at the individual level in the rate of symptom development/recovery.

“The results demonstrate the importance of routinely screening for these symptoms at diagnosis and regular intervals thereafter,” the authors write. “Prompt referral for evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs is indicated during this critical postdiagnosis period if quality of life is to be optimized.”

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