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CBT for Treatment of Depression in MS

Int J MS Care; ePub 2018 Jun 25; Ratajska, et al

Depression is common in multiple sclerosis (MS), affecting up to 50% of patients at some point in their lifetime. Although the rate of depression in MS is higher than that of the general population and that of patients with other chronic medical conditions, depression in MS is underdiagnosed and undertreated, according to a recent review. Antidepressants are used empirically in the management of MS-related depression, but evidence specifically demonstrating the efficacy of these medications in MS patients is sparse.

However, considerable work suggests that psychological interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), may be effective in the management of depression in MS. Recently, there has been an expansion of computerized adaptations of CBT, allowing patients to complete therapy sessions remotely via online programs. This review discusses the current understanding of depression in MS and the role of CBT in its management, focusing on recent developments in computerized formats for CBT. 4 computerized CBT programs that have been previously tested in MS patients are described: Deprexis, MoodGYM, Beating the Blues, and MS Invigor8.


Ratajska A, Zurawski J, Healy B, Glanz BI, from Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA. Computerized cognitive behavioral therapy for treatment of depression in multiple sclerosis: A narrative review of current findings and future directions. [Published online ahead of print June 25, 2018]. Int J MS Care. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2017-094.

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