Anxiety without comorbid depression is associated with less risk of falling, even when comparing people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) without depression or anxiety, according to a recent study. This study included 122 PwMS (75 women) divided into 4 subgroups according to their manifestation of depression and anxiety assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) (ie, no depression/no anxiety, depression/no anxiety, no depression/anxiety, and depression/anxiety). Cognitive performance was evaluated via a computerized cognitive battery of tests. Participants were defined as “fallers” and “non-fallers” based on their fall history recorded during a clinical interview. Researchers found:
- 38 PwMS (31.1%) were classified as depressed (mean HADS 11.1, SD=3.4), 52 (42.6%) were classified as anxious (mean HADS 11.1, SD=3.1), and 56 (45.9%) were neither depressed nor anxious.
- PwMS categorized in the anxiety/non-depressed subgroup were 6 times less likely to fall than PwMS without depression or anxiety (OR=0.160).
- In terms of global cognitive status, depressed PwMS with anxiety were almost 4 times more likely to experience cognitive impairments compared to PwMS who were not depressed or anxious.
Kalron A, Aloni R, Allali G. The relationship between depression, anxiety and cognition and its paradoxical impact on falls in multiple sclerosis patients. [Published online ahead of print July 26, 2018], Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.07.029.
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