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Mental Health’s Impact on Falls in Patients with MS

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub 2018 Jul 26; Kalron, et al

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.

Citation:

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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