Physical and psychiatric comorbidities in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are associated with an increased risk of experiencing more pain — namely pain intensity and pain affect.
The research to support that finding, “Psychiatric and physical comorbidities and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis,” was published in the Journal of Pain Research.
A recent report demonstrated a higher prevalence of comorbidities — one or more disease or disorder co-occurring with a primary disease — in MS patients.
Comorbidities associated with MS are divided into psychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and physical disorders, like chronic lung disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels in the blood), heart diseases and diabetes.
Recent studies also reported that the prevalence of physical comorbidities can contribute to MS progression.
In order to investigate the possible correlation between comorbidities and pain in MS, Dutch researchers assessed whether physical and psychiatric comorbidities could predict pain intensity and pain affect in MS patients susceptible to cognitive impairment.
The study included 94 MS patients and 80 healthy individuals and a list of 49 comorbidities, including depression and anxiety, extracted from patients’ medical records.
The findings indicate a higher incidence of depression and anxiety in MS patients susceptible to cognitive impairment, compared to healthy individuals. The results suggest that psychiatric comorbidities can be correlated with both pain intensity and pain affect.
In contrast, total physical comorbidities can predict only pain affect, and not pain intensity.
Researchers also found that MS patients used significantly more pain medication, compared to the healthy study participants.
“Psychiatric and physical comorbidities and pain affect may enhance MS patients’ suffering. Assessment of the various aspects of pain is complex, particularly in MS patients, susceptible to cognitive impairment. Our findings might therefore be of relevance for the clinician, to optimize pain assessment and treatment,” the team concluded.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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