Since depression and psychological distress symptoms can be targeted therapeutically, the study proposes focusing on mental health disorders in MS patients to considerably improve their quality of life.
The research article, “Determinants of quality of life in relapsing-remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.
MS can have a severe impact on patients’ quality of life, affecting their ability to participate in everyday routines. Patients who experience more physical disability usually report poorer quality of life. Quality of life also is negatively influenced by fatigue — the more physically exhausted the patient, the more quality of life diminishes.
Quality of life also has been shown to decrease with cognition impairment in MS patients, and has been associated with the patient’s level of cognitive reserve — the mind’s resistance to damage to the brain, and the ability to optimize or maximize the brain’s performance.
The co-occurrence of psychopathological disorders like depression exerts a negative influence on patients’ quality of life, too.
Understanding the different factors that affect patients’ quality of life is vital to improve MS treatment management. Plus, whether these factors differ across the different types of MS, including relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), primary progressive MS (PPMS), and secondary progressive MS (SPMS), has not been thoroughly explored.
Now, researchers from the University Hospital Frankfurt, Germany, investigated further how these different factors affect MS patients’ quality of life. Specifically, the team looked at the effects of physical impairment, upper extremity function, cognitive impairment, cognitive reserve, depression, psychological distress symptoms, fatigue, as well as age and disease duration, on patient-reported measures of quality of life.
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