East Hanover, NJ. September 19, 2018. A recent brief report by MS researchers provides preliminary evidence that older individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) report lower levels of depression and higher quality of life than their younger counterparts. These findings are consistent with the trend toward improvement in well-being with age in the general population. The article, "Subjective well-being differs with age in multiple sclerosis: A brief reports", was published in Rehabilitation Psychology Vol 63(3), Aug 2018, 474-478. (DOI:10.1037/rep0000220)
The authors are Brocha Z. Stern (NYU), PhD, Lauren Strober, PhD, and John DeLuca, PhD, (Kessler Foundation) and Yael Goverover, PhD (NYU visiting professor at Kessler Foundation). The article link is: http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Frep0000220
The participants were 57 individuals with MS, ages 35 to 65. Divided into three age groups: 35-44, 45-54, and 55-65. Depression was measured by the Chicago Multiscale Depression Inventory; Quality of life (QOL) was measured by the Physical and Mental scores on the MS QOL-54. The researchers found significant between-group differences for both measures. The oldest group reported the lowest levels of depressive symptoms and the highest levels of Physical QOL.
"These results were unexpected," said Dr. Strober, senior research scientist at Kessler Foundation, "given the functional limitations, disease progression, and neurological lesions seen in the aging MS population. Contrary to our hypothesis, the trend by age paralleled that of the general population."
"These findings suggest that younger individuals with MS are at greater risk for depression and poor QOL," summarized Dr. Strober. "If this trend is confirmed in future studies, targeted screening for depression by age may be warranted in this population."
This research was supported by National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant PP2098; Biogen Investigator-initiated Award (US-MG-13-10511).
About MS Research at Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation's cognitive rehabilitation research in MS is funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, National MS Society, Consortium of MS Centers, the Patterson Trust, Biogen Idec, Hearst Foundations, the International Progressive MS Alliance, and Kessler Foundation. Under the leadership of John DeLuca, PhD, senior VP for Research & Training, and Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, director of Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research, scientists have made important contributions to the knowledge of cognitive decline in MS and developed new treatments. Clinical studies span new learning, memory, executive function, attention and processing speed, cognitive reserve, emotional processing, employment and cognitive fatigue. Research tools include innovative applications of neuroimaging, mobile devices, eye-tracking, EEG, and virtual reality. Neuroimaging studies are conducted at the research-dedicated Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Center at Kessler Foundation. Kessler researchers and clinicians have faculty appointments in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
About Kessler Foundation
Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities. For more information, visit KesslerFoundation.org.
For more information, or to interview an expert, contact: Carolann Murphy, 973.324.8382, CMurphy@KesslerFoundation.org.