Written by Dr. Ron Milo.
In order to find the relationship between stress and MS onset and or relapse, a team of researchers
conducted a literature review, analyzing a total of 13 studies: 8 regarding MS onset, 2 MS relapse,
and 3 -MS onset and relapse. Five of these studies examined childhood stress, seven adulthood
stress, and 1 study examined both childhood and adulthood stress.
The study results, published recently in the Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders journal,
demonstrated a strong association between stress and MS relapse. Contradictory to previous
reports, this review showed an inconsistent relationship between stress and MS onset. Moreover,
the timing of stress, whether childhood or adulthood, seems to have little effect on either MS onset
The researchers report that most studies were performed amongst small, homogeneous samples
using self-reported stress measures, which might ultimately limit the findings generalizability.
For more information:
The relationship between stress and disease onset and relapse in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review
Dr. Ron Milo, Chairman of the Department of Neurology and director of the Multiple Sclerosis
Center at the Barzilai Medical Center.
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