Multiple Sclerosis Community
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338416 tn?1420049302

Stay healthy with less stress!

While we're all panicking about Betaseron (at least those of us who take Betaseron) a new study has come out showing that patients with MS who have less stress, or who manage their stress effectively, have fewer lesions.  

I'm not sure if I can link to the article, as it's a competitor with this website, but the article is on WebMD, and it's from Neurology (I wonder if the tags will work!)

"During treatment, about half (55%) of patients who received the stress management therapy remained free of brain lesions, compared to 77% of patients who did not have the therapy.

And only 43% of the patients getting stress management therapy developed new brain lesions closely linked to disease activity, compared to 70% of patients in the non-therapy group."

It seems like my really major flares in 2006/2007 happened when I was really stressed.
18 Responses
572651 tn?1531002957
IT sounds like we should all work on this one .....
721523 tn?1331585402
I have been off the planet lately.. :-0  What is up with Betaseron?  I know thatmost of my lesions appeared during Graduate school and anfter staying home with my children.  all Major stressors!
2015036 tn?1333001388
It sounds like a great idea, but I'm not sure how to put it into practice.  What works?  Meditation?  Scripture reading (for the religiously inclined)?  I used to crochet for stress management.  If I can find a crochet hook that I can still hold onto, that would probably help.  Delegating is also a way to reduce stress, as long as we can let go of the need to control the outcome.  (Sorry, I am rambling again...)

1710955 tn?1309450073
Who lives stress free?!  I mean really?
338416 tn?1420049302
Exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress.  I used to exercise three days a week, no matter what.  It helped me get over the grief from my sister's death, and got me to lose weight.  It even encouraged me to quit smoking.  These days I rarely exercise.  I guess part of it is that I'm afraid I'll get fatigued, and when I get fatigued, it's like losing a day.  But I have other outlets for stress - playing bass works wonderfully well.
987762 tn?1331031553
I  have to admit to rolling my eyes and groaning when i read that article, I'm not seeing anything particularly encouraging. It was only 121 MSers, study was only 6 months, lesion developement was only by MRI and when the study finished the research results were not sustained so only yeilded short term benefits. To me thats not nearly enough to be recognised as supportive evidence of anything, there are far too many holes which only makes me come up with lots of but questions. lol Did anyone else notice these bits?

"This is the best evidence, the clearest evidence, we have that stress affects MS pathogenic processes," Dr. Mohr said.

The results are especially encouraging since study subjects had relatively active disease, he added. However, the benefits of the therapy were not sustained after the sessions stopped."

Comment: Thats not encouraging!

"Of 60 participants assigned to the intervention, 50 (83.3%) were classified as treatment completers, defined as completing at least 12 sessions."

Comment: so of the 24 sessions in the research program, you only had to do half of the sessions to be classed as completing the program. I am assuming the drop out rate was high if doing only 1/2 the program still kept you in and of the 60 starters, 10 still dropped out so down to 50.

"However, in an interview with Medscape Medical News, Dr. Heesen said the study raised some "pressing" issues, including that the effect "was so rapidly diminished after cessation of counseling sessions."

A possible explanation for this, he said, is that active support and bonding are necessary to gain benefits from counseling. "Meeting a person once a week, being attached to someone, having a continued follow-up, and just having a person listen to you, might be the beneficial effect."

Comment: In my head this study could feasible claim MSers who do weekly one on one counceling sessions have less lesions.

"Dr. Heesen noted that two thirds of eligible patients did not meet inclusion criteria for the study (362 of the 777 initially screened), which casts doubt on the applicability of such interventions to the general MS population."

Comment: So the criteria was so restrictive, 2/3rds of pwMS were not desirable, um why is that if those in the study only need 1 active lesion within the last 12 months? Did this data stacking produce favourable results?

Theres more but you'll get the point, and after disecting it, i see it as being even less likely to be usable. I think realistically, high levels of stress isnt good for anyone, regardless of being a person with MS or not. If your trying to reduce your stress levels, you also need to think of cause, personality, situational and levels of support too, its not a one size fits all solution.

Off the top of my head, research identifying stress reducing activities are Yoga, meditation, ti chi, laughing, exercising and thats all i can think of, all good things imho.


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