UW Medicine studies suggest new multiple sclerosis patients have higher levels of pain fatigue, depression and anxiety

UW research on multiple sclerosis
Photo courtesy of unsplash

University of Washington medicine released research suggesting clinicians should offer non-pharmaceutical help for pain, fatigue, depression or anxiety at the time of diagnosis to patients with multiple sclerosis rather than waiting.

The study showed that patients newly-diagnosed with multiple sclerosis had higher levels of pain fatigue, depression and anxiety.

“We want to address this immediately, rather than 5 or 10 years down the road,” said Kevin Alschuler, principal investigator of this National MS Society-funded research study. 

The original study in May and a companion study followed the same group of patients, mainly consisting of white females, for a year after the initial diagnosis to follow their quality of life.

“Through symptom self-management, including cognitive behavioral therapy, we help patients become empowered with coping skills, especially in the areas of fatigue and pain,” said Dawn Ehde, co-author on the quality of life study published in May.