The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), held October 25-28 2021, in Orlando, Florida. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from the 2021 CMSC Annual Meeting.

 

Depression and attentional alterations are recurrent among patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to study results presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), held October 25-28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

MS is a debilitating chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with physical symptoms. In addition, depression and changes in cognition are commonly reported. The objective of the current study was to assess the relationship between depression symptoms and attention performance in patients with MS.


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The study included 41 patients with RRMS, aged 23 to 58 years (mean [SD] age, 42.70 [10.62] years; 27 women), with an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 0 to 6.5 (mean 3.09 [2.10]). Patients also had a time of diagnostic ranging from 1 to 26 years (mean 10.09 [6.67]) and an average education of 14.48 [2.64] years. Data were obtained from interviews and use of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and attention performance tests.

Of the cohort, 31.7% of patients had depression—17.1% mild, 12.2% moderate, and 2.4% severe. In addition, 20 patients (48.8%) had alteration of sustained attention, 29 patients (70.7%) had alteration of alternating attention, and 27 patients (65.9%) had alteration of divided attention.

A marginal correlation was found between depression and EDSS score (P =.077). No significant correlation was observed between depression and sex (P =.607), age (P =.304), time of diagnostic (P =.445), and education time (P =.341).

For sustained attention performance, a positive correlation was found between depression and percentual error (P =.009) and index of inconstancy (P =.012), and no significant correlation was observed between depression and number of elements tracked (P =.993).

Also, no significant correlation was observed between alternating (P =.166) and divided (P =.161) attention performance.

“It is suggested from the results of this study that both depression and attentional alterations are very recurrent in [patients] with MS, and there was a relationship between depression and sustained attention performance in [patients] with MS,” the researchers stated. “There seems to be no relationship between depression and alternating and divided attention performance, as well as between gender, age, time of diagnostic, and education time.”

Visit Neurology Advisor’s meetings section for complete coverage of CMSC 2021.

 

Reference

Bando MO, Dias AE, Canzonieri AM, et al. Study about depression and attention performance in people with multiple sclerosis. Presented at: CMSC 2021 Annual Meeting; October 25-28, 2021; Orlando, Florida. Abstract MDC02.