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MS researchers find wellbeing differs with age in multiple sclerosis

A recent brief report by MS researchers at the Kessler Foundation has provided 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 wellbeing 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.

Fifty-seven individuals with MS, aged 35 to 65 participated in the study. They were divided into three age groups: 35-44, 45-54, and 55-65. Researchers measured depression and quality of life in each of the groups. They found a significant difference between-groups for both measures. The oldest group reported the lowest levels of depressive symptoms and the highest levels of physical quality of life.

"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 quality of life," summarised Dr. Strober. "If this trend is confirmed in future studies, targeted screening for depression by age may be warranted in this population."

Source: MS-UK 21/09/18

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