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Managing the Emotional Side of Multiple Sclerosis

Ideas to help anxiety and depression that can occur with multiple sclerosis.

You may think of multiple sclerosis as a physical condition, one that injures nerves and results in symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, trouble walking, bladder problems or vision loss. But MS has a profound, lifelong emotional component that includes mood swings, anxiety and depression. “MS is a chronic condition. Dealing with the emotional part of it requires an evolving approach, just like dealing with the neurological part of it,” says Dr. Christopher Stewart, a neuropsychologist and assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center.

 In MS, your immune system attacks the coating of the nerves (called myelin) as well as the nerve fibers. Damage can occur along the spinal cord and optic nerves, and in the brain. “Damage in areas of the brain associated with mood – such as the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala – may affect emotional processing,” suggests Dr. Peter Arnett, a professor of psychology at Penn State University who’s been studying emotional function in people with MS for 20 years. He says the interruption of nerve signals causes the neurons to misfire, which may lead to irritability and mood swings.

Read full article: Managing the Emotional Side of Multiple Sclerosis | Patient Advice | US News

Read Full Article: Managing the Emotional Side of Multiple Sclerosis | Patient Advice | US News

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