Urinary tract symptoms, particularly overactive bladder, contribute to disability of multiple sclerosis patients.
Urinary tract symptoms affect a large proportion of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), yet their extent and type is not well-known. A study reported that among a cohort of people with the disease, almost 70 percent had urinary tract problems, adding to the extent of their disability.
The study, “Clinical Characteristics and Urodynamic Analysis of Urinary Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis,“ was published in the Chinese Medical Journal.
Researchers at Capital Medical University in Beijing enrolled 126 MS patients — a group composed of 30 people with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), 64 with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), 10 with primary progressive MS (PPMS), and 22 with secondary progressive MS (SPMS).
In this sample, 67.5 percent had lower urinary tract symptoms, most frequently in the form of urgency to urinate. The most common urological abnormality was an overactive bladder muscle, likely the main cause of feelings of urgency as 71.6 percent of patients with urgency also had an overactive bladder. Other common symptoms were frequent urination, urge incontinence, and stress incontinence.
Urological symptoms were associated with more severe disability, as assessed by the expanded disability status scale (EDSS). Particularly, a scale measuring the severity of overactive bladder indicated that the greater the bladder symptoms, the higher the disability.