Disease activity and emotional state in multiple sclerosis

Ann Neurol. 1983 May;13(5):573-7. doi: 10.1002/ana.410130517.


The prevalence and nature of emotional disturbance in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) was studied prospectively in 64 MS patients and 23 spinal cord-injured (SCI) control patients by administration of the 28-item subscale General Health Questionnaire (GHQ). MS patients in remission had a mean GHQ score of 4.4, and patients with acute exacerbation or progressive nonremitting MS had a mean score of 15.7, a significant difference (p less than 0.001). The prevalence of emotional disturbance was 90% in exacerbating or progressing patients, 39% in stable patients, and 12% in SCI control patients. The presence of emotional disturbance was not related to age, sex, or other demographic variables, to duration or severity of disease, or to the degree of disability. In the group of MS patients in remission, somatic complaints, anxiety, and social dysfunction were more prevalent than symptoms of depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Depression / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Social Adjustment
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications
  • Surveys and Questionnaires