Emotional stress and the development of multiple sclerosis: case-control evidence of a relationship

J Chronic Dis. 1982;35(11):821-31. doi: 10.1016/0021-9681(82)90047-9.


One hundred multiple sclerosis (MS) patients were compared to hospital controls, for life stress prior to onset age in the MS patients and controls did not differ on: the happiness of their childhood environment; their pre-onset age reaction to life's problems (relaxed and taking things in stride/tense or easily upset); or on their tendency to seek professional help with an emotional problem. However significantly more MS patients than controls reported that they were under unusual stress in the 2 yr period prior to onset age; and the MS patients described a greater number of stressful life situations, or single events, than the controls.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / etiology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology