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Multiple Sclerosis and Mental Health: 4 Common Conditions

By Erica Patino
Reviewed by Adam Kaplin, M.D. , Susan Ko, Ph.D. , Murray Zucker, M.D.
July 22, 2022

You probably know that when you have multiple sclerosis (MS), it's important to take care of your physical health. But caring for your mental health is important, too. In fact, the more researchers study the mind-body connection, the more it has become clear that we should aim to address both at the same time.

Among people with MS, rates of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, are high. And there’s increasing evidence to suggest that these conditions are caused by the immune-mediated attacks to the brain that happen with MS.

“It's a little bit of chicken and egg—but I think most people would agree there’s a combination of biologic and/or structural changes due to MS, plus the psychological demands that any chronic disease may pose,” says Barbara Giesser, M.D., a board-certified neurologist and MS specialist at Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.