Friday, July 29, 2005

New research confirms: MS sucks

I compulsively query the Pub Med database for the latest on MS. Almost every day, really. A new study about the effect of stress on MS finds that
the relationship between life stress and relapse is complex, and is likely to depend on factors such as stressor chronicity, frequency, severity and type, and individual patient characteristics such as depression, health locus of control and coping strategy use. Little is known about how these factors, individually or in combination, are related to MS disease activity. Viral infections are also likely to precipitate relapse in MS, and significant life-stress may further enhance this relationship. The nature and strength of these interrelationships have strong clinical implications. MS patients are particularly vulnerable to a deteriorating cycle of stressful life events, illness episodes and disability. Timely multidisciplinary care interventions aimed at both minimizing psychological distress and physical symptoms may halt this downward reciprocal cycle.

As people with MS already know, the connection between MS and stress isn't just about what happens in the brain that might allow stress to trigger a relapse. It's about what happens in the life of an MS patient: stress triggers relapse and disability; disability triggers stressful life changes (job loss, relationship difficulties, depression); stress triggers another relapse and disability. It's a deteriorating cycle.

The tricky part is getting "timely multidisciplinary care interventions." I don't think there's a practitioner involved in my treatment who is tasked with coordinating multidisciplinary care. I don't think it's my primary care doc; I see him maybe once or twice a year. I think it's up to me: I'm the only person who's in a position to provide the information to each practitioner about what's going on with the others. I'm comfortable with this kind of self-advocacy, and I think I'm doing an okay job. But I don't have any medical expertise, and my ability to advocate for myself may be compromised at a time when I'm most in need of multi-disciplinary care interventions.

Whose job is this?

1 comment: said...

Hi Doug,

Healthline just launched a video campaign for MS called "You've Got This" where individuals living with MS can record a short video to give hope and inspiration those recently diagnosed with MS.

You can visit the homepage and check out videos from the campaign here:

We will be donating $10 for every submitted campaign to the National MS Society, so the more exposure the campaign gets the more the videos we'll receive and the more Healthline can donate to MS research, support groups, treatment programs, and more.

We would appreciate if you could help spread the word about this by sharing the You've Got This with friends and followers or include the campaign as a resource on your page:

Please let me know if this is possible and if you have any questions. And, if you know anyone that would be interested in submitting a video, please encourage them to do so.

Maggie Danhakl • Assistant Marketing Manager
p: 415-281-3124 f: 415-281-3199

Healthline • The Power of Intelligent Health
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