Stress Not Linked To Increased MS Risk

Recent research suggests that increased stress levels may not have any connection to increased multiple sclerosis risk. Results of a study conducted by a researcher hailing from the University of Bergen in Norway may indicate that there seems to be no concrete link between stress and increased MS risk. The results of the study is recently published in the journal Neurology.

According to Trond Riise, author of the said study who did the research as a visiting scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health, “While we’ve known stressful life events have been shown to increase the risk of MS episodes, we weren’t certain whether these stressors could actually lead to developing the disease.”

The said study involved two groups of women that total 230,000 participants who were part of the Nurses Health Study. The first group, composed of women from ages 30 to 55 years old, were followed from 1976 to 2005. The second group composed of women aged between 25 to 42 years old, were followed from 1989 to 2004. The participants were instructed to report stress at home and at work, including physical and sexual abuse experienced during childhood as well as during their teens.

In the first group, 77 participants eventually developed MS while there were 292 women who developed the disorder in the second group. Among those who reported severe stress, physical or sexual abuse, there was no indication of a significantly increased risk of MS.

The researchers do acknowledge that the said study may have certain limitations, including the manner of how to measure and define stress. Further studies might be required in order to determine any possible link between stress and multiple sclerosis.


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