Stress management can improve quality of life for people with multiple-sclerosis

According to latest research, teaching individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis stress management techniques significantly increased quality of life and reduced the rate of new brain lesions.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition in which the nerves in the brain and spinal cord are damaged. Initial symptoms of MS include muscle weakness or stiffness, excessive fatigue, numbness and tingling in extremities and blurry vision. In addition to these, some individuals will experience memory problems and difficulties processing thoughts as well as urinary troubles. The cause of multiple sclerosis is largely unknown but it is believed that there is a hereditary element to the condition.

Multiple sclerosis is a terminal illness with no cure, rather medication and treatment is prescribed to relieve symptoms and slow its progression.

The research which was published this week in the journal Neurology included 121 individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the patients randomly assigned either take part in stress management training which was delivered across 16 sessions, over a six-month period. The other half of the participants received no stress management training.

Participants who were in the stress management condition were taught meditation, relaxation techniques and were helped to recognise and reduce any stressful elements of their lives.

The researchers reported that the stress management training significantly slowed the development of new brain lesions by 27 percent. Additionally, it was reported that participants who underwent the training reported improved quality of life.

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