Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Stress may trigger flare-ups in women


Avoiding stressful life events and learning effective coping skills may help avert flare-ups of multiple sclerosis (MS) in women with the disease, new findings suggest.

Researchers recruited 23 women with MS from the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and followed them for a year. Each week, the women completed questionnaires asking about MS symptoms and life events, such as starting a new job, finding out that a child is doing poorly in school, having a motor vehicle accident, and being physically assaulted.

Every four weeks, the women were interviewed about the nature and timing of life events they had experienced, and the life events data were later analyzed with the MS exacerbation data.

"A controversial issue in multiple sclerosis research concerns the extent to which psychological stress contributes to the development and progression of the disorder," writes researcher Kurt D. Ackerman, M.D., Ph.D., and co-investigators in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, Pathology and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.

"This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that stressful life events are potent triggers of disease activity in women with relapsing-remitting MS," they add. "MS exacerbations may be delayed or avoided by limiting the individual or cumulative effects of stressful life events."

Their results are published in the November-December issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

During the study year, the women experienced an average of 2.6 MS exacerbations that lasted an average of 29 days. Eighty-five percent of the MS exacerbations were associated with at least one stressful life event in the prior six weeks.

The results also showed that stressors from different sources and of different levels of severity were equally associated with exacerbations. In addition, the researchers found that stress led quickly to MS exacerbations, with an average of 14 days from the stressful event to the flare-up.

The researchers further suggest that preventive strategies, such as coping skills training and early interventions for symptoms of anxiety and depression, could help women avoid stress-induced MS flare-ups.

MS is a life-long neurological disease that is usually diagnosed in young adults. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, as many as 350,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with MS, and approximately 200 new cases are diagnosed each week. In general, women are affected by MS at almost twice the rate of men.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Health Behavior News Service: (202) 387-2829 or
For interviews: Contact Dr. Kurt D. Ackerman at
Psychosomatic Medicine: Contact Victoria White at (352) 376-1611, ext. 5300, or visit.

Center for the Advancement of Health
Contact: Ira R. Allen
Director of Public Affairs

Dr. Kurt D. Ackerman | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>