Depression: Common but Undertreated in People With MS, Expert Says

As many as 50 percent of people with MS have depression, yet too often it goes unrecognized and untreated.

Depression in people with MS is associated with more days of missed work and loss of social support systems.

Treating and managing depression in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is as important as treating and managing other symptoms of this central nervous system disease, such as weakness and numbness, says Adam Kaplin, MD, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in the departments of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Dr. Kaplin is one of only a few neuropsychiatrists specializing in MS.

According to Kaplin, depression is “extremely common in MS,” occurring in 15 to 30 percent of people who have MS at any one time, and with a lifetime prevalence of 40 to 60 percent.

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