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Relationship between social cognition and fatigue, depressive symptoms, anxiety in MS

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  • Relationship between social cognition and fatigue, depressive symptoms, anxiety in MS

    It's not all in your head. MS messes with you in all sorts of mean ways... -D

    Journal of Neuropsychology

    Relationship between social cognition and fatigue, depressive symptoms, and anxiety in multiple sclerosis

    Helen M. Genova Katie Lancaster Jean Lengenfelder Christopher P. Bober John DeLuca Nancy D. Chiaravalloti
    First published: 01 June 2019


    Emerging research indicates that in addition to physical and cognitive deficits, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) may also have impairments in social cognition, such as facial affect recognition and Theory of Mind (ToM). However, there is little research into how social cognition impairments relate to other domains in MS, such as mood and fatigue levels.

    The current study investigated whether social cognitive ability is associated with fatigue, depressive symptoms and anxiety in MS. Twenty‐eight individuals with MS completed questionnaires assessing fatigue (Modified Fatigue Impact Scale), depression (Beck Depression Inventory) and anxiety (State‐Trait Anxiety Inventory), as well as tasks of facial affect recognition and ToM (Reading the Mind in the Eyes; Strange Stories).

    Bivariate correlations were run to examine relationships between variables; partial correlations were subsequently used to ascertain whether these relationships persisted after controlling for cognitive ability (measured with the Symbol Digit Modalities Test).

    The results indicated that worse performance in both facial affect recognition and ToM were associated with higher rates of psychosocial fatigue, depressive symptoms, and anxiety levels; furthermore, these relationships were not explained by participantsí cognitive ability.

    These preliminary results help us better understand the association between social cognitive abilities and other symptoms in MS, including depressive symptomatology, anxiety and fatigue.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    Dave, Thanks for posting this... there are so many aspects of living that are impacted by Ms; it can sometimes be hard to articulate.

    I think too that MS can change the way others judge you. Messed up facial muscle tone can lead to others misunderstanding a MSersí mood. For example, Iím a smiley person in general even if im not feeling it. But when im fatigued, i have a more apparent half of mouth smile, less fullness in my cheeks, and less twinkle squint in my eyes. I see it in pictures taken of me and wonder if others familiar with my smiling charm (: see me and think Im less happy or gasp grumpy. I wonder how that changes the way others interact with me in public if my resting smiling face looks more like a resting witch...??? Just want to throw idea out there that when people in public see a seemingly healthy person frowning and sitting pasively on bench, it might impact the way the person with MS is treated, generally. This makes me fee even more disabled to feel others misinterupt my outward appearance as passivr grumpy sloth when I am not (generally speaking )