Association between Multiple Sclerosis Lesions and Depression


eMediNexus    23 January 2023

According to a study published in the journal Nature Mental Health, there seems to be a link between two serious medical disorders, namely multiple sclerosis (MS), a condition that attacks the body’s central nervous system, and depression, a mood illness with crippling symptoms.


When compared to those who do not have MS, approximately three times as many MS patients experience depression. It was unknown how and why MS and depression are related before a recent study by researchers at Brigham and Women′s Hospital, a founding institution of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, filled this knowledge gap. Utilizing a previous study that defined a depression circuit in the brain, the researchers sought to localise MS depression by comparing lesion locations in the brains of MS patients.


In the study, the research team relied on a database of 281 patients with MS, which has been curated by experts from the Brigham Multiple Sclerosis Center in the Department of Neurology. For the study, the researchers developed a virtual laboratory environment that allows the systematic collection and analysis of MRI and clinical data.


They then estimated the connectivity between lesion locations for each patient. This data was determined using a connectome database, a large-scale wiring diagram of the human brain that has been made possible by initiatives such as the Human Connectome Project.


The scientists discovered strong functional connections between MS lesion sites and depression circuits using the connectome database and LNM. Additionally, the data-driven circuit for MS depression showed similar topography to the a priori depression circuit. The study′s author concluded that the findings shed light on the novel localization of MS depression.  


(Source: https://health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/diagnostics/researchers-find-an-association-between-multiple-sclerosis-lesions-depression/97245187 )

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