Pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety are prevalent in the year following diagnosis of MS/ clinically isolated syndrome, according to a study published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal. Investigators examined rates of pain, fatigue, depression, and anxiety at 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after MS diagnosis among 230 newly diagnosed adults with MS/clinically isolated syndrome. They found that, at some point in the postdiagnosis year, participants endorsed clinically significant symptoms at rates of 50.9% for pain, 62.6% for fatigue, 47.4% for depression, and 38.7% for anxiety. Co-occurring symptoms were reported for most patients, with 21.3% reporting two symptoms, 19.1% reporting three symptoms, and 17.4% reporting four symptoms. Over time, the number of patients with clinically significant symptoms was generally stable; however, there was fluctuation noted at the individual level in the rate of symptom development/recovery. “The results demonstrate the importance of routinely screening for these symptoms at diagnosis and regular intervals thereafter,” the authors wrote. “Prompt referral for evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs is indicated during this critical postdiagnosis period if quality of life is to be optimized.”
Phone App Captures Measures of Functional Impairment in MS
A smartphone device captured reliable and clinically relevant measures of functional impairment among patients with MS, according to a study published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal. Investigators assessed performance characteristics of the Floodlight Proof-of-Concept study app for 24 weeks in 76 people with MS and 25 healthy controls. Smartphone-based active tests and passive monitoring assessed cognition, upper-extremity function, and gait and balance. Test-retest reliability and correlations with clinical and MRI outcome measures were examined using intraclass correlation co-efficients (ICCs) and age- or sex-adjusted Spearman’s rank correlation. Across tests, ICCs were moderate to good in patients with MS. For all tests in the cognitive, upper-extremity function, and gait and balance domains, except for the Static Balance Test, the correlations with domainspecific standard clinical disability measures were significant. There were correlations observed for most tests with the Expanded Disability Status Scale, 29-item MS Impact Scale items or subscales, and/or normalized brain volume. “The higher temporal resolution and multidimensional feature space of functional data collected by this platform hold the potential to capture subtle, potentially diseaserelated information which are not readily discriminated by clinician-administered assessments,” the authors wrote.