A randomized trial of stress management for the prevention of new brain lesions in MS
Mohr DC et al. – The trial indicates that stress management therapy for multiple sclerosis (SMT–MS) may be useful in reducing the development of new MRI brain lesions while patients are in treatment.Methods
- A total of 121 patients with relapsing forms of MS were randomized to receive stress management therapy for MS (SMT-MS) or a wait-list control condition.
- SMT-MS provided 16 individual treatment sessions over 24 weeks, followed by a 24-week post-treatment follow-up.
- The primary outcome was the cumulative number of new gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) brain lesions on MRI at weeks 8, 16, and 24.
- Secondary outcomes included new or enlarging T2 MRI lesions, brain volume change, clinical exacerbation, and stress.
- SMT-MS resulted in a reduction in cumulative Gd+ lesions (p=0.04) and greater numbers of participants remained free of Gd+ lesions during the treatment (76.8% vs 54.7%, p=0.02), compared to participants receiving the control treatment.
- SMT-MS also resulted in significantly reduced numbers of cumulative new T2 lesions (p=0.005) and a greater number of participants remaining free of new T2 lesions (69.5% vs 42.7%, p=0.006).
- These effects were no longer detectable during the 24-week post-treatment follow-up period.