Update on Multiple Sclerosis Comorbidities From CMSC 2021

Dr Mitzi Joi Williams, medical director of Joi Life Wellness Group in Atlanta, Georgia, reviews updates from the 2021 CMSC Annual Meeting focusing on important considerations for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have comorbid physical and mental health conditions.

She begins with a longitudinal mediation analysis that assessed how differences in socioeconomic status, lifestyle, and comorbidities may affect Black vs White patients with MS. Overall, Black patients had longer timed 25-foot walks than White patients, and it was concluded that elevated BMIs, higher rates of hypertension, and living in lower income neighborhoods all played partial roles in this disparity.

Dr Williams next discusses a study that examined the prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients with primary-progressive MS (PPMS), secondary-progressive MS (SPMS), and relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). Rates of both conditions were lower in patients with PPMS than in those with SPMS and RRMS, but overall they were higher in patients with MS compared with the general population.

The final study she reports on looked at the relationships between cognitive, emotional, and physical factors and weekly engagement in physical activity among patients with MS. Unsurprisingly, meeting weekly physical exercise recommendations was associated with improvement in leg functioning, whereas decreased exercise was associated with increased symptoms of depression and with underweight and obese BMIs.

Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Emory University; Medical Director, Joi Life Wellness Group, Atlanta, Georgia

Mitzi Joi Williams, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:

Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant, or trustee for: Abbvie; Alexion; Genentech; EMD Serono; Novartis; Biogen Idec

Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Abbvie; Genentech; Novartis; Biogen; EMD Serono

Received research grant from: Novartis; Genentech

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