Evaluation of emotional disorders before and during treatment with interferon beta in patients with multiple sclerosis

Jean-Christophe Ouallet, Françoise Radat, Alain Creange, Mohamed Abdellaoui, Olivier Heinzlef, Claire Giannesini, Patrick Hautecoeur, Delphine Lamargue Hamel, Mathilde Deloire, Bruno Brochet, Anne-Sophie Jean Deleglise, Philippe Lehert
Journal of the Neurological Sciences. 2020-06-01; 413: 116739
DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2020.116739

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BACKGROUND: Domains encompassing emotional disorders in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients are still unclear.

METHODS: We performed a 24-month, multicenter, single-arm, prospective study. RRMS patients started IFN-β treatment at baseline. The primary endpoint was lack
of emotional control, measured using the “Echelle d’HumeurDépressive” (EHD) scale three times at baseline and at 10 post-treatment visits. Secondary endpoints were
emotional blunting, irritability, fatigue, depression and anxiety. A linear mixed covariance model assessed change from baseline on an intention-to-treat basis,
under the assumption of no mood disorder effect (one-sided 97.5% level), in which autoregressive type of autocorrelation was tested.

RESULTS: Out of 79 recruited patients, 70 were analyzed: 80% female; mean (SD) age, 37.0 (11.5) years. Mean (SD) lack of emotional control score at baseline and
Month 24 was 12.7 (4.4) and 12.6 (5.5), respectively, versus 10.1 (3.2) in a healthy control population matched for age and sex. Stepwise analysis identified
younger age, male sex and antidepressant use as significant predictors of higher ack of emotional control values.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on 24 months of prospective follow-up, the results of this study highlights a broad spectrum of emotional disorders in the MS population at
the time of disease modifying drugs initiation but no major IFN-β-related emotional disorders (mood dyscontrol, anxiety, depression) were observed.
However, sporadic occurrences of severe mood disorders and suicidality cannot be excluded.

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