Mindfulness Meditation Relieves Despair in Newly Recognized MS Sufferers: Lawson Examine – London


Mindfulness meditation has shown promising results in treating depression in patients newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or MS, according to a study by researchers at London’s Lawson Health Research Institute.

“Mindfulness puts people in the moment rather than worrying about what might happen in the future or thinking about what happened in the past,” said Dr. Lawson psychiatrist and scientist Arlene MacDougall, in a statement.

“It’s about centering yourself and gaining a sense of control over how you will react instead of reacting to what is happening inside or outside of you.”

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According to the study, the first results of which were published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders in May, researchers recruited 24 newly diagnosed relapsing MS or RMS patients for the project.

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Half of the participants took part in ten mindfulness treatment sessions from the Mindfulness Without Borders program – while the other half acted as the control group for the study, the researchers said.

The study found that participants in the mindfulness group reported better coping skills and less perceived stress, and that their symptoms were reduced, said Dr. Sarah Morrow, Neurologist and Associate Scientist at Lawson and Director of the London MS Clinic at LHSC.

The study showed promising results, particularly in the treatment of depression in patients.

“It can be a stressful time for people as they have just been diagnosed with a chronic neurological condition that will last the rest of their lives,” Morrow said in a statement.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen next. Are you handicapped? When will the next relapse come? It can cause a lot of worry and stress, and we see that the majority of people with MS have mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. “

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Multiple sclerosis has been described as a complex and unpredictable autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the central nervous system resulting in injury to the myelin, the protective sheath that covers nerves. The damage can lead to physical disabilities and cognitive impairment.

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Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world, according to the organization. An average of 12 people in Canada are diagnosed with MS each day, often between the ages of 20 and 49. Women are three times more likely to be affected.

There is currently no cure for MS, however several treatments are available to treat it and many others are in development. According to the MS Society, 17 disease-modifying therapies have been approved by Health Canada to date.

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“This pilot study shows that (mindfulness-based intervention) can improve coping, depression, and perceived stress in newly diagnosed (within a year) individuals with RMS in the short term,” the study concluded.

The researchers say further research is looking for measures to extend benefits beyond immediate intervention. Lawson says the research team is working to see if the use of mindfulness would help people in the more advanced stages of MS.

Mindfulness meditation has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry with hundreds of apps designed to help people achieve calm and relaxation. The most popular of these apps include Headspace and Calm, which each have millions of users.

A 2018 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found meditation to be the fastest growing health trend among adults in the U.S.

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– With files from Olivia Bowden

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