Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MS and Bipolar Disorder


I saw a link about this on someone’s Tumblr. I plan on going through the Tumblr’s I think it could be later on tonight. I’m still playing the chicken or egg game. I believe it was an article about MS causing Bipolar Disorder. Anyone?

I apologize in advance for the length of this answer. Please bookmark it and come back if needs be. I remember writing about this on the blog once, only because I saw a post of a person whose bf had MS and she said he was Bipolar - as if they were one in the same. They are not. Bipolar is a mental illness, MS is a physical illness, but one person can have both. Here is some information I found:

Multiple Sclerosis: MS is a progressive disease of the nervous system characterized by damage to the myelin sheath, the tissue that surrounds and protects the spinal cord and nerves. Early symptoms of this disease include fatigue, irritability, shaky movements, sudden muscle weakness, sleep disturbance and mood swings. The medication used to treat MS can also cause symptoms similar to those of bipolar disorder.

Here is another:

Physical conditions that can manifest symptoms similar to bipolar disorder include: Multiple Sclerosis MS is a disease that damages the white matter of the brain. In that the central nervous system controls much of the body’s functioning, this disease has a large array of symptoms. It can cause frequent changes in emotional state and a bipolar-type syndrome (Jones, 2003). Here are some facts about MS and mental impairments:

5% of Multiple Sclerosis patients exhibit an inappropriate euphoria

Approx 50% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis experience cognitive impairment such as difficulty with concentration, attention, memory and poor judgment Approx 50% of Multiple Sclerosis patients will suffer some form of mental disturbance such as depression, mild dementia or organic psychosis

Depression is common and unrelated to cognitive impairment although it may worsen existing cognitive difficulties Approx 10% of patients with Multiple Sclerosis will suffer severe psychotic disorders such as Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder) and paranoia

When you consider that it is reported that 400,000 people in the US have MS that would indicate that as many as 40,000 people are dealing with both Bipolar and MS.

They haven’t gone as far as to say that MS or its medications cause Bipolar Disorder in these patients. I’m thinking that would be a BIG deal, and the drug companies would not be happy about that. But I can’t help but wonder wouldn’t all 400,000 people be susceptible to bipolar if just MS (not the meds) caused it? And then again MS is such an elusive disease - is there anyone who would know? In any case, 10% is lot more than I thought or realized though. I wonder if studies are being done?

If you can, or you know someone who can shed some light, we would be so happy to hear from you.