Depression and fatigue in relapsing-remitting MS: The role of symptomatic variability

John J. Randolph, Peter A. Arnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Depression and fatigue are common psychosocial sequelae of MS. An infrequently examined issue in the MS literature is the effect of MS-related symptom variability on incidence of depression and fatigue. The current study was designed to examine the relationship of variability in physical, cognitive, and social/environmental functioning with depression and fatigue in MS. Forty-eight relapsing - remitting MS patients from a larger sample completed self-report measures of depression and fatigue. They were also administered a structured interview that assessed current, best, and worst levels of functioning since being diagnosed with MS. Higher levels of symptom variability since disease onset were associated with depression and fatigue, even after accounting for MS-related physical disability. Regression analyses indicated that variability in social and environmental functioning was particularly associated with depression, and variability in physical abilities was associated with fatigue. These findings suggest that a more variable course of MS symptoms is associated with increased depression and fatigue. Focused assessment of variability in symptoms may be useful in detecting and subsequently treating depression and fatigue in MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-190
Number of pages5
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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