Pain and affective memory biases interact to predict depressive symptoms in multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)

PubMedID: 17294612

Polen D, Arnett PA, Bruce JM. Pain and affective memory biases interact to predict depressive symptoms in multiple sclerosis. Mult Scler. 2007;13(1):58-66.
A large literature supports a direct relationship between pain and depressive symptoms among various patient populations. Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) frequently experience both pain and depression. Despite this, no relationship between pain and depression has been found in MS. The present investigation explored the relationship between pain and depression in a sample of patients with MS. Consistent with cognitive theories of depression, results supported the hypothesis that pain would only contribute to depression when MS patients exhibited a concomitant cognitive vulnerability. Cognitive vulnerability to depression was measured using a performance based affective memory bias (AMB) task. Patients with high levels of pain and negative AMB reported more depressive symptoms compared to patients with pain and positive AMB. Implications for the identification and treatment of depression in MS are discussed.