Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neuroimmunological disease that mainly affects young adults and leads to neurological disabilities. Depression, anxiety, cognitive dysfunction, and other psychiatric conditions have often been reported in patients with MS. Other, subtler aspects of psychosocial conditions in MS have been studied, but there is a paucity of papers on the subject. Remarkable degrees of aggression have been described in up to a quarter of patients with MS, but few studies have targeted this outcome in the psychopathological assessment on patients. The objective of the present study was to assess aggressiveness in patients with MS and compare with matched control subjects.
The present study included a group of 24 patients and 24 healthy controls matched for gender, age, and socioeconomic level. Patients with moderate or severe disability, anxiety, or depression were excluded. A validated tool was used for assessment of aggressive trait.
Aggressive traits were studied in patients and matched controls, and the results point to a very low level of aggressive tendency in patients with MS, in comparison with controls.
The results from the present study do not confirm findings from other authors who had observed high levels of aggressive behavior in patients with MS. The authors are aware that exclusion of patients with moderate or severe disability, anxiety, or depression might have influenced the results.