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No Association between Stress and Increased Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

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The association between stressful events or a stressful lifestyle and increased episodes of MS has led health care providers to believe that leading a stressful life may increase the risk of developing MS. A recent study performed by researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway has shown no discernable evidence of a link between stress and an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis though.

The researchers who performed the study examined the health information of nearly two hundred and forty thousand women who participated in the Nurses? Health Study. After taking other known risk factors into consideration researchers were able to conclude that even excessive levels of stress experienced at work or home did not increase the risk of developing MS.

Multiple sclerosis affects the spinal cord and brain and those with the disease can suffer bouts of intense pain and weakness. Medical professionals expect that both genetic and environmental risk factors contribute to the development of the disease, but the specific cause remains unknown.

The information gathered in this study effectively eliminates what was thought to be a major risk factor for the development of this painful and debilitating disease. This should give doctors and health care providers a better chance of finally pinpointing the cause or causes of MS. Determining the exact cause of MS could ultimately help doctors and researchers to formulate more effective methods of treatment and prevention.

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