Psychiatric disorders in multiple sclerosis

  • Maddalena Sparaco
  • Luigi Lavorgna
  • Simona BonavitaEmail author



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by a large spectrum of symptoms, involving all functional systems. Psychiatric symptoms are common in people with MS (pwMS) having an important impact on quality of life and on some features of MS (fatigue, sleep, disability, adherence to disease-modifying drugs). The main psychiatric disturbances in MS are depressive, bipolar, anxiety, schizophrenic and obsessive–compulsive syndromes.


Literature search for original articles and review in the databases, including PubMed and Scopus from 1959 to 2019.

Results and conclusion

Studies answering the aim of this review were selected and reported. Epidemiological and clinical aspects of psychiatric syndromes (PS) in MS as well as self-report diagnostic scales and radiological correlates of PS in MS are described. Moreover, some radiological studies about primary psychiatric disorders (PD) are reported to underline how gray matter atrophy, white matter abnormalities and corpus callosum involvement in these diseases, as features in common with MS, may explain the more frequent occurrence of PD in MS than in the general population.


Multiple sclerosis Psychiatric disorders Magnetic resonance imaging Quality of life Self-report scale 



No sources of funding, from any agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors, were received.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest in relation to the current work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Advanced Medical and Surgical SciencesUniversity of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.MRI Research Center SUN-FISMUniversity of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”NaplesItaly
  3. 3.Institute for Diagnosis and Care “Hermitage Capodimonte”NaplesItaly

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