A complex relation between depression and multiple sclerosis: a descriptive review

  • Francesco Corallo
  • Viviana Lo Buono
  • Roberto Genovese
  • Rosanna Palmeri
  • Marcella Di Cara
  • Carmela Rifici
  • Edoardo Sessa
  • Giangaetano D’Aleo
  • Francesco Galletti
  • Lilla Bonanno
  • Silvia MarinoEmail author
Review Article



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating neurodegenerative disease that affects central nervous system (CNS). MS patients are more likely to develop depressive symptoms than patients with other chronic diseases.


In this review, we have analysed if there is a correlation between brain lesions (BL), structural damage (SD) and depressive symptoms (DS).


We Searched on PubMed and Web of Science databases and screening references of included studied and some review article for additional citations. From initial 745 studies, only 9 met the inclusion criteria. All studies conducted research on 389 patients with MS associated with DS and 120 HC (healthy controls).


The selected researches highlighted the involvement of limbic system, the role of hippocampus and the impact of brain lesions on the emotional status of MS patients.


In the genesis of depression are implicated many mechanisms including genetic, biochemical, immunological and psychosocial factors, even if a prominent role in the onset of DS seem to be associated with structural and functional brain alterations.


Anatomical–functional abnormalities Depressive symptoms Hippocampus Magnetic resonance Multiple sclerosis Organic lesions 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Società Italiana di Neurologia 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Corallo
    • 1
  • Viviana Lo Buono
    • 1
  • Roberto Genovese
    • 1
  • Rosanna Palmeri
    • 1
  • Marcella Di Cara
    • 1
  • Carmela Rifici
    • 1
  • Edoardo Sessa
    • 1
  • Giangaetano D’Aleo
    • 1
  • Francesco Galletti
    • 2
  • Lilla Bonanno
    • 1
  • Silvia Marino
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”MessinaItaly
  2. 2.University of MessinaMessinaItaly

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