Spitzer C, Bouchain M, Winkler LY, Wingenfeld K, Gold SM, Grabe HJ, Barnow S, Otte C, Heesen C. Childhood Trauma in Multiple Sclerosis: A Case-Control Study. Psychosom Med. 2012 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]
Methods: The self-reported Childhood Trauma Questionnaire for the assessment of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and emotional and physical neglect was administered to 234 patients with definite MS and 885 adults from the general population.
Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic factors and current depression, patients with MS scored significantly higher in all Childhood Trauma Questionnaire subscales apart from physical abuse and neglect than adults from the general population. Adjusted odds ratios for these types of childhood trauma were higher in the MS group than in controls, ranging from 2.0 for emotional neglect (95% confidence interval = 1.3-3.2) to 3.4 for emotional abuse (95% confidence interval = 2.0-5.7). Although childhood trauma was not associated with the degree of current MS-related disability, patients with MS with histories of physical and/or sexual abuse had significantly higher relapse rates than patients without early-life stress.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest an association between childhood trauma and MS in this cross-sectional study. Larger prospective longitudinal studies are needed to clarify the relationship between early-life stress and the risk for MS in genetically susceptible individuals.
We have been here before, where inferences from certain science studies, shot from the hip, can cause consternation about the implication. Larger studies are warranted to see if there is really anything to this story