A weaker emotional response to International Affective Picture System (IAPS) images was found in patients with early multiple sclerosis (MS), but only in the subgroup tested during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), suggesting that deficits in emotional processing may be unmasked by stress.
Why this matters
Multiple studies have emerged investigating a possible link between MS and a deficit in processing of emotional information (EP).
A range of conflicting results have been reported, calling into question all aspects of the proposed link, including which domains may be affected, whether the proposed deficit is specific to particular emotional valence or arousal dimension, whether the deficit may be secondary to other MS-related symptoms, such as depressed mood or executive function and information processing speed and, indeed, whether a deficit exists at all.
Clarifying the link between MS and EP is important, and may have ramifications for the clinical management of patients with MS.