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MS Trial Alert: Investigators in California, Missouri and Pennsylvania Recruiting for Study of Online Program to Treat Depression in All Forms of MS

April 8, 2019

SUMMARY: Investigators at three sites in the United States and two sites in Germany are recruiting 400 people with all forms of MS for a study testing the effectiveness of a computer training program for overcoming MS-related depression. The lead investigator is Stefan Gold, PhD, at Charité University in Berlin, Germany. The study is funded by the National MS Society. Please note: Two visits to a study site are required.
Rationale: Depression is a common symptom experienced by people living with multiple sclerosis. At the same time, MS symptoms such as walking difficulties, cognitive problems, and fatigue can make it difficult to attend sessions with a psychotherapist. Dr. Gold’s team recently conducted a small trial using a fully-automated, computer-based program to reduce depression in people with MS. The program can be accessed over the internet and completed from an individual’s home, eliminating the need to travel. The team’s preliminary results suggested that this program, called “Deprexis," may reduce MS depression.
Dr. Gold and colleagues are now conducting a large-scale, phase III trial at five MS centers in Germany and the U.S. to test the effectiveness of the Deprexis computer training program in 400 people with MS.
Eligibility and Details: Participants should be over the age of 18, with a diagnosis of MS and symptoms of depression. They should be able to travel to a study site for two clinical assessments, and must have internet access at home. Further details are available by contacting the site nearest you.
Participants are being randomly assigned to one of three groups: One group will receive access to the web-based Deprexis program for three months; another group will receive the web-based Deprexis program plus scheduled e-mail contacts once each week for three months; and a third control group will be on a waiting list, and will receive Deprexis only after waiting six months.
The primary outcome being assessed is a clinical scale that measures depression. Other outcomes include measures of quality of life, cognitive function, and fatigue. Participants are being evaluated at the beginning of the study, and after three months, six months and 12 months. The first two evaluations require a visit to the study site at which they are enrolled, whereas the last two are completed online.
Contact: To learn more about the enrollment criteria for this study, and to find out if you are eligible to participate, please contact the U.S. site nearest you:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Los Angeles, California
Phone: (310) 423-4008
University of Missouri, Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Phone: (816) 235-5428 (voicemail box 1)
Penn State University
State College, Pennsylvania
Phone: (814) 865-5578
Download a brochure that discusses issues to think about when considering enrolling in an MS clinical trial (PDF).
Without participants in research studies, MS research would come to a standstill. Read more here.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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