Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing for depressed individuals with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study

Marco Rovaris, Elena Toselli, Laura Mendozzi, Sonia Di Tella, Alice Pirastru, Valeria Blasi, Francesca Baglio, Luca Ostacoli, Alessandra D’Abramo, Alessia Incerti, Isabel Fernandez, Francesco Pagnini, Cesare Massimo Cavalera*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Multiple studies have highlighted elevated rates of depression among individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), with its associated symptoms posing a significant threat to overall well-being. Moreover, existing literature suggests a potential interconnection between depressive manifestations and the decline of physical functionalities in the context of MS.Objective: to examine the viability of the Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy protocol for the treatment of depressive disorders (DeprEND) for alleviating depression in individuals with MS.Methods: We conducted a process-outcome study to examine the feasibilty and effectiveness DeprEND enrolling 13 individuals with MS and depressive symtpoms. Psychological and physical assessment pre-, post-intervention and 3-month follow-up were included. Pre- and post-magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were conducted to analyze potential alterations in brain function.Results: The EMDR DeprEND treatment showed a high level of adherence and feasibility. Significant reductions in depressive symptoms were found at post-intervention and at 3 months follow-up. No significant differences were observed in terms of physical symptoms. A significant modulation observed in parietal and premotor areas when examining negative valence stimuli post-treatment was found.Conclusion: for The EMDR DeprEND protocol may represent a feasible and cost-effective treatment for reducing depressive symptoms in MS patients and improving their mental well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • MRI
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • depressive symptoms
  • quality of life


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