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Managing Stress with MS to Improve Mental Well-being
Tuesday, May 23, 2023 – 8:00 pm – 9:00 pm
MSAA is welcoming behavioral medicine expert Dr. Amy Sullivan for a discussion on the impact of stress on multiple sclerosis. Acute stressful events and chronic stress can influence and impact MS in the short- and long term. Considerable evidence supports a reciprocal relationship between stressful life events, MS symptoms, and MS exacerbations, possibly mediated by immune function and autonomic imbalance. There is also a connection between disease progression and emotional distress such that disease progression can result in increased emotional distress, while greater emotional distress can increase the risk for further disease progression. Dr. Sullivan will inform us about the prevalence, impacts, and empirical treatments for stress and mood disorders in people living with MS.
Dr. Amy Sullivan is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of Behavioral Medicine & Research at the Mellen Center for MS, the Director of the Neurological Institute Engagement and Well-being, and the Chair of the Institute’s Diversity Leadership Development. Dr. Sullivan’s work has focused on mental health in people with chronic diseases and their family members, as well as physician burnout and diversity empowerment. Her work in academic medicine intersects with teaching, mentoring, programmatic development, and strategic initiatives. She is an expert in group dynamics and curriculum development as well as psychological factors impacting multiple sclerosis. Dr. Sullivan is a member of the MSAA’s Healthcare Advisory Council.