The number of patients with Bipolar disorder and MS is significantly higher in the general population than one would statistically expect which may suggest that some connection between Multiple Sclerosis and Bipolar could be possible.
It is known that the MS causes changes to the white matter of the brain which is also the case with mania but whether the origin and the chain of events leading to MS and Bipolar are similar is unlikely.
Multiple sclerosis is a long term disorder that affects the nervous system. It is an autoimmune disorder. Something triggers the immune system into treating the nerve coverings as unwelcome foreign invaders which need to be progressively attacked.
It is not uncommon for multiple sclerosis patients to suffer clinical depression or anxiety. General indicators of possible depression like acute tiredness, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities, lack of concentration and a slowing of reactions are also symptomatic of MS fatigue so signs of depression are not always obvious in some patients.
Bipolar disorder is also long term but this is a psychiatric condition in which depressed mood alternates with manic episodes. However mania is not solely indicative of severe psychotic disorders like manic depression. Treatments with steroids can result in drug induced mania.
Bi-polar affective disorder or ‘manic depression’ is far less common than clinical depression in people with MS