Depression: asking the right questions

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A new national survey about depression has just been launched. The MND Association is supporting this new priority setting partnership as we would like to know what questions people living with MND, their families, friends and clinicians have about depression.

About this survey

‘Depression: asking the right questions’ is a new survey supported by the MND Association as we feel that this is an important area of research that may affect people living with MND, their families, friends and healthcare professionals.

This survey will aim to identify the top ten unanswered questions about depression, including depression in relation to MND, highlighting them as research priorities for action.

Depression and MND

With any serious illness it is quite normal to experience low moods at times, and this includes MND. However, if it becomes difficult to recover from feeling low it may be a sign of depression.

Depression affects 1 in 10 adults in any year, and can have debilitating consequences. The research into depression and MND is limited. Current research suggests that some people living with MND may experience depression, but this is no greater than the general population. People who experience emotional lability (known as pseudobulbar effect) may be more likely than other people with MND to experience depression.

Pseudobulbar effect is an abnormal response caused by the effects of MND, which leads to inappropriate laughing and crying. Pseudobulbar effect does not affect everyone living with MND but it can be difficult to control and can feel distressing.

Take part

This new partnership is asking anyone who has experience of depression to take part by completing a short 10 minute survey. Submit your questions about depression at

Other partnerships the MND Association is involved in

The Association is also funding and supporting the ‘Palliative and end of life care Priority Setting Partnership’ (PeolcPSP), which aims to find out what questions people have on this topic that they feel should be answered.

This survey closed last month and the steering group (which includes Dr Belinda Cupid from the Association) will now begin to identify the top ten unanswered research questions, which they feel should be prioritised for action.

More information:

Our main guides all contain information on identifying and managing difficult emotions. Downloads and details about ordering our information can be found at

It is important to be aware of the signs of depression and to seek help and guidance from your health and social care team.

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