With effort and activity, it is possible for people with MS to activate mechanisms that allow the brain to adapt and recover function1


Resilience is the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. In MS, it refers to the ability of a person to adapt psychologically, and relates to their social connections, life meaning, planning and physical wellness.1 It can help in how someone manages the impact of the disease on their life, as well as their response to treatment. 

Resilience requires physical, mental, and emotional qualities that include good nutrition, rest and self-belief.1 Without these, the brain and body are not stimulated enough to overcome the challenges it faces, and to regain any lost physical abilities.1


Listen to some people with MS talk about the importance of resilience in overcoming the challenges that come their way.

The information in this embedded video has been developed by the author(s) of the video. Novartis has not been involved in the creation of this content. The intent of providing this material is informational and not as advice. Any information provided by this source should be discussed with your healthcare professional and does not replace their advice.


Neuroplasticity in resilience 

One of the important concepts in resilience is neuroplasticity, or the physical ability of the nervous system to adapt to changes. In people with MS, there is some evidence suggesting a link between neuroplasticity and the ability of someone to recover from an MS relapse.2

The human brain has sophisticated mechanisms that allow it to recover function in different ways that can help to compensate for the damage caused by MS.1 With effort and specific training and activities, it is possible for people with MS to activate these mechanisms.1


It’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone on your MS journey. Although you cannot control all aspects of your disease, you can build resilience and grow by focusing on the things you can manage with the support of friends and family and your healthcare team.3


  • Kesselring J. Eur Neurological Rev 2017;12(1):31-36.
  • Mori F, et al., Mult Scler 2014;20:451-457.
  • American Psychological Society. Building your resilience. https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience (last update 2012).