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Low Vitamin D Levels Tied With Multiple Sclerosis Brain Atrophy

by VR Sreeraman on  May 2, 2010 at 6:22 AM Research News   - G J E 4
In a new study, neurologists at the University at Buffalo have shown that low vitamin D levels may be associated with more advanced physical disability and cognitive impairment in persons with multiple sclerosis.
 Low Vitamin D Levels Tied With Multiple Sclerosis Brain Atrophy
Low Vitamin D Levels Tied With Multiple Sclerosis Brain Atrophy
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The study results, reported at the American Academy of Neurology meeting, held earlier this month, indicated that: The majority of MS patients and healthy controls had insufficient vitamin D levels.

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Clinical evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images show low blood levels of total vitamin D and certain active vitamin D byproducts are associated with increased disability, brain atrophy and brain lesion load in MS patients. potential association exists between cognitive impairment in MS patients and low vitamin D levels.

The MRI study involved 236 MS patients -- 208 diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting type and 28 with secondary progressive, a more destructive form of MS-and 22 persons without MS.

All participants provided blood serum samples, which were analyzed for total vitamin D (D2 and D3) levels as well as levels of active vitamin D byproducts. MRI scans performed within three months of blood sampling were available for 163 of the MS patients.

Results showed that only seven percent of persons with secondary-progressive MS showed sufficient vitamin D, compared to 18.3 percent of patients with the less severe relapsing-remitting type.

Higher levels of vitamin D3 and vitamin D3 metabolism byproducts (analyzed as a ratio) also were associated with better scores on disability tests, results showed, and with less brain atrophy and fewer lesions on MRI scans.

Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, UB associate professor of neurology/Jacobs Neurological Institute and director of the Baird Multiple Sclerosis Center, is first author on the study. Commenting on these results, Weinstock-Guttman said: "Clinical studies are necessary to assess vitamin D supplementation and the underlying mechanism that contributes to MS disease progression."

Source: ANI
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