Multiple Sclerosis, a Review

Dr Todd Born ND, reviews the complexities of MS and explores the potential role of nutrition in prevention and management. Multiple sclerosis is the most common autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS).  Multiple sclerosis is a heterogeneous disorder with variable clinical and pathologic features reflecting different pathways to tissue injury.[1]  Inflammation, demyelination, and axon degeneration are the major pathologic mechanisms that cause the clinical manifestations.[2] However, the cause of MS remains unknown. The most widely accepted theory is that MS begins as an inflammatory autoimmune disorder mediated by autoreactive lymphocytes.[3]  Later, the disease is dominated by microglial activation and chronic neurodegeneration.

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Sunshine & Vit D Reduce Risk of MS

A recent paper out of Australia and published in the Journal Neurology supports the increasing correlative link between Vit D and neurological damage such as demyelination.[1]

In a case-control study, more time spent in the sun — beginning in childhood — independently predicted lower risk of having a first demyelinating event with 30% lower adjusted odds for each 1,000 kJ/m2 of vitamin D-producing ultraviolet rays, according to Robyn M. Lucas, PhD, of the Australian National University in Canberra, and colleagues.

Serum vitamin D levels also independently predicted MS incidence with 7% lower risk of a first event per 10 nmol/L higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D (95% confidence interval 0.86 to 1.00), the group reported in the Feb. 8 issue of Neurology.

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