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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS VIDEO: Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Risk
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS VIDEO: Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Multiple Sclerosis Risk

(April 30, 2010 - Insidermedicine)

Variances in exposure to ultraviolet light in utero as well as during life affect the risk for developing multiple sclerosis, according to research published online ahead of print in the British Medical Journal.

Here are some recommendations for the treatment of multiple sclerosis relapses from the European Federation of Neurological Societies:

•    Intravenous (IV) or oral methylprednisolone in a dose of at least 500 mg daily for 5 days should be considered for treatment of relapses

•    IV methylprednisolone (1 g once daily for 3 days) should be considered as an alternative treatment

•    IV methylprednisolone (1 g once daily for 3 days with an oral tapering dose) may be considered for treatment of acute optic neuritis

Researchers out of the Australian National University in Canberra analyzed data on the number of individuals born in Australia who developed multiple sclerosis each month during the years 1920 to 1950. They then used available data on monthly averages of daily total ambient ultraviolet radiation to see whether there was a relationship between multiple sclerosis rates and available ambient light.

Among a total population of 2,468,779 born during the study period, 1,524 developed multiple sclerosis. Those born in November or December were more likely to develop the condition than those born in May or June, for an adjusted incident rate ratio of 1.32. Risk of multiple sclerosis also varied with region of birth, but after adjusting for this and other factors, there was an inverse relationship between ambient ultraviolet radiation in the first trimester of pregnancy and the risk of multiple sclerosis.

Today’s research suggests that maternal exposure to ultraviolet light during early pregnancy as well as exposure during childhood and early adulthood influences the risk of developing multiple sclerosis.