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Vitamin D speeds up recovery in multiple sclerosis

24 May, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Higher levels of vitamin D and sunlight exposure seem to lower relapse risk in multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers, a study says.

MS is a chronic degenerative and unpredictable condition that randomly attacks the brain and spinal cord. The symptoms of the devastating disease vary greatly from person to person.

There is currently no cure for MS, but treatments are available to modify the course of the disease and ease some of the symptoms, reports the journal Annals of Neurology.

The Southern Tasmanian Multiple Sclerosis Longitudinal Study was a population-based research involving 145 participants with relapsing-remitting MS from 2002 to 2005.

Chief investigator Bruce Taylor, associate professor at Menzies Research Institute, says that there was substantial evidence that indicated that increased levels of sun exposure and vitamin D were associated with a lower risk of MS onset, i.e. the first attack.

"However, few factors have yet been identified that cause the onset of relapses in people already diagnosed with MS," Taylor said, according to a Menzies statement.

"We found that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with a reduced likelihood of a relapse in MS. Essentially, the study showed that people are more likely to have a relapse if they had low vitamin D levels.

"These findings provide strong support for randomised clinical trials of vitamin D-based therapies for treating relapses in MS sufferers," he said.

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