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Old 08-31-2010, 02:55 PM
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Dave @ ActiveMSers
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Default Is your MS more active in the spring and summer? Now there's proof!

This study was just released, and researchers discovered that MS was most active—2x to 3x more brain lesions—from March to August (at least in North America). I'm thinking of packing now for the Antarctic! - Dave

Multiple Sclerosis Activity Changes With the Seasons

ST. PAUL, Minn -- August 30, 2010 -- New research shows that multiple sclerosis (MS) activity can increase during spring and summer months. The research is published in the August 31 print issue of the journal Neurology.

"Our results showed that the appearance of lesions on brain scans was 2 to 3 times higher in the months of March to August, compared with other months of the year," said study author Dominik Meier, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

For the study, researchers compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans of 44 people taken from 1991 to 1993 to weather data from the same time period.

Participants were aged 25 to 52 years and had untreated MS. Each person had 8 weekly scans, then 8 scans every other week followed by 6 monthly check-ups, for an average of 22 scans per person.

Weather information included daily temperature, solar radiation, and precipitation measurements for the Boston area.

After 1 year, 310 new lesions were found in 31 people. Thirteen people had no new lesions during the study.

"Not only were more lesions found during the spring and summer seasons, our study also found that warmer temperatures and solar radiation were linked to disease activity," said Dr. Meier.

There was no link found between precipitation and lesions.

"This is an important study because it analyses records from the early 1990's, before medications for relapsing MS were approved, so medicines likely could not affect the outcome," said Anne Cross, MD, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, who wrote an editorial about the study. "A study like this probably won't be able to be repeated. Future studies should further explore how and why environmental factors play a role in MS."

One significant aspect of the research is that clinical trials often use MRI to assess the effectiveness of a drug and studies commonly last between 6 and 12 months. If the study ran from spring to winter, it might appear that lesions decreased due to drug effect but the cause might just be change of season. The opposite would occur if a study started in winter and lasted through the spring and summer.

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology
Dave Bexfield
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:18 PM
KristaH KristaH is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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I knew New Mexico was/is not a MS friendly state! Guess we're screwed for spring and summer because of the heat haha. If possible I would move to Canada for the spring/summer months and back here for the winter. Who knows, might make a difference for the better
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