News

Degree of disability in multiple sclerosis patients may be linked to vitamin D supply

January 12, 2015

A sufficient vitamin D supply seems to reduce the disability status of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, suggests a new study from France.

In the observational study, the blood vitamin D concentrations and the degree of mobility disability was measured in 181 ambulatory multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, who were at high risk for both vitamin D deficiency and difficulties walking (1). The study results showed that higher vitamin D levels of participants were correlated with lower disability scores. Patients with vitamin D levels greater than 20 ng/ml were 2.78 times more likely to have a significantly lower degree of mobility disability.

The researchers noted that vitamin D deficiency is a recognized risk factor for MS and low vitamin D levels have been associated with increased disease activity. Vitamin D has been shown to influence balance, walking, and risk of falls and fractures. Relapsing-remitting MS is characterized by relapses, called flare-ups, followed up by a period of partial or complete recovery. Progressive forms of MS are characterized by a steady worsening in neurological functioning. These results support the pertinence of randomized controlled trials analyzing the interest of an early vitamin D supplementation in MS patients to influence evolution of disability, the scientists concluded.

References

  1. Thouvenot E. et al. Vitamin D is associated with degree of disability in patients with fully ambulatory relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Eur J Neurol. Published online December 2014.