Their results, reported at the American Academy of Neurology meeting, held earlier this month, indicated that:
- The majority of MS patients and healthy controls had insufficient vitamin D levels.
- Clinical evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images show low blood levels of total vitamin D and certain active vitamin D byproducts are associated with increased disability, brain atrophy and brain lesion load in MS patients.
- A potential association exists between cognitive impairment in MS patients and low vitamin D levels.
The MRI study involved 236 MS patients -- 208 diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting type and 28 with secondary progressive, a more destructive form of MS -- and 22 persons without MS.
All participants provided blood serum samples, which were analyzed for total vitamin D (D2 and D3) levels as well as levels of active vitamin D byproducts. MRI scans performed within three months of blood sampling were available for 163 of the MS patients.
Results showed that only seven percent of persons with secondary-progressive MS showed sufficient vitamin D, compared to 18.3 percent of patients with the less severe relapsing-remitting type.
Higher levels of vitamin D3 and vitamin D3 metabolism byproducts (analyzed as a ratio) also were associated with better scores on disability tests, results showed, and with less brain atrophy and fewer lesions on MRI scans.
Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, UB associate professor of neurology/Jacobs Neurological Institute and director of the Baird Multiple Sclerosis Center, is first author on the study. Commenting on these results, Weinstock-Guttman said: "Clinical studies are necessary to assess vitamin D supplementation and the underlying mechanism that contributes to MS disease progression."
While lower-than-normal vitamin D status is known to be associated with a higher risk of developing MS, little is known about its relationship to cognitive impairment.
Sarah A. Morrow, MD, UB assistant research professor of neurology/Jacobs Neurological Institute and lead author on the cognitive-impairment study, compared vitamin D levels in blood samples of 136 MS patients with the results of their neuropsychological assessments that tested multiple types of cognition affected by MS.
"Results showed that MS patients who were impaired on tests of executive function --critical reasoning and abstract thinking -- and the ability to plan and organize, were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D," said Morrow.
"This relationship held true when controlling for the season during which vitamin D was measured, as well as depression, which is known to be associated with lower vitamin D levels." Morrow noted there also was a suggestion that verbal fluency (word generation) and visual-spatial memory (learning and memory of shapes and figures) is more likely to be affected when vitamin D levels are not sufficient.
Morrow is continuing her research to clarify these relationships.
Contributors to the studies, all from UB, were: Robert Zivadinov, MD, PhD; Murali Ramanathan, PhD; Ralph Benedict, PhD; Jun Qu, PhD; Xiaotao Duan, PhD; Barbara E. Teter, PhD; David Hojnacki, MD; Eunjin Bang, Niels Bergsland, Sara Hussein, Mariya Cherneva and Laura Willis.
Lois Baker | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Life Sciences