Posted Monday, January 30, 2012
News from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Researchers and clinicians from around the globe gathered recently in Chicago to develop strategies for testing whether vitamin D supplements can prevent the development of MS. Participants discussed the latest findings relevant to vitamin D and MS and potential clinical trial designs, taking the first steps to making these exciting studies a reality. “Vitamin D and MS Prevention: An International Workshop,” was chaired by Colleen E. Hayes, PhD (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Anne-Louise Ponsonby, PhD (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Canberra Australia), and was funded by the National MS Society.
Background: Research is increasingly pointing to a reduced level of vitamin D in the blood as a risk factor for developing MS. Years ago, MS researchers wondered why MS occurs less often in regions of the world where exposure to sunlight is high. Dr. Hayes – a professor of biochemistry and microbiology – and colleagues suggested that vitamin D, which is made by cells in the skin in response to sunlight, may suppress the immune response involved in MS. She and others have since shown that in lab mice, vitamin D can reduce the effects of EAE, an MS-like disease.
Read full article on the National MS Society's website
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