MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Intermittent Fasting, Roe v. Wade, IRLs
Columnist Ed Tobias comments on the week's top MS news
Although the National MS Society will tell you there is no such thing as an “MS diet,” many people follow various diets that seem to help them. One that’s been around for several years is intermittent fasting. In this study, applying intermittent fasting to mice with simulated MS reduced the aggressiveness of the disease course and eased inflammation.
An eight-week calorie-restricted diet plan — known as intermittent fasting — led to immune and metabolic changes among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a small pilot clinical trial, data show.
The findings could underlie some of the proposed benefits of calorie restriction on MS disease course, the researchers noted, also pointing out that better outcomes were seen among patients on an intermittent fasting plan than a traditional weight loss diet.
This article covers a perspective paper rather than a study, but it’s an opinion worthy of consideration. MS and other neurological diseases disproportionately affect women during their reproductive years. And many medications that manage these conditions can be toxic to a fetus if used during pregnancy. The article points to Aubagio (teriflunomide) as one example.
The three scientists from the University of California, San Francisco who authored the paper are concerned that, following the reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court of Roe v. Wade in June, there may be a climate of increased limitations on reproductive rights. This, in turn, might make neurologists reluctant to use some standard medications out of concern that a fetus might be harmed. “This could increase risk of morbidity, mortality, and irreversible disability accumulation for women with neurologic diseases,” they wrote.
It’s certainly food for thought.
Bans on abortion and other reproductive care limitations are likely to have a profound impact on the care of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological conditions following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to a new perspective paper.
“Bans on abortion will immediately affect the delivery of current standard neurologic care for many patients, specifically standards that depend on planning or preventing pregnancies using individual choice,” its authors wrote.
Iron rim lesions (IRLs) are sometimes called smoldering MS because their edges are always inflamed. This study reports that it doesn’t seem to matter where the lesions are located, they still do their damage — in the form of more severe disability. But the findings also indicate that IRLs generally had less impact than other types of lesions on brain networks.
The presence of iron rim lesions, which are regions of chronic nervous system damage with ongoing inflammation, visible on MRI scans, is linked with more substantial disability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study.
However, the connection between these lesions and worse disability does not seem to be explained by the location of the areas of damage. The researchers proposed that the connection may lie in a link between IRLs and nerve cell degeneration, but stressed a need for further research on these associations.
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