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Multiple Sclerosis risks may change with the season, Vitamin D deficit could be the culprit

Posted Jan 31 2010 12:35pm
The risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis may change with the seasons, according to a new study released Friday (Jan. 29) in a peer-reviewed journal Neurology.

Already studies have shown that in certain populations, people born in the spring tend to develop MS, a debilitative neurological disease.

Researchers Emmanuelle Waubant and Ellen Mowry are focusing their research on a seasonal effect that is mediated by gene HLA-DRB1. People in Canada, Sweden and Norway have the HLA-DRB1*15 allele of this gene that is associated with an increased risk of MS. Earlier this week, Dr. Waubant published a study showing how race may play a factor in the study of MS.

This new study is an important step in understanding how genes and environment interact in MS.

A deficiency in Vitamin D in pregnant mothers in the spring could be a factor in the increased MS cases. Vitamin D production changes with the seasons. This study could also help show that environmental factors may cause the onset of MS.

Recently, Dr. Sreeram Ramagopalan discovered that taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy may reduce the risk of a child developing MS in later life. FDA government guidelines also recommend that children under five take daily vitamin D supplements.

More study, of course, is necessary.

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