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Home - 03.10.2013 - Triggers in MS


Triggers in MS

Thursday, October 03, 2013, 15:19 - 15:31

Sodium intake is associated with increased disease activity in multiple sclerosis

M.F. Farez, F.J. Quintana, J. Correale (Buenos Aires, AR; Boston, US)

Background: Salt (NaCl) has been recently reported to promote the differentiation of pathogenic T cells and worsen disease in an experimental model of Multiple Sclerosis. However, the relevance of these observations for Multiple Sclerosis and other human immune-mediated disorders is unknown. Here, we investigated the relationship between salt consumption and Multiple Sclerosis disease clinical and radiological activity.
Methods: Sodium intake was calculated in urine samples from a cohort of 70 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients followed for two years. During the follow-up, clinical and radiological assessment was performed every 3-6 months or in the occurrence of a relapse. The effect of sodium intake in MS disease activity was estimated by regression analysis.
Results: We found a positive correlation between exacerbation rates and sodium intake in a multivariate model adjusted for age, gender, disease duration, smoking status, vitamin D levels, Body Mass Index and treatment. We found an exacerbation rate of 2.75 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.30-5.81) and 3.95 (95% CI 1.39-11.21) times higher (P=0.001 for Trend) in patients with medium and high sodium intake when compared to low intake group. In addition, individuals with high sodium intake had 3.4 times greater odds of developing a new lesion in the MRI and on average had 8 more T2 lesions on MRI.
Conclusion: Our results suggest that higher sodium is associated with increased clinical and radiological disease activity in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

Dr. Farez has received professional travel/accommodations stipends from Merck-Serono Argentina. Dr. Quintana has received reimbursement for developing educational presentations for Novartis, and research in his lab is partially supported by EMD-Serono. Dr. Correale is a board member of Merck-Serono Argentina, Biogen-Idec LATAM, and Merck-Serono LATAM. Dr. Correale has received reimbursement to develop educational presentations for Merck-Serono Argentina, Merck-Serono LATAM, Biogen-Idec Argentina, and TEVA-Tuteur Argentina as well as professional travel/accommodations stipends.