The initiation and prevention of multiple sclerosis.
ABSTRACT Although strong genetic determinants of multiple sclerosis (MS) exist, the findings of migration studies support a role for environmental factors in this disease. Through rigorous epidemiological investigation, Epstein-Barr virus infection, vitamin D nutrition and cigarette smoking have been identified as likely causal factors in MS. In this Review, the strength of this evidence is discussed, as well as the potential biological mechanisms underlying the associations between MS and environmental, lifestyle and dietary factors. Both vitamin D nutrition and cigarette smoking are modifiable; as such, increasing vitamin D levels and smoking avoidance have the potential to substantially reduce MS risk and influence disease progression. Improving our understanding of the environmental factors involved in MS will lead to new and more-effective approaches to prevent this disease.
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ABSTRACT: The question whether dietary habits and lifestyle have influence on the course of multiple sclerosis (MS) is still a matter of debate, and at present, MS therapy is not associated with any information on diet and lifestyle. Here we show that dietary factors and lifestyle may exacerbate or ameliorate MS symptoms by modulating the inflammatory status of the disease both in relapsing-remitting MS and in primary-progressive MS. This is achieved by controlling both the metabolic and inflammatory pathways in the human cell and the composition of commensal gut microbiota. What increases inflammation are hypercaloric Western-style diets, characterized by high salt, animal fat, red meat, sugar-sweetened drinks, fried food, low fiber, and lack of physical exercise. The persistence of this type of diet upregulates the metabolism of human cells toward biosynthetic pathways including those of proinflammatory molecules and also leads to a dysbiotic gut microbiota, alteration of intestinal immunity, and low-grade systemic inflammation. Conversely, exercise and low-calorie diets based on the assumption of vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, prebiotics, and probiotics act on nuclear receptors and enzymes that upregulate oxidative metabolism, downregulate the synthesis of proinflammatory molecules, and restore or maintain a healthy symbiotic gut microbiota. Now that we know the molecular mechanisms by which dietary factors and exercise affect the inflammatory status in MS, we can expect that a nutritional intervention with anti-inflammatory food and dietary supplements can alleviate possible side effects of immune-modulatory drugs and the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and thus favor patient wellness. © The Author(s) 2015.ASN Neuro 02/2015; 7(1). DOI:10.1177/1759091414568185 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The cause of multiple sclerosis is believed to involve environmental exposure and genetic susceptibility. We aimed to summarise the environmental risk factors that have been studied in relation to onset of multiple sclerosis, assess whether there is evidence for diverse biases in this literature, and identify risk factors without evidence of biases. We searched PubMed from inception to Nov 22, 2014, to identify systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational studies that examined associations between environmental factors and multiple sclerosis. For each meta-analysis we estimated the summary effect size by use of random-effects and fixed-effects models, the 95% CI, and the 95% prediction interval. We estimated the between-study heterogeneity expressed by I(2) (defined as large for I(2)≥50%), evidence of small-study effects (ie, large studies had significantly more conservative results than smaller studies), and evidence of excess significance bias (ie, more studies than expected with significant results). Overall, 44 unique meta-analyses including 416 primary studies of different risk factors and multiple sclerosis were examined, covering a wide range of risk factors: vaccinations, comorbid diseases, surgeries, traumatic events and accidents, exposure to environmental agents, and biochemical, infectious, and musculoskeletal biomarkers. 23 of 44 meta-analyses had results that were significant at p values less than 0·05 and 11 at p values less than 0·001 under the random-effects model. Only three of the 11 significant meta-analyses (p<0·001) included more than 1000 cases, had 95% prediction intervals excluding the null value, and were not suggestive of large heterogeneity (I(2)<50%), small-study effects (p for Egger's test >0·10), or excess significance (p>0·05). These were IgG seropositivity to Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen (EBNA) (random effects odds ratio [OR] 4·46, 95% CI 3·26-6·09; p for effect size=1·5 × 10(-19); I(2)=43%), infectious mononucleosis (2·17, 1·97-2·39; p=3·1 × 10(-50); I(2)=0%), and smoking (1·52, 1·39-1·66; p=1·7 × 10(-18;)I(2)=0%). Many studies on environmental factors associated with multiple sclerosis have caveats casting doubts on their validity. Data from more and better-designed studies are needed to establish robust evidence. A biomarker of Epstein-Barr virus (anti-EBNA IgG seropositivity), infectious mononucleosis, and smoking showed the strongest consistent evidence of an association. None. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.The Lancet Neurology 02/2015; 14(3). DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70267-4 · 21.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The amount of sun exposure in early life and consequent vitamin D3 level may influence the risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD). Yet few studies have previously investigated birth trends in PD related to a possible seasonality and sun exposure. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible relationship between PD risk and sun exposure looking at seasonal birth variation of PD subjects in the homogenous geographic area of Naples, Italy. We selected 898 PD subjects and matched with 1796 controls. McNemar's test with Bonferroni correction and autocorrelation were used to test seasonality in birth trends. No difference was found for the month and season of birth between PD subjects and controls. We found a 3.3 % increase of PD female subjects born in September (3.3 %) and 4.1 % increase of PD male subjects born in spring comparing to controls but were not significant after Bonferroni correction. This study evaluated for the first time the seasonal birth trends in relation to PD risk in a Southern European population. We found no association between seasonal birth variations and risk of PD.Neurological Sciences 03/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10072-015-2183-4 · 1.50 Impact Factor