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Poor Bone Health May Start Early in MS

Summary
Findings from a small study conducted at Oslo University Hospital, Ulleval, Norway, found that poor bone health, including osteoporosis and low bone density, commonly occurs in the early stages of MS. Findings from this study suggest that preventative measures to maintain good bone health may be beneficial to people newly diagnosed. [S. M. Moen, E. G. Celius, L. Sandvik, L. Nordsletten, E. F. Eriksen, T. Holmoy. Neurology, 2011; 77 (2): 151]

Details
Investigators from Oslo University Hospital, Ulleval, Norway, conducted a small study to test their hypothesis that, if vitamin D exerts an impact on the risk of MS, then the effects of low vitamin D levels on bone density would be apparent soon after the onset of MS.

The study involved 99 participants with an average age of 37 years who had been recently diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome and had little to no physical disability. Participants received bone density testing approximately 1.6 years following their diagnosis and results were compared to bone tests of 159 people of similar age, gender and ethnicity who did not have MS. Fifty-one per cent of those with MS had either osteoporosis or low bone density (osteopenia) as compared to 37 percent of those in the non-MS group.

Research to date has demonstrated that people with MS are at greater risk of developing low bone density or osteoporosis potentially due to lack of exercise because of mobility issues, medication side effects and reduced vitamin D (sun exposure).

Findings from this study suggest that preventative measures to maintain good bone health may be beneficial to people who are newly diagnosed.

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