Lifestyle factors in multiple sclerosis

Recently I wrote about research performed into changing the paradigm of progressive deterioration in multiple sclerosis (MS). The article was based on an Australian longitudinal cohort study which reported remarkable improvements with lifestyle changes.

As anticipated this produced a wide variety of comments and responses ranging from sceptical disbelief, through academic rebuttal to acceptance and confirmation…

Now the group of academics at Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) have commenced a major international research project trying to determine which lifestyle factors may contribute to the progression of MS. The study, approved by St Vincent’s Human Research Ethics Committee in Australia, hopes to enrol many thousands of people with MS (PwMS).

PwMS who consent to the study will fill in an online questionnaire about factors related to their lifestyle (eg. diet, exercise, sun exposure, vitamin D, Omega-3 supplementation, stress reduction) and their health-related quality of life, amongst other questions. Over time the OMS group intend to follow this group at yearly intervals to see if there is a relationship between changes in these lifestyle factors and the health of the group.

This information will be analysed to determine which factors best predict the health of PwMS. Potentially this research may answer some of the most vexing questions in MS related to consumption of particular foods and fats, vitamin D and sun exposure, and the influence of meditation on disease progression.

The survey should take around 30 minutes. This may be the opportunity for the MS community to provide real data on some of the more elusive questions about the disease, potentially affecting the health of hundreds of thousands of PwMS in the future.

If you have been diagnosed with MS, and are over 18 years of age and would like to find out more about this important research go to the link below




Further reading:

  • Health-related quality of life outcomes at 1 and 5 years after a residential retreat promoting lifestyle modification for people with multiple sclerosis. Hadgkiss EJ, Jelinek GA, Weiland TJ, Rumbold G, Mackinlay CA, Gutbrod S, Gawler I.  J Neurol Sci DOI 10.1007/s10072-012-0982-4  [PDF Download]
  • Effect of a residential retreat promoting lifestyle modifications on health-related quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis. Li MP, Jelinek GA, Weiland TJ, Mackinlay CA, Dye S, Gawler I. Qual Prim Care. 2010;18(6):379-89. PMID 21294980
  • Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis [Review] [Website] [Facebook] [Twitter]
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