Dietary salt linked to an increase in multiple sclerosis activity

Patients with multiple sclerosis who had high levels of sodium intake were 3.4 times more likely to develop a new lesion.

Dietary salt linked to an increase in multiple sclerosis activity
Dietary salt linked to an increase in multiple sclerosis activity

HealthDay News -- High sodium intake is associated with increased disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS), according to research published in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

To assess the effect of salt consumption on clinical and radiological disease activity in MS, Mauricio F. Farez, MD, MPH, of the Raul Carrea Institute for Neurological Research in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and colleagues conducted an observational study including 70 patients with relapsing-remitting MS for two years. Sodium intake was estimated from sodium excretion in urine samples.

Exacerbation rates for MS were higher in patients with medium sodium intake (2.75-fold higher) or high sodium intake (3.95-fold higher) compared with the low-intake group. 

Patients with MS and high sodium intake were 3.4 times more likely to develop a new lesion or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and, on average, had eight more T2 lesions on MRI compared with those with low sodium intake.

"Our findings suggest that clinical trials with a salt intake reduction as an intervention are needed to establish whether sodium intake control benefits patients with MS," concluded the researchers.

References

  1. Farez M et al. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. 2014; doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2014-307928
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