January 28, 2016 – Vitamin D and MS


Anchor lead: Can vitamin D help symptoms of multiple sclerosis? Elizabeth Tracey reports

High dose vitamin D was able reduce one marker of inflammation that’s elevated in multiple sclerosis, a study by Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues has shown.

Calabresi: We were able to show that after six months there was a significant suppression of the interleukin 17, which is one of the inflammatory cytokines promoting MS disease activity.  :10

Calabresi says those patients on a lower dose did not see this reduction, and that those taking the high dose found it tolerable, but says six months is too short a time.

Calabresi: I think it was a necessary step to start thinking about how much we should be giving to patients and for how long in the next phase or the clinical trials, which typically want to run for two years, because MS is a lifelong disease and six months is a very small period of time in which to make any kind of clinical assessment.   :18

Calabresi says such a study is already underway at multiple centers, including Johns Hopkins, and he hopes for confirmation of the immune impact when the data are in.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.