Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 6662 MSFocus Summer 2016 Taking Vitamin D May Benefit People with MS According to researchers, led by Dr. Peter A. Calabresi, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, taking a high dose of vitamin D3 is safe for people with multiple sclerosis and may mediate the body’s hyperactive immune response. For the study, 40 people with relapsing- remitting MS received either 10,400 IU or 800 IU of vitamin D3 supplements per day for six months. The people taking the high dose had a reduction in the percentage of T cells related to MS activity.The people taking the low dose did not have any changes in their T cells. Side effects from the vitamin supple- ments were minor and were not different between the people taking the high dose and the people taking the low dose. The people in the study taking the high dose of vitamin D reached a level that has been proposed as a target for people with MS. “These results are exciting, as vitamin D has the potential to be an inexpensive, safe and convenient treatment for people with MS,” said Calabresi. “More research is needed to confirm these findings with larger groups of people and to help us understand the mechanisms for these effects, but the results are promising.” The study was published in the online issue of Neurology. Dr. Thrower: Multiple small and medium-sized trials of vitamin D therapy in MS have shown that getting blood levels into a mid-normal range is associated with a lower risk of relapses and fewer new lesions on MRI. This study is interesting because it sheds light on one of the ways in which vitamin D may work in MS. The majority of people with MS do have low levels of vitamin D when tested. We get vitamin D both from our diet and from exposure to sunlight. Inactive forms of vitamin D are converted to the active form in the skin by sunlight. Ten to 15 minutes of sunlight daily seems to be the right amount. After that, you’re either tanning or burning. Many people with MS have good diets and get some sunlight exposure and still have low vitamin D levels.This may be due to genetic factors that regulate vitamin D metabolism. So, how much vitamin D should you take? I advise that people with MS get their vitamin D levels checked with a blood test. The blood levels will guide our dosing with a goal being a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level around 50 to 70 nanograms per milliliter. People need to avoid taking MSF Senior Medical Advisor, Ben Thrower M.D., draws from the top news stories of the quarter and explains what the news means for you and your MS. MS NEWS and What It Means to You