January 8, 2018 (Multiple Sclerosis Journal)
During the past 20 years, 15 disease-modifying therapies (DMT) were approved for multiple sclerosis. The majority of these therapies were based on the understanding that MS is an autoimmune disease.
Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis Forum (ACTRIMS) 2017 Forum gathered a multidisciplinary team of basic and clinical researchers to deliberate on the impact of environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors on MS.
MS risk factors interact in complex and unexpected ways. Genetic variants, diet, sun exposure and other environmental contributors can have various impact on MS onset and progression. A few takeaways:
1. MS risk factors can be age and/or sex dependent. Risk factors can be involved to the extent of testosterone levels in utero.
2. Geography can impact MS. For example, vitamin D supplementation has more protective effects in high sunlight exposure regions.
3. Diet has influence on MS. For instance, SFCA’s are more effective in people with a fiber-rich diet.