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MS research update - Heat sensitivity in MS - 14 March 2012

Two research papers and a commentary were published this week on the role of increased outdoor temperature on MS symptoms. The two studies looked at different symptoms of MS (cognitive problems and fatigue) and found different effects.

1. Cognitive problems

Healthy people often feel more tired in hot weather and this feeling can be even more pronounced for many people with MS because symptoms, such as fatigue, visual problems and balance, may get worse. Half to three quarters of people with MS say they are heat sensitive.

One study published this week followed 40 people with MS over a year to see if their cognitive abilities (memory and speed of information processing) varied according to the outdoor temperature. They were compared with 40 people who did not have the condition.

The research found that the cognitive abilities of people with MS were worse on warmer days which ties in with MS lesion activity being greater in hotter weather. People without MS were not significantly affected by the increased temperature.

Leavitt VM, Sumowski JF, Chiaravalloti N, et al.
Warmer outdoor temperature is associated with worse cognitive status in multiple sclerosis.
Neurology. 2012 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Meier DS, Christodoulou C.
MS and heat: the smoke and the fire.
Neurology. 2012 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]

2. Fatigue

A second research study compared 88 people with MS with 76 people with ulcerative colitis, another auto-immune condition.

53% of people with MS said that they experienced heat sensitivity as compared with 35% of people with ulcerative colitis. However, the level of fatigue experienced was the same for people who reported heat sensitivity as it was for those who reported that they were not heat sensitive.

The researchers did not find a relationship between the level of fatigue and the daytime temperature or with the amount of ultraviolet (u/v) light outdoors.

They concluded that many people with MS experience heat sensitive fatigue but this could not be related directly to the outside temperature.

Bol Y, Smolders J, Duits A, et al.
Fatigue and heat sensitivity in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Acta Neurol Scand. 2012 Mar 8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2012.01660.x. [Epub ahead of print]


Research by topic areas...

MS relapses

Annovazzi P, Tomassini V, Bodini B, et al.
A cross-sectional, multicentre study of the therapeutic management of multiple sclerosis relapses in Italy.
Neurol Sci. 2012 Mar 11. [Epub ahead of print]

Disease modifying treatments

Miller AE, Rhoades RW.
Treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: current approaches and unmet needs.
Curr Opin Neurol. 2012 Feb;25 Suppl:S4-S10.

Giovannoni G, Rhoades RW.
Individualizing treatment goals and interventions for people with MS.
Curr Opin Neurol. 2012 Feb;25 Suppl:S20-7.

Fox EJ, Rhoades RW.
New treatments and treatment goals for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Curr Opin Neurol. 2012 Feb;25 Suppl:S11-9.

Kalincik T, Horakova D, Dolezal O, et al.
Interferon, azathioprine and corticosteroids in multiple sclerosis: 6-year follow-up of the ASA cohort.
Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2012 Mar 6. [Epub ahead of print]


Holmøy T, Hanssen KT, Beiske AG.
Patient satisfaction in rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis.
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2012 Mar 6;132(5):523-525.

Assessment tools

Conrad A, Coenen M, Schmalz H, et al.
Validation of the comprehensive ICF core set for people with multiple sclerosis from the perspective of physical therapists.
Phys Ther. 2012 Mar 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Quality of life

Motl RW, McAuley E, Wynn D, et al.
Physical activity, self-efficacy, and health-related quality of life in persons with multiple sclerosis: analysis of associations between individual-level changes over one year.
Qual Life Res. 2012 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Causes of MS

Spitzer C, Bouchain M, Winkler LY, et al.
Childhood trauma in multiple sclerosis: a case-control study.
Psychosom Med. 2012 Mar 9. [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin D

Leitner HH, Grimaldi L, Barkhof F, et al.
A randomized trial of high-dose vitamin D2 in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Neurology. 2012 Mar 13;78(11):840-841.

Psychological aspects

Covey TJ, Shucard JL, Shucard DW, et al.
Comparison of neuropsychological impairment and vocational outcomes in systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis patients.
J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2012 Mar 13:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]

Physical activity

Huisinga JM, Filipi ML, Stergiou N.
Supervised resistance training results in changes in postural control in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Motor Control. 2012 Jan;16(1):50-63.

Other demyelinating conditions

Bourre B, Zéphir H, Ongagna JC, et al.
Long-term follow-up of acute partial transverse myelitis.
Arch Neurol. 2012 Mar;69(3):357-62.

Pregnancy and childbirth

Daumer M, Weinshenker BG, Voskuhl R.
Pregnancy: a "modifiable" risk factor in MS?
Neurology. 2012 Mar 7. [Epub ahead of print]

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