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More MS news articles for June 2003

Bone mineral density in patients with multiple sclerosis: the effects of interferon

Rev Neurol 2003 May 16-31;36(10):901-3
Perez Castrillon JL, Cano Del Pozo M, Sanz Izquierdo S, Velayos Jimenez J, Dib Wobakin W.
Hospital Rio Hortega, Valladolid, Espa a.


Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at greater risk of suffering from osteoporosis and pathological fractures, and the use of corticoids together with immobilisation and vitamin D deficiency is one of the causes of low bone mass (BM).


Our aim was to evaluate the effect of interferon, a drug that has only recently been introduced in the treatment of the disease, on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone remodelling markers.


A total of 30 females and 18 males with MS were studied.

A standardised case history report was examined, and determinations of ionic calcium, vitamin D, osteocalcin, iPTH and urinary deoxypyridinoline, together with calcaneus densimetry measurements using a DEXA densimeter were also performed.


The females treated with interferon had a BMD similar to that of those who had only received corticoids.

Yet the males treated with interferon had a BMD that was lower than that of those who had not been treated with this drug (0.484 0.104 g/cm2 compared to 0.631 0.143 g/cm2, p= 0.032) and the control group (0.484 0.104 g/cm2 compared to 0.581 0.102 g/cm2, p= 0.015).

No differences were found in the bone remodelling parameters.


Males treated with interferon present a decrease in BM, and results are paradoxical because interferon plays a part in regulating bone metabolism and inhibits the development of osteoclasts, the cells responsible for bone resorption.