SAN DIEGO, CA, May 08 (Reuters Health) - Vitamin D has failed to live up to its initial promise as a treatment for multiple sclerosis, researchers said here at the American Academy of Neurology's 52nd Annual Meeting.
Previous studies have linked multiple sclerosis with low exposure to sunlight and vitamin D. Animal experiments have suggested that vitamin D might benefit MS patients.
Dr. John Fleming and colleagues, from the University of Wisconsin, decided to test the benefit of vitamin D supplementation in 11 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
The subjects received the vitamin D analog 19-nor, 4 mcg/day, for more than 9 months. Regular clinical examination and repeated brain MRI failed to find any benefits from vitamin D treatment, compared with similar tests made in the 6 months prior to treatment.
"Treatment of RRMS [with vitamin D] was safe and well tolerated; however,
treatment did not appear to have a significant effect on clinical activity
or on the rate of appearance of new gadolinium-enhancing lesions," Dr.
Fleming's group reported in a meeting abstract. "Although an etiological
role for vitamin D cannot be excluded in MS, at present there is no scientific
basis for recommending vitamin D supplements to patients with RRMS."