Eur Neurol 2002;48(4):204-6
Zorgdrager A, De Keyser J.
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.
The aim of this study was to assess whether an association exists between the premenstrual period and exacerbations of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The subjects were 56 premenopausal patients with relapsing MS and a regular menstrual cycle.
Data over the previous 2 years were gathered from a structured MS database and a comprehensive questionnaire.
42% had exacerbations starting in the premenstrual phase.
Within this group the proportion of premenstrual exacerbations was significantly higher than in the remaining period of the menstrual cycle, and in 45% all exacerbations had started during the premenstrual phase.
There was no relationship with the premenstrual syndrome, and there was no protective effect of oral contraceptives.
Our results suggest that the premenstrual period triggers exacerbations in a subgroup of females with MS.
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