Multiple sclerosis is a serious chronic condition. The disease causes issues with the central nervous system. As the disease progresses, the body and the brain are not able to effectively communicate. The way that information is perceived and processed in the brain is also disrupted by the disease.
While many studies have already been conducted on multiple sclerosis to help scientists better understand the condition, it is still considered an unpredictable disease. Little is known about the exact causes of the disease. Scientists also find it hard to predict the progression of the disease in a specific patient.
Most experts suggest that both genetic factors, along with environmental contributors, play a role in the development of this disease.
A new study by the Advanced Science Research Center was able to make a major discovery in terms of the possibly predicting the progression of multiple sclerosis. The study analysed the effects of obesity on patients who had previously been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. All patients in the study had a recent diagnosis. They were analysed over a period of two years.
The study found that individuals who were overweight and obese had elevated levels of plasma ceramides in their body, as well as higher levels of monocytes in their blood. Furthermore, researchers also determined that specific genes that play a role in cell proliferation within patients that have multiple sclerosis were elevated in patients with excess fat content in their bodies.
After the two-year study period had concluded, researchers found that overweight and obesity seems to play an important role in the progression of multiple sclerosis. Individuals a high BMI had a faster progression of the disease after the two-year period. Clinical disability was also significantly more severe among those with a higher BMI. The progression of the disease also seemed to correlate to BMI – the higher the patient’s BMI, the faster damage caused by multiple sclerosis seemed to progress.
The discoveries made by this study is important in the area of studying multiple sclerosis. Patients diagnosed with the disease who have a higher BMI seems to be at a significantly higher risk of a faster progression. Thus, weight loss during the early stages of multiple sclerosis may help to reduce levels of monocytes and ceramides in the patient’s body. In turn, improved lipid profiles could help to slow down the rate at which multiple sclerosis damages the patient’s body.