The following article is part of conference coverage from the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Berlin, Germany. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from ECTRIMS 2018.

Vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk for multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study presented at the 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, held October 10-12, 2018, in Berlin, Germany.

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“Vitamin D has well established immunomodulatory effects and higher serum concentrations have repeatedly been associated with a decreased risk for MS, mostly in case-control studies,” the researchers reported in their abstract. “In this prospective study we aimed to investigate the effect of Vitamin D levels on MS risk by comparing blood samples from healthy controls to samples from individuals who later developed relapsing remitting MS (RRMS). As to our knowledge this is the fourth study of the association between vitamin D and MS using prospectively collected blood samples.”

A total of 6 Swedish biobanks were recruited to obtain serum or plasma samples of patients with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) (n=666) and matched controls (n=666). Serum and plasma samples from patients with MS were collected prior to symptom onset as well as at ages <40 years at sampling. The researchers matched control participants for biobank, sampling data, sex, and age. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) concentrations were measured with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

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Researchers categorized samples into quintiles based on 25(OH)D3 concentrations in healthy controls. Additionally, the investigators performed analyses of samples based on 3 age groups: 0-19 years (n=284), 20-29 years (n=748), and 30-39 years (n=300). Patients with samples in the highest vitamin D concentration quintile were less likely to have MS (odds ratio [OR] 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50-0.93). Although the effect size of high vitamin D concentrations on reducing MS risk was largest in the youngest age group (OR 0.60) vs the oldest (OR 0.72), there was no difference between the groups overall.

Disclosures: Several authors report industry relations. Please see the original abstract for a complete list of disclosures.

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Biström UM, Andersen O, Magdalena LA, et al. High serum concentrations of vitamin D may protect against multiple sclerosis. Presented at: 34th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. October 10-12, 2018; Berlin, Germany. Abstract P1757.