BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Persons with multiple sclerosis who smoke risk increasing the amount of brain tissue shrinkage, a consequence of MS, and the subsequent severity of their disease, new research conducted at the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC) at the University at Buffalo has shown.
The results are based on magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of smokers and nonsmokers in 368 MS patients treated in UBs Jacobs Neurological Institute, the universitys Department of Neurology in its School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Results of the research were presented today (Oct. 13, 2007) at the 23rd Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis in Prague, Czech Republic.
Cigarette smoke has many properties that are toxic to the central nervous system, and cigarette smoking has been linked to higher susceptibility and risk of progressive multiple sclerosis, said Robert Zivadinov, M.D., Ph.D., UB professor of neurology, director of the BNAC and first author on the study.
Interactions between cigarette smoking and genetic and immunologic factors may point to mechanisms in disease pathogenesis. No previous studies have investigated differences in MRI characteristics between MS cigarette smokers and MS nonsmokers, he said.
The study included patients from the three most common forms of MS: 253 had relapsing-remitting MS -- acute attacks with full or partial recovery; nine had primary-progressive MS -- steady worsening from onset; and 90 had secondary-progressive MS, characterized by occasional attacks and sustained progression. Another 16 participants had experienced their first MS onset.
Patients ranged in age from 35-55 years, and had been living with MS for an average of 13 years. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), an average number derived from measures of various functions of the central nervous system based on scales ranging from 0 to 10, was 3.1. The higher the number, the greater
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