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Childbirth May Slow Progression of Multiple Sclerosis
Date:11/24/2009

ells that make myelin. The MS Society is currently funding a clinical trial in which women with MS are given estriol, a form of estrogen, along with standard MS treatments.

"The sex hormones do seem to have some neuroprotective role, though we are not quite sure how," O'Looney said.

Still, O'Looney stressed that women should not interpret the results as reason to have a baby to delay the progression of the disease, or blame themselves if they decided not to have children.

"We still don't know a lot about the great variability of MS -- why does one person become more progressive while another follows a more benign course," O'Looney said. "What's certain is that one should not conclude it's based on whether or not you have a child. There are so many other factors, including possibly genetic factors, that determine that."

More information

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has more on pregnancy and MS.



SOURCES: Marie D'hooghe, department of neurology, Nationaal MS Centrum in Melsbroek, Belgium; Patricia O'Looney, Ph.D., director, biomedical research, National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Nov. 24, 2009, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, online


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