Navigation Links
Smoking Worsens Multiple Sclerosis
Date:8/17/2009

Raised risk of brain lesions and shrinkage, researchers found

MONDAY, Aug. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with multiple sclerosis who smoke appear to be at higher risk for the brain lesions linked with the disease and for brain shrinkage, new research suggests.

"Our study is showing that MS is more destructive as seen on MRI in smokers than nonsmokers," said study co-author Dr. Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, director of the Baird MS Center and Pediatric MS Center of Excellence at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The study appears in the Aug. 18 issue of Neurology.

Researchers have known that smoking boosts the risk of getting MS, but the effect of smoking after diagnosis has been studied less often.

MS, a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, including the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve, affects about 400,000 Americans, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Symptoms can be mild, such as limb numbness, or severe, such as loss of vision or paralysis.

The different courses that MS can take include relapsing and remitting, progressive, or progressive and relapsing, the society says.

Weinstock-Guttman and her colleagues evaluated 368 MS patients, average age 44, who had been diagnosed about 12 years earlier. Of the 368 patients, 240 had never smoked, 96 smoked currently and 32 had smoked in the past.

All patients were evaluated clinically and had an MRI to monitor the disease process and evaluate the effects of treatments. The MRI measured the size of the MS-related brain lesions and the brain shrinkage that can occur with age and with MS.

Smokers with MS had nearly 17 percent more brain lesions than nonsmokers with MS. Smokers with MS also had more brain tissue shrinkage.

Exactly why smoking has this effect isn't known, Weinstock-Guttman said. However, she suspects that nicotine may disrupt the blood-brain barrier, and the toxins in cigarette smoke may be a constant, inflammatory irritant. "Smokers aren't able to repair themselves" due to the constant presence of the toxins from cigarette smoke, she explained. So, the inflammation that is characteristic of the disease never goes away, setting patients up for worsening disease.

The recent study lends weight to the conclusion, reached in some but not all previous studies, that smoking does in fact worsen MS symptoms, said Dr. John Richert, executive vice president for research and clinical programs for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which helped to fund the study.

In the past few years, he said, some studies have reached conflicting conclusions about the effect of smoking on MS symptoms. But with the latest finding, he said, it tips the balance and confirms that smoking does indeed seem to worsen the symptoms.

"I think the most current paper is probably right," he said. "It certainly is consistent with the data that shows that smoking increases the risk of developing MS in the first place."

MS patients should give up smoking for general health reasons anyway, Richert added. "Now we can add another reason, that it might make your MS worse, according to two of three studies."

Weinstock-Guttman said her MS patients who smoke have been receptive to the new information. "They are much more open now to considering quitting smoking," she noted.

Smoking is also linked to worsening of psoriasis. In an Italian study, people with psoriasis who smoked 20 cigarettes a day had twice the risk of more severe symptoms than those who smoked less than 10 cigarettes a day. The effects were more pronounced among women than men, the researchers found.

More information

To learn more about multiple sclerosis, visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.



SOURCES: Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, M.D., associate professor, neurology, and director, Baird MS Center and Pediatric MS Center of Excellence, Jacobs Neurological Institute, State University of New York at Buffalo; John Richert, M.D., executive vice president, research and clinical programs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York City; Aug. 18, 2009, Neurology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Chewing Tobacco No Safer Than Smoking
2. New Analysis: Women of Low Socio-Economic Status Face Unique Challenges Related to Smoking, Smoking Ban Policies
3. Smokeless tobacco safer than smoking
4. Molecule plays early role in nonsmoking lung cancer
5. Smoking increases potential for metastatic pancreatic cancer
6. UK Smoking Ban Fuels Rise In Surgery
7. New Tools Help Parents Reinforce Anti-Smoking Message
8. Team Sports Cant Compete With Films to Keep Kids From Smoking
9. New Study Shows Many Unplanned Quit Smoking Attempts are Successful
10. Anti-Smoking Drugs Get FDA Black-Box Warning
11. Smoking May Trigger Brain Damage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Smoking Worsens Multiple Sclerosis
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... ProVest Insurance Group, a family managed ... Raleigh regions, is organizing an extended charity drive to benefit the family of ... , After struggling since birth with several health challenges, T.J. was later diagnosed ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) Board of Directors has ... succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton will serve in the ... at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of President and CEO on ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... N.Y (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori ... became a member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special needs ... changing laws and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder law ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Software Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and ... aims to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/19/2017)... a venture-backed medical device company developing a non-invasive, robotically assisted, platform therapy that uses pulsed ...   ... Jim Bertolina, ... Tom Tefft ... medical device executive Josh Stopek , PhD, who has led R&D and business development ...
(Date:9/18/2017)... PROVIDENCE, R.I. , Sept. 18, 2017 ... in the fields of bioinformatics and immune ... to develop a protective avian influenza A (H7N9) vaccine. ... is distantly related to seasonal influenza and ... approaches, which rely on prior exposure to be ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... 2017  Consumer reviews on the independent review site Consumer ... one company for hearing aids, ranking it higher than Miracle ... ... Consumers For Hearing Aids ... an online store that provides high performance, state-of-the-art, German-engineered hearing aids ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: