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:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... In the fourth quarter of 2015, document ... La Valencia Hotel in San Diego, California to discuss changes in the industry ... outstanding franchise, walking away with the coveted David Wright Award of Excellence. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Pivot Point Consulting, a leading national Healthcare ... Services for HIT Implementation Support & Staffing report with an outstanding score of ... healthcare executives, managers and clinicians representing over 4,500 hospitals and 2,500 clinics. , ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 05, 2016 , ... Colorize is a web theme package created ... next using Colorize's dynamic moving camera. Colorize is perfect for personal and web related ... environment with 1 to 5 focus points per scene, stage floor scene presets that ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... , ... February 05, 2016 , ... Calls Blacklist has ... completely new user interface design and the developer has fixed known bugs within the ... want to on their phone while not consuming any of their device’s battery power ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Palos Verdes, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 04, ... ... present at the "It's All About YOU Re-Treat" on February 19-21, 2016, ... You Re-Treat" is at Rancho Palos Verdes, California. These 30 professional speakers, including ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/4/2016)... 2016 Wegener Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, ... ,Wegener Polyangiitis - Pipeline Review, H2 2015, provides ... This report provides comprehensive information on the ... analysis at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug ... (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... 4, 2016 Frontier Pharma: Chronic Obstructive ... Innovation Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease ... inflammation of the airways and lungs. Persistent breathing ... the disease one of the leading causes of ... the world. COPD is linked to cumulative exposure ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... Feb. 4, 2016 In response to the opioid ... Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco, along with other ... the agency,s approach to opioid medications. The plan will focus ... patients in pain access to effective relief. ... , Re-examine the risk-benefit paradigm for opioids and ensure ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: