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How to prevent Multiple Sclerosis?

Posted on Healthcare By Prof. Dr. Erich Ringelstein - Published on 2017-02-28

Smoking is a major preventable risk factor for MS

A new study from Sweden shows that smoking and passive smoking are risk factors for Multiple sclerosis. The good news: These risk factors are preventable!

Previous studies could show that active smoking is a risk factor for MS. Moreover, patients with MS have a worse prognosis compared to non-smoking patients. Furthermore, MS drugs are not as effective if patients are smoking.

The recently released study was the first study focusing on smoking and passive smoking. The researchers at the Karolinska University in Sweden included 2,455 MS patients and 5,336 healthy (control) individuals.

Both – smoking and passive smoking – are increasing the risk of Multiple Sclerosis

The effect was “dose-dependent”, meaning: the higher the dose of exposure to smoke – the higher the risk to develop Multiple sclerosis.

The researchers showed that 20.4% of MS patients were linked to smoke exposure (at the population level). Up to 41% of MS patients were linked to smoke exposure if the individuals were carrying a genetic risk factor for Multiple sclerosis.

The researchers concluded: “From a public health perspective, the impact of smoking and passive smoking on MS risk is considerable. Preventive measures in order to reduce tobacco smoke exposure are, therefore, essential. “

In simple terms: Stop Smoking!


About Author

Prof. Dr. Erich Ringelstein

Prof. Erich Ringelstein is a Neurologist and Psychiatrist, he was the Head of Neurology Department at the University Hospital of Münster in Germany, managing eighty beds, a neurological intensive care unit and a stroke unit as well. Prof. Ringelstein also managed subdivisions that covered neuromuscular disorders, sleep disorders epileptic seizures, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, as well as, dementia and cognitive impairment. Prof. Ringelstein was very active in academic teaching and was awarded for these efforts several times. He is trained in epileptology, neuroradiology, neuro geriatrics, evoked potentials, neurovascular and neuromuscular ultrasound. In 1992, Prof. Ringelstein received the Hugo Spatz Prize from the German Neurological Society for his research on cerebrovascular disease. Prof. Ringelstein is an active member of the editorial boards of scientific journals like Stroke, European Neurology, Cerebrovascular Diseases, Journal of Neuroimaging. He serves as a Reviewer for well-known journals like Stroke, Brain, Neurology, Annals of Neurology and others. Prof. Ringelstein was trained in Mainz University, Aachen Medical Faculty and Bonn University Hospital. In 1987, he worked as a Research Fellow at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA, USA. In 2006, Prof. Ringelstein received an Honorary Doctor title from the University of Debrecen, Hungary, for his intensive and fruitful scientific collaboration with this university hospital. He was elected Corresponding Member of the Austrian Stroke Society.

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