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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33883

Title: Vitamin D Status and its Contribution to Multiple Sclerosis Risk: Insights Gained through the Study of Children with Central Nervous System Demyelination
Authors: Hanwell, Heather
Advisor: Vieth, Reinhold
Banwell, Brenda
Department: Nutritional Sciences
Keywords: Vitamin D
Multiple Sclerosis
Bradford Hill
Sun exposure
Issue Date: 6-Dec-2012
Abstract: Acute demyelination in children may be a monophasic illness or the sentinel attack of multiple sclerosis (MS) – a chronic inflammatory neurodegenerative demyelinating disease. MS risk is largely determined during childhood and vitamin D may protect against MS. The primary objective of this thesis was to evaluate vitamin D status in children presenting with acute demyelinating syndromes (ADS) as a potential contributor to MS outcome. The LIAISON “25 OH Vitamin D TOTAL” assay was validated to assess the biomarker of vitamin D status – serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations. Consecutive patients (<16 y) were enrolled at presentation with ADS and prospectively evaluated at 23 Canadian centres. MS was defined by a second clinical demyelinating event or by MRI evidence of new lesions over time. Cox proportional hazards regression models assessed risk of MS outcome as a function of serum 25(OH)D tertiles, accounting for factors associated with either MS risk or vitamin D status – age, sex, season, and HLA-DRB1*15 status. Of 211 children with 25(OH)D measured in sera obtained a median of 9 days from onset (interquartile range, 5 – 17 d; maximum 36 days), 20% (n = 41) were diagnosed with MS after 3.7 mos. (3.1 – 7.3 mos.). Risk of MS was lower in children with 25(OH)D levels in the highest tertile (≥ 74 nmol/L) at ADS versus those in the lowest tertile (<50 nmol/L) (HR 0.41; 95% CI 0.18 to 0.97, adjusted model). Children with higher circulating 25(OH)D concentrations at ADS have a lower risk of MS. Further evidence for a role of vitamin D insufficiency during childhood and adolescence contributing to MS risk comes from three MS patients with suboptimally managed pseudo-vitamin D deficiency rickets. Finally, a sun exposure questionnaire was validated in the latter part of this thesis for use in future research into determinants of vitamin D status and their association with risk of MS.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/33883
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