(RxWiki News) Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at risk for low bone density and osteoporosis. New information shows that promptly addressing bone health in these patients is necessary.
In a new study published the journal Neurology, Stine Marit Moen, M.D., of Oslo University Hospital Ulleval in Norway, recommends that doctors should consider steps to prevent osteoporosis in the initial phases of MS, including diet changes that ensure appropriate vitamin D levels, increasing or implementing weight-bearing activities and taking bone density medications.
"MS patients suffer bone symptoms soon after diagnosis."
Osteoporosis is common in MS patients, but experts don't know how soon it occurs soon after the onset of disease. Common theories are that it may result from lack of exercise, medications or low vitamin D levels.
The study included 99 people, an average age of 37, who were recently diagnosed with MS or were showing MS symptoms. All had minor or no physical disability from the disease.
Bone density tests were performed about 18 months after the first symptoms of MS appeared and the results were compared to tests of 159 people of similar age, gender and race who did not have the disease.
Of the patients with MS symptoms, 51 percent had osteoporosis or osteopenia, compared to 37 percent of the control group.
The results remained constant even after adjustments were made for other factors that can affect bone density, including alcohol use, hormone treatment and smoking.