Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smoking Associated With More Rapid Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis

Date:
July 14, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Patients with multiple sclerosis who smoke appear to experience a more rapid progression of their disease, according to a new report.

Patients with multiple sclerosis who smoke appear to experience a more rapid progression of their disease, according to a new report.

Cigarette smokers are at higher risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to background information in the article. However, the effect of smoking on the progression of MS remains uncertain.

Brian C. Healy, Ph.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and colleagues studied 1,465 patients with MS who visited a referral center between February 2006 and August 2007. Participants had an average age of 42 and had MS for an average of 9.4 years. Their progression was assessed by clinical characteristics as well as by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) over an average of 3.29 years.

A total of 780 (53.2 percent) of the patients had never smoked, 428 (29.2 percent) had smoked in the past and 257 (17.5 percent) were current smokers. During follow-up, seven never-smokers began smoking and 57 current smokers quit. Current smokers had significantly more severe disease at the beginning of the study in terms of scores on disability scales and also in the analysis of MRI factors. Current smokers were also more likely to have primary progressive MS, characterized by a steady decline, rather than relapsing-remitting MS (involving alternating periods of attacks and symptom-free periods).

A group of 891 patients was assessed over time to evaluate the rate of conversion from relapsing-remitting MS to secondary progressive MS (steady decline that develops after a period of relapsing-remitting symptoms). During an average of 3.34 years, 72 patients (20 of 154 smokers, 20 of 237 ex-smokers, and 32 of 500 never-smokers) experienced this progression. "The conversion from relapsing-remitting MS to secondary progressive MS occurred faster in current smokers compared with never-smokers but was similar in ex-smokers and never-smokers," the authors write.

An adverse effect of smoking on the progression of MS would be consistent with previous research, the authors note. Components of cigarette smoke are known to have toxic effects on brain and neural tissue; for example, cyanides, which have been associated with the destruction of nerve cells' myelin coating (a characteristic feature of MS) in animals. "Other chemicals in smoke (e.g., nicotine) can compromise the blood-brain barrier or have immunomodulatory effects," the authors write. "Cigarette smoke increases the frequency and duration of respiratory infections, which have been linked to risk of MS and to the occurrence of MS relapses."

"In conclusion, the results of this large and in part prospective investigation support the hypothesis that cigarette smoking has an adverse effect on progression of MS as measured by clinical and MRI outcomes," they conclude. "Although causality remains to be proved, these findings suggest that patients with MS who quit smoking may not only reduce their risk of smoking-related diseases but also delay the progression of MS."

This study was supported by the Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center and by a grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health Molecular Epidemiology of Epstein-Barr Virus and Multiple Sclerosis (Dr. Ascherio).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brian C. Healy, PhD; Eman N. Ali, MD; Charles R. G. Guttmann, MD; Tanuja Chitnis, MD; Bonnie I. Glanz, PhD; Guy Buckle, MD; Maria Houtchens, MD; Lynn Stazzone, MSN, NP; Jennifer Moodie, MD; Annika M. Berger, MD; Yang Duan, MD; Rohit Bakshi, MD; Samia Khoury, MD; Howard Weiner, MD; Alberto Ascherio, MD. Smoking and Disease Progression in Multiple Sclerosis. Arch Neurol., 2009;66(7):858-864 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Smoking Associated With More Rapid Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170703.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, July 14). Smoking Associated With More Rapid Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170703.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Smoking Associated With More Rapid Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090713170703.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Movies Might Desensitize Violence For Parents, Not Just Kids

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A study suggests that parents become desensitized to violent movies as well as children, which leads them to allow their kids to view violent films. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins