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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:03 PM

Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk: study

Source: Reuters

Obese children, adolescent girls in particular, are more likely to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis than normal-weight youth — with extreme obesity tied to a three- to four-fold higher risk of MS.

The study did not prove that carrying around some extra eight in childhood causes multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease in which the protective coating around nerve fibers breaks down, slowing signals traveling between the brain and the body, said researchers whose work appeared in the journal Neurology.

But it does suggest that rising levels of obesity in young people could mean more MS diagnoses than in the past, according to lead study author Annette Langer-Gould from Kaiser Permanente of Southern California and her colleagues.

“Our findings suggest the childhood obesity epidemic is likely to lead to increased morbidity from MS/CIS, particularly in adolescent girls,” Langer-Gould and her colleagues wrote.

Read more: http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/family/2013/01/31/obesity-in-girls-tied-to-higher-ms-risk-study

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Reply Obesity in girls tied to higher MS risk: study (Original post)
Redfairen Jan 2013 OP
kestrel91316 Jan 2013 #1
jwirr Jan 2013 #2
B Stieg Jan 2013 #3
jwirr Jan 2013 #9
elleng Jan 2013 #4
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #5
spinbaby Jan 2013 #6
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #7
McCamy Taylor Jan 2013 #8

Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:37 PM

1. Interesting. My former assistant, who developed MS during her last 2 years here,

is overweight and at one time probably qualified as obese. Of course she also smoked, so she has multiple risk factors for all kinds of problems.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 01:47 PM

2. Curious - does MS have hand trembling as a symptom?

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Response to jwirr (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:02 PM

3. It can but...

I've had Relapsing-Remitting MS for over 20 yrs (in remission for the last 17).

MS is a highly individualized disease with almost as many symptoms as there are nerve pathways in the brain. So, while trembling can be a symptom of MS, it can also be indicative of a host of other issues, even simple fatigue or low blood sugar rather than what md's call "neurological weakness" such as trembling or reduced fine motor control (ataxia). Indeed, MS has a necessarily lengthy dignostic process because its symptoms mimic so many other diseases, and, like any other malady of the body, one symptom is rarely conclusive.

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Response to B Stieg (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:15 PM

9. Thank you both.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:02 PM

4. Yes.

Spasticity. Muscle spasms are a common and often debilitating symptom of MS. Spasticity usually affects the muscles of the legs and arms, and may interfere with a persons ability to move those muscles freely.

http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/guide/recognizing-multiple-sclerosis

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:15 PM

5. Correlation/causation?

So, geography plays a part in it, it seems. Rates are higher in the PacNW, major issue here in Seattle, etc. Seasons seem to be a factor as well, on top of geography. Onset and relapses seem to occur most in the spring. You know, when the rest of the nation has sun, and winter is till dragging on and it's shitting rain sideways here in Seattle.

The researchers, or at least the summary seems aware that what if the actual correlation is not weight, but rather the indoor sedentary lifestyle, at least partially induced by the weather? This study didn't establish the weight as a cause, or even a factor. First best guess, I'd look to how much time these people spend outdoors, getting a little sun, getting fresh air and exercise, etc.

Like me, the weight is probably a factor because of an indoor lifestyle, and that is probably an indicator, rather than a cause, of associated MS risk.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:18 PM

6. Vitamin D comes to mind n/t

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 02:25 PM

7. That, and maybe indoor air quality, are my first guesses.

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Response to Redfairen (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 04:45 PM

8. " MS diagnosis" is the key phrase here. Lots of subclinical disease is diagnosed

now thanks to MRI. Disease that never would have been suspected in the pre-MRI days. People whose only symptoms are fatigue, memory problems or headaches (not the nerve damage and stroke that were once required to make the diagnosis of MS), who get MRIs to rule out brain tumor and in whom MS is never even suspected until the report comes back as something like "can not rule out MS"---at which point the patient and doctor seize the diagnosis. Which raises the question, do they really have MS? Or some other disorder associated with their obesity such as sleep apnea which can also cause fatigue, memory problems and headaches.

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