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Understanding the Effects of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Multiple Sclerosis: Ludwig Kappos, MD, FEAN, FAAN

The professor of neurology at the University of Basel discussed a recent study presented at AAN 2022 on whether levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with MS disease activity or progression. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"These data are something that needs further investigation in a larger cohort of patients. This may indicate some interaction of these polyunsaturated fatty acids in, for example, the immune system and immune regulation, and in some ways in pathogenetic pathways of multiple sclerosis.”

Comprised of 468 individuals with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), a prospective analysis of the BENEFIT clinical trial (NCT01795872) aimed at understanding the effects of serum levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). To do so, fatty acids in serum were collected at baseline, months 6, 12, and 24, with Cox proportional hazards regression (HR) used to estimate the highest and lowest quartile of PUFA on time to conversion from CIS to clinically definite multiple sclerosis (CDMS) and McDonald MS (MDMS) between baseline and month 60.

At the end of the analysis, total serum PUFA (Q4 vs Q1: HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.46-1.01; P-trend= .04) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA; Q4 vs Q1: HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.42-1.0; P-trend= .03) were associated with a decreased hazard of conversion to CDMS. Total PUFA (Q4 vs Q1: HR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.47-1.01; P-trend ­­= .04) ALA (Q4 vs Q1: HR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.37-0.87; P-trend= .002), DHA (Q4 vs Q1: HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.43-0.99; P-trend= .02), and DPA (Q4 vs Q1: HR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.39-0.84; P-trend= .0004) were also associated with a decreased risk of relapse.

Investigators, including Ludwig Kappos, MD, FEAN, FAAN, concluded that the results suggest PUFAs may beneficially affect time to CDMS and risk of relapses in the early stages of CIS/MS. Kappos, chair and professor of neurology at the University of Basel, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss these findings, along with how he and colleagues can expand on this specific analysis going forward.

REFERENCE
1. Munger K, Bjornevik K, Cortese M, et al. A prospective study of serum levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids and effects of multiple sclerosis disease activity and progression. Presented at: 2022 AAN Annual Meeting; April 2-7; Seattle, Washington. Abstract 2317.