Why MS Clinicians Should Care More Abo ut Diet: Tyler Titcomb, PhD, RDN, IFMCP


The postdoctoral scholar at the University of Iowa discussed the importance of understanding more about the effects of diet and how it is managed when caring for a patient with multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

"If the patient really wants to do some sort of dietary change but the provider doesn’t want it because there’s no evidence to support it, then the patient is going to go rogue and do something on their own. A neurologist or provider should be paying attention to this research because both diet groups had significant within group improvements in almost every outcome we looked at."

At the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), October 25-28, data presented by Tyler Titcomb, PhD, RDN, IFMCP, highlighted the effect the Wahls and Swank elimination diets have on fatigue and cognitive dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). At the end of the 12-week, randomized, parallel-arm study, those in the Swank diet group (n = 38) reported Total Perceived Deficits Questionnaire (PDQ) scores of 25.1 (±2.00), compared with 32.4 (±2.36) at baseline, while the Wahls group (n = 39) reported total scores of 29.1 (±2.71), compared with 35.9 (±2.16) at baseline, both being a significant improvement (P ≤.05).

At 24 weeks, those scores remained significant at 26.1 (±2.14) and 25.1 (±3.03), respectively (P ≤.05). Titcomb noted that although most patients with MS are on a dietary intervention, nutrition is not considered part of standard of care, which opens the door for patients to seek help online instead of turning to their provider. He claims this creates an even greater divide in patient-provider communication.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Titcomb discussed the clinical significance of his findings, while stressing the importance of MS physicians and other providers to talk to patients about how they learn to diet. He also provided insight on the role of a dietician within the MS space and why diets should continue to be utilized, despite the unknowns about their mechanistic action.

For more coverage of CMSC 2021, click here.

Titcomb T, Eyck PT, Hoth KF, Snetselaar L, Wahls T. Effect of the Swank and Wahls elimination diets on perceived fatigue and cognitive dysfunction in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a randomized parallel-arm trial. Presented at: CMSC 2021; October 25-28; Paper 7210.
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