Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis Predominantly Affecting Females

Multiple Sclerosis is quickly becoming a disease that is found mostly among females. Currently, the ratio of females to males with the illness is 3.2 to 1. Since genetic factors can be ruled out, scientific attention is being focused on environmental factors that could be behind the increased risk in women.

The factors are likely to include things such as smoking, infections, Vitamin D deficiency, hygiene changes, and dietary factors. This past week a convention of nearly four hundred scientists and clinicians worldwide met for a conference on "Multiple Sclerosis and Gender" to discuss their opinions and backgrounds on this shift in gender ratio.

The main question raised in response to the shift is whether or not females with Multiple Sclerosis should be treated differently than men. Additionally of interest is the effect of pregnancy on the progression of MS. The disease almost disappears during the last trimester of pregnancy, and scientists are looking into natural female sex hormones that may help them develop new ways of treating women with MS.

Phase III clinical trials have already been initialized that will hopefully bring answers to this question by the end of 2009. To view the full article from Medical News Today, please click here
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