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Clinical Trials Update
February 26, 2014

Vitamin D Levels Appear to Be Robust Predictor of MS Progression

JAMA. 2014;311(8):790. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1553

Higher vitamin D levels in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) were associated with a lower degree of MS activity, magnetic resonance imaging lesion load, brain atrophy, and disease progression during 5 years of follow-up in the Betaferon/Betaseron in Newly Emerging Multiple Sclerosis for Initial Treatment (BENEFIT) trial (Ascherio A et al. JAMA Neurol. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2013.5993 [published online January 20, 2014]).

Some 465 patients with clinically isolated syndrome (their first neurological episode, caused by inflammation or demyelination of nerve tissue) were randomized to early vs late treatment with interferon beta-1b (IFNB-1b). Compared with those who had 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum concentrations less than 50 nmol/L in the first 12 months following their first neurological episode, those with serum levels of 50 nmol/L or greater had a significantly lower rate of new active lesions and relapse, a significantly lower yearly increase in T2 lesion volume, and lower disability during the following 4 years.