A new survey explores how multiple sclerosis patients manage their disease and view their treatment.
A survey, summarizing the views of 2,600 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, showed how people manage their disease in real life — and the results offer some surprising insights that might provide clues for future treatment development and optimization.
Conducted by a Stanford University-trained geneticist, Dr. Yael Wilnai, results from the survey on the online patient community GeneFo were presented as an infographic on the community’s webpages.
Dietary contribution to the disease is a well-established fact. In spite of this, 17 percent of survey participants had made no changes to their diet. This might be linked to the often contradictory recommendations of an MS suitable diet, but the authors noted that a safe bet would be to skip the sodas and processed sugars known to lower energy levels. Also, they recommended avoiding trans fats and including high-fiber grains, such as brown rice and bulgur that have anti-inflammatory properties and are likely to help symptoms.
Literature reports of fatigue rates reaching 80–90 percent are not uncommon. But only 50 percent of the GeneFo members contributing to the survey reported fatigue. Since more than 80 percent of patients reported altering their diet to help them manage the disease, the authors raise the important question of whether these two findings might be linked. They recommended that future studies investigate the connection between diet and energy levels.