Comorbid conditions…are frequent in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and are associated with increased hospitalizations, greater disability progression, mortality risk, and contrast-enhancing lesions on brain MRI.
—Kowalec et al4
Part of MS Brain Preservation involves looking at the comorbidities and lifestyle behaviors of your patients with MS and considering the impact they can have on the long-term health of the brain. Research has shown that multiple sclerosis comorbidities can exacerbate the disease, increasing the likelihood of relapses.1-4 Lifestyle choices can also have a major impact on the overall health of the brain.1
View references on Comorbidities/Lifestyle.
Several adverse health conditions are more prevalent in patients with MS compared with the general population.5,6
Other comorbidities commonly associated with MS include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, irritable bowel syndrome, thyroid diseases, and epilepsy.2,7
View references on prevalence of Comorbidities.
In patients with MS, comorbidities can have significant clinical consequences, including2,4,7:
In a prospective observational study of MS patients (N=885), patients with ≥3 comorbidities at baseline had a 45% increased relapse rate (RR) over 2 years compared with patients with no comorbidities (adjusted RR 1.45; 95% CI: 1.00-2.08).4
Imaging studies have shown that patients with MS who have ≥1 cardiovascular risk factor have increased lesion burden and more advanced brain atrophy.2,8
In a retrospective study of 3166 patients with MS, physical disability increased with each additional comorbidity.7
Numerous studies have shown that multiple sclerosis comorbidities can negatively impact brain volume.
A comprehensive approach to health in MS includes lifestyle changes to manage comorbidities that can impact disease activity.12
View references on Lifestyle Changes.