SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Nearly one million people in the United States are living with multiple sclerosis.
dr Hebatalla Elhusseiny, an associate neurologist at the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research at Mercy Medical Center, spoke to Western Mass News about whether diet and the latest treatments can help those living with the disease improve their quality of life.
A new neuroscientific study suggests that the ketogenic diet may help reduce disability and improve quality of life for people with MS. Can diet play a role in treating MS?
Elhusseiny: “It was a very interesting study that amazed me. Diet has always been a controversial topic when it comes to MS. We know that diet has an impact on something like the gut microbiome, which is known to alter the diagnosis and progression of MS disease, and let me tell you, there’s a difference between what we’re eating into see the clinical trials and what we see in the patients. We tried a gluten-free diet and the patients felt better. but it has not been proven. The work was very interesting as the ketogenic diet has been shown to protect against epilepsy, seizures and our nerves. This study is a bit small, but there will soon be a larger one following people in Berlin who have been following patients on the ketogenic diet since 2017 until now. Both studies show that a ketogenic diet may have played a role in helping people with MS, perhaps in combination with other therapies that are on the market.”
What are the latest treatments for MS that are proving effective?
Elhusseiny: “So I think we’re in an era where people with MS now have more support. Ten years ago we had three or four drugs and now we have about 15 FDA approved drugs. We have a lot of drugs for active diseases and a lot of research is going into progressive MS, but that’s a whole other topic that we can talk about later, but progressive MS kind of falls short. We have many treatments for the progressive disease. Unfortunately, we don’t have a cure, but we do have drugs that can stop the disease almost 90 percent, which is the closest thing to a cure. Stem cells have also shown great promise and we await further results.”
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