Multiple Sclerosis: High Salt Intake Linked to More Relapses Interview with:
Dr. Mauricio Farez
Department of Neurology, Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Farez: Our study shows that patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) with moderate to high sodium (salt) intake have also increased disease activity (more clinical relapses and more lesions on MRIs).

Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Farez: Not really. Recent studies show that salt modulates the activation of a cell subset implicated in the pathogenesis of MS. However, the role of salt intake in MS patients was not previously reported. Our study shows for the first time that there may be an association between sodium intake and Multiple Sclerosis disease activity.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Farez: here are many known environmental factor affecting MS, such as vitamin D, smoking and Epstein Barr virus infection. Our study shows that high sodium intake may be another environmental factor affecting MS patients. Of note, this is a small observational study showing a relationship between sodium intake and Multiple Sclerosis disease activity and this data needs to be further validated in larger studies including different populations. It is to soon to say that Multiple Sclerosis patients should cut their sodium intake, but our findings could serve as a basis for clinical trials with salt moderation in Multiple Sclerosis patients.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Farez: Since sodium intake is linked to dietary habits, it would be interesting to see if this association is also present in other countries or ethnic groups with different culinary traditions and different sodium intake levels.


Sodium intake is associated with increased disease activity in multiple sclerosis

Mauricio FarezMarcela FiolMaria GaitanFrancisco Quintanaand Jorge Correale

Last Updated on January 19, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD