The more I think about MS the more I realise that we should be focusing as much effort as possible on prevention.
The modifiable risk factors that have been identified should be well known to you by now:
1. Vitamin D
3. Epstein Barr virus
Addressing factors 1 and 2 requires a change in behavior. However as with all public heath issues it takes a lot to get people to change their behavior. One of the methods that has recently been proposed is "nudge".
A detailed account of the "nudge theory" can be obtained from the following book:
"Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness" by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.
Unfortunately it looks like it's going to take more than a "nudge" to get people to change their habits to prevent MS in the UK. The House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee recently issued a report on behavioral change policy that finds "nudges" and similar behavior interventions ineffective in influencing behavioral changes when used in isolation.
So we are going to need your help on taking basic prevention strategies forward! I am particularly concerned with the trend in young girls with regard to smoking (see previous posts). Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Must see interview of Baroness Neuberger on the The House of Lords Science and Technology Sub-Committee report.
Other relevant posts on this blog:
11 Jun 2011
Smoking is an important risk factor for MS (see previous post) and almost certainly interacts with other risk factors. Therefore getting young people to not start, or to stop smoking, is an important message of our ...
15 Jul 2011
As an extremely clean living person, the smoking element cannot be pertained to me, yet I still have MS. Genetically, no one in my family has a history of MS, therefore that factor falls by the wayside as well. ...
16 Jun 2011
In this study, the investigators studied potential interactions between genetic risk factors and smoking in relation to risk of developing MS. Results: a significant interaction between two genetic risk factors was found ...
12 Apr 2011
Smoking is an important risk factor for MS. We therefore did a updated meta-analysis of all studies published on the topic. Our results confirm that smoking is associated with MS susceptibility and increases the risk of ...