Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Research:Iron deposition elevated in MS

Habib CA et al. Assessing Abnormal Iron Content in the Deep Gray Matter of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis versus Healthy Controls. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2011 Nov [Epub]

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSEIt is well known that patients with MS tend to have abnormal iron deposition in and around the MS plaques in the brain. In this study, we quantify iron content in patients with MS and healthy volunteers.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Fifty-two patients with MS were recruited to assess abnormal iron content in brain structures involved in movement. One hundred twenty-two healthy subjects were recruited to establish a baseline of normal iron content in deep grey matter structures.

RESULTS: A clear separation between iron content in healthy subjects versus patients with MS was seen. For healthy subjects 13% and for patients with MS 65% showed an iron-weighting factor greater than three standard deviations from the normal mean (P < .05). Standard deviation is a measure of variability around a mean (average. middle point). 1.96 standard deviations would be expected contain 95% of the results and >3 standard deviations only less than 0.5% of results would be expected to occur at this level if it occured by chance. So the chance result would occur in 1 in a thousand times you do the experiment but would occur 650 times in a thousand (65%) so these results are unlikely to be a chance result. The results for those patients younger than 40 years are even more impressive. In these cases, only 1% of healthy subjects and 67% of patients with RRMS showed abnormally high iron content.

CONCLUSIONS: Iron-weighting factors in the brain appeared to be abnormal in roughly two-thirds of patients with MS

Although CSSVI'ers may take heart from this, as Dr. Z from Italy theorized that malformed blood vessels cause increased deposition of iron in the brain, which in turn triggers the problems of MS. Altered iron levels and MS have been reported for decades and iron deposits occur in other neurological diseases and EAE in animals that have not been associated with CSSVI. Yet further examples of repetative research no doubt triggered by the Dr. Z. studies.