- Dr. Annette Langer-Gould
- Department of Neurology, Regional Lead for Clinical and Translational Neuroscience, Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
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Special Issue Introduction
The dramatic increase in the prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) over the past several decades is best explained by a prolonged life span, improved MS diagnosis and/or increased MS susceptibility. Simultaneously, the Western lifestyle has become unhealthier, with rising rates of obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety – complex factors that have been associated with physical disability and lower quality of life in MS patients. Many MS patients seek help through the Health and Wellness industry - a $4.2 trillion mix of both well-intended and predatory businesses that market products to individual patients. The benefits of the plethora of supplements and diets marketed to MS patients are poorly understood and their potential harms, including financial toxicity or foregoing traditional medical care, even less so. The larger question of whether health systems or societal level interventions could be more effective than individual level interventions is rarely discussed in MS, even for smoking, a well-established MS susceptibility and prognostic factor. The current special issue has the purpose of critically examining the direct or indirect roles of lifestyle and environmental factors in determining MS susceptibility, prognosis, symptom relief or quality of life; the risks and benefits of engaging in commonly promoted Health and Wellness industry practices; and initiating thoughtful discussions on how such factors could be addressed by health systems or societal level interventions.
Potential topics of the special issue include, but are not limited to:
Modifiable risk factors of MS susceptibility or prognosis;
Modifiable factors influencing MS symptom severity or co-morbidities;
Health systems, societal or individual level interventions to modify MS risk, progression or symptoms;
Benefits and/or harms of diets or dietary supplements.
KeywordsMultiple sclerosis, lifestyle, rising rates of obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety, health Systems, diets or dietary supplements, neuroimmunology
Submission Deadline15 Nov 2020