Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

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Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby MSUK » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:42 am

It's a disease that strikes down adults at their prime -- and it's found Ground Zero in Canada.

Multiple sclerosis afflicts Canadians at a rate that far outpaces anyplace else in the world, a new survey has found...... Read More - http://www.ms-uk.org/ethnicgroups
MS-UK - http://www.ms-uk.org/
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jerrygallow » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:54 pm

so what's going on in Canada? If MS were a pollution issue, then we'd expect Singapore, Sao Paulo, and all of China and India to be awash in MS. Instead, rural, agricultural Canada has the highest rate (about 300 cases per 100k), double the rate of the US.

If it were just a vitamin D/sunlight issue, we'd expect Russia to have the same high rate as Canada.

If it were a dietary lack (like Terry Wahls claims), we'd expect to find MS all over Africa and other developing nations. But they have very low rates. I don't think many people are eating 9 cups of greens along with seaweed. If we remember that MS started in the 1850s, before preservatives, before trans fats, before the junk food industry, then what does that leave us? I think the scientific community would just say Canada has a better medical system so more people get diagnosed. But so do Sweden, Germany, Finland, etc. While their rates are high, they are not as high as Canada's.

If this is a virus or bacteria, then again, why don't we see it highly prevalent in New York, but less common on the farms. But MS is the opposite. It seems to be more common in farmlands. Dairy workers have a disproportionate number of cases. Some clusters have occurred on certain farms. A little town in Ohio with 4k people had a cluster. Does anybody here from Canada or with knowledge of it have any theories?

My theory is that MS starts on the farm with farm animals, particularly dairy cattle. I think it gets spread through milk or milk transportation. I think some trigger event, either stress, low vitamin D, virus, etc. triggers the latent infection in susceptible people.
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby Raymond13 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:33 pm

i blame that rock n roll :P
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby Anonymoose » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:49 pm

Maybe it's the Canadian gene pool. They've identified ms related genes. We "spread" our genes. It's only a matter of time before everyone carries them and a predisposition to ms. That would explain the overall increase in ms cases and the ms hot spots in some rural towns...everyone is related!
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:10 pm

link to the study, if anyone is interested:

Incidence and Prevalence of Multiple Sclerosis in the Americas: A Systematic Review
http://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/342779

anyway. probably a few things going on.

this was our food guide for a good long time:
Image

5-12 servings per day recommended of Breads, cereals, pasta, rice.

in the current version they've dropped it back to 6-8 servings per day.
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide ... er-eng.php

twelve year old thoughts, but still interesting:
The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the world: an update
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s100720170011
The systematic study of multiple sclerosis (MS) in populations, started in 1929 by Sydney Allison, now consists of over 400 publications dealing with the prevalence of MS throughout the world. However, any attempt to redefine the pattern of geographical differences in MS frequency remains as difficult as ever. The comparison of prevalence studies carried out in different areas and times is made difficult by the variability in surveyed population sizes, age structures, ethnic origins and composition, and the difficult quantification of numerators, especially regarding the recognition of benign and very early cases. Additionally, complete case ascertainment depends on access to medical care, local medical expertise, number of neurologists, accessibility and availability of new diagnostic procedures, the degree of public awareness about MS, and the investigators' zeal and resources. Critical examination of the more recent data on MS prevalence leads to some revisions of previously held concepts, the most interesting of which is the appreciation of the greater influence of genetic factors on disease acquisition. The rarity of MS among Samis, Turkmen, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyzis, native Siberians, North and South Amerindians, Chinese, Japanese, African blacks and New Zealand Maoris, as well as the high risk among Sardinians, Parsis and Palestinians, clearly indicate that the different susceptibilities of distinct racial and ethnic groups are an important determinant of the uneven geographic distribution of the disease. The updated distribution of MS in Europe, showing many exceptions to the previously described north-south gradient, requires more explanation than simply a prevalence-latitude relationship. Prevalence data imply that racial and ethnic differences are important in influencing the worldwide distribution of MS and that its geography must be interpreted in terms of the probable discontinuous distribution of genetic susceptibility alleles, which can however be modified by environment. Because the environmental and genetic determinants of geographic gradients are by no means mutually exclusive, the race versus place controversy is, to some extent, a useless and sterile debate.

also, I noticed in the comments on a related Toronto star article, that a lot of people are highlighting missed differential diagnoses as a possible contributor to the overall situation.
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby Anonymoose » Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:33 pm

I like that food chart very much. I am now considering moving to your frozen tundra. Perhaps the Canadians attracted all the world's gluten fiends and that is why they've so much ms.
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:18 pm

I knew you would love it, anon. I was actually going to ask if you had had a hand in designing it.
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby cheerleader » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:39 pm

Canada has a tough situation, mainly due to latitude...it's cold. People stay inside, there aren't many UV rays, and many are sedentary and don't get enough exercise. Add to that the lovely food guide jimmy shared, plus nutritional deficiencies. Slowed blood flow, called hypoperfusion, causes oxidative stress. All of these factors inhibit nitric oxide and lead to endothelial dysfunction. The endothelium maintains the blood brain barrier, and is the interface between the immune system and our blood.
The Orkney Islands have the highest rates of MS in the world, even higher than Canada!---I've written a bit about that situation here:
New research shows that the world's highest MS rates are found on Scotland's Orkney Islands. Researchers are tying this to the environmental factor of sunshine, latitude and vitamin D levels and potential genetic markers, but there's much more to this story. Because the Orkney Islands population have some serious health issues. It's not just MS.

http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com/2012/12/m ... cture.html
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:25 am

HEYYY! as a snow pro and outdoor educator, I guess my perspective on physical activity has been pretty skewed to the active over the last decade.. it's true I've heard the despairing question from a day trip student more than once: 'do you do this *every day*?!?!?
since my surgery I had the first sedentary inside winter holidays that I can remember in probably 15 yrs. no likey.

I think the fact that the sun isn't strong enough for most of the year to make vit d even if we do go outside, may be an important contributing factor to ms incidence here. plus the failure to use traditional dietary methods that were familiar to my mum's generation - good old cod liver oil (which apparently in the present processing context is not the same animal now as it was then - buyer beware).

cheer I'm interested in checking out the Scottish study - could you post a link?
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby KateCW » Wed Jan 08, 2014 9:52 am

I wonder about agricultural pesticides. There was lots of crop dusting when I grew up, my father sprayed for mosquitoes and all sorts of pest at our tree nursery. Surrounded by farmland, everybody else doing the same thing! I had lots of strep throat growing up, and long cold dark winters. Tons of MS where I come from....
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Married to a wonderful man, mother to a darling 9 yr old boy
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby Music » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:25 pm

I don’t know what causes “MS” but do have questions about what has been posted here:

DIET: A lot of countries have poor diets nowadays……obesity rates are high everywhere. On the other hand, one of my sisters is very thin, does not eat great and does not have “MS”. The Canada Food Guide is only a guide…….not everyone follows it. I had watched my diet for a long time before my dx.

WEATHER/LATITUDE: If this was the cause then Russia (as someone mentioned), Iceland or places north of Canada would have lots of “MS” and do not. Some of these places get colder than Canada and don’t always have sunlight…..sometimes for 2 – 2 ½ months. A friend from the tropics says they do have vitamin D deficiencies there.

EXERCISE: Most countries are the same. Some get exercise, some don’t. In winter here in Canada we exercise at home, in gyms or there are walking groups in malls. Some people here ride their bikes to work all winter long. Winter sports are big here. Some winters are milder than others. I used to be very active but have “MS”.

GENES: Most people here like myself are first or second generation Canadians. Our parents or grandparents are from other countries. In my case Europe, Russia and the U.S. Genes come from all over here. The “original” Canadians have very few if any(??) incidences of “MS”.

MILK/DAIRY: Some of us are not milk drinkers and eat little dairy but have “MS”.

PESTICIDES: These unfortunately are common in most places. A friend from the Philippines says they used lots on their farms there. “MS” is not common there.

Also, I am not related to anyone with “MS” and have always been fairly healthy. Just like everyone here, I don't get it.
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jimmylegs » Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:38 pm

I think it could be a case of needing to look at how all these various factors interact together synergistically rather than considering each factor in isolation...
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby cheerleader » Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:19 pm

jimmylegs wrote:HEYYY! as a snow pro and outdoor educator, I guess my perspective on physical activity has been pretty skewed to the active over the last decade.
cheer I'm interested in checking out the Scottish study - could you post a link?


jimmy--you are one in a million :) The fact that you are outside all the time, eating well, watching your nutiritonal status and continually moving makes you an outlier, my dear.
Here's the Scottish study info-
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2257 ... t=Abstract

the University of Edinburgh has been looking at cardiovascular disease, as well as MS, diabetes, stroke, etc. Research is linked on this page. People on the Orkney Islands are not very healthy.
http://www.orcades.ed.ac.uk/orcades/

I contacted another doctor at the same university, Dr. Richard Weller--a researcher who has been looking at how sunshine and UV rays affect the heart via NO and the endothelium. I suggested he might want to visit Dr. Wilson and discuss his research in Scotland, and how it might tie in to the ORCADES study. Heard back right away-

MS is indeed of considerable interest to me, as it is such a common problem in Scotland and is another latitude dependent, but vitamin D independent disease. It is thus possible that the NO mechanism my group has discovered may also be important here and this is something I would like to look at. There are a number of ways by which NO might be related from blood flow in the brain (a group at UCL in London studying this) of via effects on T cells and immunomodulation. I get irked when dermatologists only think about bad things UV does, when the good almost certainly outweigh. Mechanism should follow finding from epidemiology, and the epidemiological data strongly support the health benefits of sunlight, not least for reducing the risk of MS


Here's Dr. Weller on UV light releasing nitric oxide in the skin and how that affects cardiovascular health. Great TED talk.
Important for Canadians--
http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_weller ... heart.html

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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jimmylegs » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:05 am

I love the research on non-vit d3 effects of UV :) that's so interesting that dr. weller says that ms is vit d3 independent, will have to follow up with that tidbit for sure.
will check out the research links and TED talk - thanks
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Re: Canada has highest rate of MS in the world: study

Postby jerrygallow » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:02 pm

I tend to agree that MS may be UV affected independent of vit. D. I am from western Michigan where we have constant cloud cover from the great lakes. We have a colder version of Scottish weather or like the northwest. I just got back from a vacation in Miami and there is something there that helps me. I don't know how to put my finger on it, but it feels like the juices are flowing again. Within just a few days, my mood goes up, my energy goes up, my brain fog lifts, my leg stopped tingling. I could eat whatever I wanted. It's something to do with the ocean air, the UV rays or something. If I could afford to live there, I would move. I notice the same thing when I go to Southern California. I take 10k iu of vit D, I go to tanning beds, but they do not do for me what a couple days in FL do.
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