If Northern latitudes contribute to MS and Equatorial climes have virtually no MS, what happens when someone with MS moves South? There must be research dealing with this question. My question is a bit self serving, I just spent 10 days near Belize, it was very hot and humid and I have not felt better in 2 years. I literally had a pre-MS life for 10 days. I'm back and so are my issues. Could be psycho symatic but I'm ready to move!
Anyone have thoughts. I could rent a bus.
Funny you should mention the mountains and skiing. I have made myself crazy trying to figure out why Colorado has one of the highest rates of MS. There are plenty of states farther North. I have become convinced that altitude is equally important. I have lived most of my life above 9,000 ft and in recent years above 10,000. I have spent my adult life climbing and skiing the high peaks of Colorado and have spent more than my share above 20,000. I have always been convinced of the connection. As to the trip South, I was sure the heat would kill me and certainly never expected to feel better. My edss # has fluctuated between 3 and 5 for 2 years and have forced myself (against my body's will) to do as much as I can. On this trip I walked the mile trip to the nearest village for meals three times a day and explored the area without problem. It's been a long time since I have done anything without "problem". I don't have a clue why but I want to find out. You know there are a lot of high peaks around the equator with plenty of snow. You ready?
10,000?!! i think i've spent most of my life between about 100 and 800 :S boooo hehe with various exceptions out west
well i won't deny that i'm feeling due for a vacay of sorts but the heat and humidity just moved in here for the summer - i probably should finish this pesky degree - grrrrrrrrrrr - so i can get a job in those equatorial mountains at some stage
BUT if you go, i want to hear all about it!!
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Maybe higher air pressure and oxygen levels at sea level were giving you an energy boost? I know there are many believers in hyperbaric oxygen for MS treatment.
"When we breathe in air at sea level, the atmospheric pressure of about 14.7 pounds per square inch (1.04 kg. per cm.2) causes oxygen to easily pass through selectively permeable lung membranes into the blood. At high altitudes, the lower air pressure makes it more difficult for oxygen to enter our vascular systems. The result is hypoxia , or oxygen deprivation."
Glad you had a great vacation and respite from your symptoms!
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
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You can read my post about something similar in a thread about Terry worrying about her upcoming Florida vacation. Now granted this was three years ago and I was doing better, but I also, after I got acclimated, felt better in Florida than I did in Ohio and we aren't up in the mountains. I think it was the sunshine. It's going to be 92, sunny and humid today and I'm sunbathing! I hope I can deal with it. It's going to be a scorcher today.
Thanks a lot, I had my wife pretty much convinced. Pretty good theories here. Lyndacarol; I would agree with the diet thing except I have refined my diet to the point that I actually felt I was digressing on the trip. Cheerleader; I think your point may be valid. There is a wild card I hadn't thought of, BEER. I always thought it to be a cure all now I'm convinced. I still would like to hear a reasonable connection to Colorado's high MS rate. I have spoken to a lot of MS specialist about it and across the board they seem to concur that there is no altitude connection. From a climbing perspective, I know that altitude and latitude are connected i.e. a 20,000 foot climb at the equator = less mean altitude than a 20,000 ft climb in Alaska. Always a question, seldom an answer.
Now, with that said, I lived in Southern Ontario for the first 19 years of my life, where there's a lower incidence of MS than the Maritimes, where I live now. Funny, eh? ;)
(Had to through in the mandatory Canadian eh for you!)
an hypothesis related to elevation and geographic anomaly:
these guys correlate it to latitude not altitude or other factors... i have the full text of this one if anyone wants - the abstract didn't match the title for me so i had to get into it a bit further..Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1997 Oct;216(1):21-7.Links
Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis.
Hayes CE, Cantorna MT, DeLuca HF.
Recently, it has been clearly demonstrated that exogenous 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, the hormonal form of vitamin D3, can completely prevent experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a widely accepted mouse model of human multiple sclerosis (MS). This finding has focused attention on the possible relationship of this disease to vitamin D. Although genetic traits certainly contribute to MS susceptibility, an environmental factor is also clearly involved. It is our hypothesis that one crucial environmental factor is the degree of sunlight exposure catalyzing the production of vitamin D3 in skin, and, further, that the hormonal form of vitamin D3 is a selective immune system regulator inhibiting this autoimmune disease. Thus, under low-sunlight conditions, insufficient vitamin D3 is produced, limiting production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, providing a risk for MS. Although the evidence that vitamin D3 is a protective environmental factor against MS is circumstantial, it is compelling. This theory can explain the striking geographic distribution of MS, which is nearly zero in equatorial regions and increases dramatically with latitude in both hemispheres. It can also explain two peculiar geographic anomalies, one in Switzerland with high MS rates at low altitudes and low MS rates at high altitudes, and one in Norway with a high MS prevalence inland and a lower MS prevalence along the coast. Ultraviolet (UV) light intensity is higher at high altitudes, resulting in a greater vitamin D3 synthetic rate, thereby accounting for low MS rates at higher altitudes. On the Norwegian coast, fish is consumed at high rates and fish oils are rich in vitamin D3. Further, experimental work on EAE provides strong support for the importance of vitamin D3 in reducing the risk and susceptibility for MS. If this hypothesis is correct, then 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or its analogs may have great therapeutic potential in patients with MS. More importantly, current research together with data from migration studies opens the possibility that MS may be preventable in genetically susceptible individuals with early intervention strategies that provide adequate levels of hormonally active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 or its analogs.
i'm working on getting the full text for this next one, because the google search mentions altitude but it's not reflected in this abstract:J Chronic Dis. 1983;36(8):551-9.Links
Epidemiology of multiple sclerosis in U.S. veterans: 2. Latitude, climate and the risk of multiple sclerosis.
Norman JE Jr, Kurtzke JF, Beebe GW.
An analysis of ten climatic factors and elevation for the counties of birth of 4371 U.S. white male veterans with multiple sclerosis and matched controls has been made in relation to birthplace latitude. The climatic factors include an air pollution index, concentrations of minerals in ground water, measures of annual solar radiation, both in energy per unit area and in hours of sunshine, mean annual periods of high and low temperatures, and measures of annual rainfall and average humidity. These variables all significantly influence the risk of multiple sclerosis when analyzed alone, but when they are adjusted for latitude, their effect is found to be due to their correlation with this variable.
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=1044-3 ... 0.CO%3B2-9
anyway. i'll keep trying. that's enough digging for now better do some of my own work heheDoes Immunosuppressive UV Radiation Explain the Latitude Gradient for MS?
Multiple sclerosis is regarded as an autoimmune disease. The autoimmune process is thought to be triggered by early-life exposure to viral/bacterial antigens that share key peptide sequences with myelin protein (the target of autoimmune attack in multiple sclerosis). It has long been known that the incidence of multiple sclerosis is positively correlated with latitude, particularly in Caucasian populations. There is no agreed explanation for this latitude gradient, however. Ultraviolet radiation level is negatively correlated with latitude. Recent evidence suggests that ultraviolet-B is immunosuppressive, affecting particularly T-cell activity and delayed-type hypersensitivity. We hypothesize here that the latitude gradient of multiple sclerosis may reflect differential ultraviolet suppression of autoimmune activity, particularly since the autoimmune profile of multiple sclerosis is characterized by disturbances of those T-cell-related activities that are specifically affected by ultraviolet-B. We propose toms specifice tests of this hypothesis.