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Hartl, Christina; Obermeier, Viola; Gerdes, Lisa Ann; Brügel, Mathias; Kries, Rüdiger von; Kümpfel, Tania (2017): Seasonal variations of 25-OH vitamin D serum levels are associated with clinical disease activity in multiple sclerosis patients. In: Journal of the Neurological Sciences, Vol. 375: pp. 160-164
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Low 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25-[OH]-D) serum concentrations have been associated with higher disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. In a large cross-sectional study we assessed the vitamin D status in MS patients in relation to seasonality and relapse rate. 415 MS-patients (355 relapsing-remitting MS and 60 secondary -progressive, 282 female, mean age 39.1 years) of whom 25-(OH)-D serum concentrations were determined at visits between 2010 and 2013 were included in the study. All clinical data including relapse at visit and expanded disability status scale were recorded in a standardized manner by an experienced neurologist. Seasonal variations of 25-(OH)-D serum concentrations were modelled by sinusoidal regression and seasonal variability in the prevalence of relapse by cubic regression. The mean 25-(OH)-D serum concentration was 24.8 ng/ml (range 83-140 ng/ml) with peak levels of 322 ng/ml in July/August and nadir in January/February (17.2 ng/ml). The lowest modelled prevalence of relapse was in September/October (28%) and the highest modelled prevalence in March/April (47%). The nadir of 25-(OH)-D serum concentrations preceded the peak in prevalence of relapses by two months. In summary, seasonal variation of 25-(OH)-D serum levels were inversely associated with clinical disease activity in MS patients. Future studies should investigate whether vitamin D supplementation in MS patients may decrease the seasonal risk for MS relapses.