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MS in African Americans linked to low vitamin D

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today. Researchers have long suspected that, among Caucasians, low vitamin D levels play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis. Now, a University of California, San Francisco, study confirms that the same is true for African Americans.

Green:            One of the great tragedies of MS among African Americans is that, in spite of the fact that it's less common, when it does happen it's more severe and many African Americans who suffer from the disease have more rapid progression of disability and a more aggressive disease course.

Narrator:        Ari Green, the assistant director of UCSF's Multiple Sclerosis Center, explains that more research needs to be done in order to understand why MS tends to be more severe in African Americans, but this study is an important first step in understanding the genetics factors that contribute to the disease.

Green:            If we can learn that, we can hopefully find ways to overcome that problem, better help our African American patients, but also there may be a benefit for all patients with MS.

 Narrator:      For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.