Drongowski (CC BY 2.0)

Sufferers of multiple sclerosis who consumed hard liquor experienced a degree of relief from disability, researchers report.

The effect was observed as a desirable drop in scores on the Expanded Disability Status Score system. The study’s leader, Dr. Camilo Diaz-Cruz of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said that beer drinkers also had lower scores but that consumption of red and white wines had no measurable effect.

MedPage Today reports:

… [Dr. Camilo Diaz-Cruz] and colleagues calculated that, among patients in the cross-sectional study reporting that 80-proof liquor was their favorite alcoholic beverage, each 1-serving/week increase in alcohol consumption was associated with a 31% reduction in odds of having a 1-point EDSS increase (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.57-0.84, P=0.0002) in a proportional odds logistic regression model, Diaz-Cruz said. …

In reporting the findings, Diaz-Cruz noted that some previous studies, including two large case-control analyses from Sweden, had also suggested some kind of protective effect of alcohol on risk of developing MS. But other investigations (such as the long-running Nurses Health Study I) have not confirmed those results. No previous clinical studies had addressed possible alcohol effects on established MS, he said.

But, he added, some research has suggested that alcohol can interfere with certain immune pathways, which at least in theory could inhibit disease processes in an autoimmune disorder such as MS.

Only prospective longitudinal studies can answer the question fully, he concluded.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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