Latest scientific news 23 July 2015

Potential protective effect of moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages on multiple sclerosis

A recent meta-analysis showed no evidence that consumption of alcoholic beverages is related to a higher risk of multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system where the flow of information within the brain and between the brain and body is disrupted. The cause of MS is still not known but scientists believe that an interaction of several factors is involved (immunologic, environmental, infectious, and genetic).

Chinese researchers performed this first systematic literature search to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis risk. 10 studies, including nine case-controls and one cohort study were included in the meta-analysis. The authors concluded that although only a trend and no significant risk reduction of multiple sclerosis was observed, there may be a potential protective effect of alcohol consumption on MS incidence. However, this trend should be validated by further research.

Zhu T, Ye X, Zhang T, Lin Z, Shi W, Wei X, Liu Y, He J. Association between alcohol consumption and multiple sclerosis: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Neurol Sci. 2015 Jul 10. [Epub ahead of print]

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.