ACTRIMS 2017 Hot Topics

The ACTRIMS 2017 Conference took place in Orlando, Florida from February 23-25.

ACTRIMS Stands for Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. ACTRIMS is a community of leaders from the United States and Canada who are dedicated to the treatment and research in MS and other demyelinating diseases. ACTRIMS focuses on knowledge dissemination, education and collaboration among disciplines. ACTRIMS also provides a forum for experienced and newer clinicians and researchers to exchange information, debate current issues and discuss advances related to basic research and clinical issues.


Information has been sourced from

Hot Topic #1: Diet and MS

Research has shown that the development of other medical conditions in MS patients may both delay an MS diagnosis and increase the progression of the disease. SNAP risk factors – Smoking, Poor nutrition, excess Alcohol consumption, and insufficient Physical activity – contribute to the development of several health conditions in the general population, but even more so among MS patients. Read more here.

Another diet-related item spoken about at ACTRIMS was a high salt diet. A high salt diet is also seen as a potential risk factor for Multiple Sclerosis in a new study. You can read more about that here.

ACTRIMS 2017 also discussed fatty acids – how some can help, and how some can hurt the immune system. The study, “Dietary Fats and Susceptibility to MS,” was presented at today’s ACTRIMS 2017 Forum, in a session called “The Diet and Multiple Sclerosis.” You can read more on this topic and read the full article, here.

According to the National MS Society, although there’s no special “MS diet,” what and how you eat can make a difference in your energy level, bladder and bowel function, and overall health. MS specialists recommend that people with MS adhere to the same low-fat, high-fiber diet recommendations of the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society for the general population.

Hot Topic #2: Ocrevus (Ocrelizumab)

Ocrevus has now been shown to significantly decrease disease activity in MS patients, according to studies. Ocrevus is a humanized antibody previously tested in two clinical trials, and showed promising and robust results in halting MRI disease activity in patients with relapsing MS. The OPERA studies investigated the effect of Ocrevus vs. Rebif (interferon beta 1-a), a standard therapy for relapsing MS. Read more on these studies, here.

Additionally, detailed analysis of relapsing and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the three Phase 3 trials of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) showed that the treatment did not significantly increase their risk of infections — serious or otherwise. Read more here.

Hot Topic #3: Vitamin D

In a U.S. nationwide case study, a team of researchers found evidence for a potential link between viral infections during childhood, vitamin D deficiency, and the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis. A total of 360 pediatric MS patients with a mean age of 15.2 years were recruited from 16 pediatric MS centers in the U.S., along with 496 healthy matched controls. Click here to read more about this study.

Another study also shows that spending time in the sunshine could make people with MS feel more energetic. That’s the conclusion of a study — “Dietary intakes of vitamin D, sunshine exposure, EDSS and fatigue scale in Multiple Sclerosis: Are there any correlations?” To read this full article, click here.

You can click here to read up on more topics discussed at this year’s ACTRIMS Conference.

Thank you for reading!

Kara Friesen
eNewsletter & Social Media co-Coordinator
MS Cure Fund