News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Christchurch neurologist leading part of a world first

December 17, 2012

MEDIA RELEASE


Christchurch neurologist leading part of a world first clinical trial for MS

A Christchurch neurologist is leading part of the world’s first clinical trial into whether oral vitamin D may prevent multiple sclerosis (MS).

The trial is being conducted in both Australia and New Zealand and will include 240 people with early MS.

Dr Deborah Mason will oversee the New Zealanders taking part in the study while Professor Bruce Taylor, a former Christchurch neurologist now based in Hobart, Australia, is one of the principal researchers heading the trial in Australia.

Dr Mason says MS prevalence in New Zealand is high compared to many other parts of the world and appears to be increasing particularly in females.

Researchers believe New Zealanders may be particularly susceptible to MS because of our low latitude which results in low levels of vitamin D.

“This is particularly true for people living in Canterbury, Otago and Southland. We are uniquely placed to perform this research here and it has particular relevance given our high MS rates,” Dr Mason says.

“It will be the world’s first randomised controlled interventional study using vitamin D in people with MS to see how it might influence this disease.”

MS Research Australia has pledged $3.5 million towards the study.

“This trial may not only find a very modestly priced treatment for early MS it may also give us a lot of information about the effect of vitamin D on MS and may be a precursor to intervention in at risk groups prior to developing disease. It also has synergies with other research being done in NZ in children and others as vitamin D is currently a hot topic of research.”

Dr Mason says the timing of the study has also worked in perfectly as it correlates with other research she has been doing including the NZ MS Incidence Study for the MS Society.

“The society’s study has focused on developing a database of people with MS and has provided the platform to approach suitable candidates to invite them into the vitamin D study, which is scheduled to begin in January,” she says.

Dr Mason says MS can be extremely debilitating and affects more women than men.

“Often in their 20s or 30s during what typically should be the most productive years of their lives,” Dr Mason says.

“Other research has found 92 percent of people with MS have a strong work history but within five years of developing the disease up to 50 percent are no longer working.”

Dr Mason is a consultant neurologist with Canterbury District Health Board based in Christchurch Hospital’s Neurology Department.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Photos: Inside The Christchurch Arts Centre Rebuild

Lady Pippa Blake visited Christchurch Arts Centre chief executive André Lovatt, a 2015 recipient of the Blake Leader Awards. The award celebrated Lovatt’s leadership in New Zealand and hisand dedication to the restoration of the Arts Centre. More>>

Running Them Up The Flagpole: Web Tool Lets Public Determine New Zealand Flag

A School of Design master’s student is challenging the flag selection process by devising a web tool that allows the public to feed their views back in a way, he says, the current government process does not. More>>

ALSO:

Survey: ‘The Arts Make My Life Better’: New Zealanders

New Zealanders are creative people who believe being involved in the arts makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Nine out of ten adult New Zealanders (88%) agree the arts are good for them and eight out of ten (82%) agree that the arts help to improve New Zealand society. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Reprieve For Te Papa Press

Following its review of the role of Te Papa Press, Te Papa has committed to continue publishing books during the museum’s redevelopment, Chief Executive Rick Ellis announced yesterday. More>>

Law Society: Sir Peter Williams QC, 1934 - 2015

“Sir Peter was an exceptional advocate. He had the ability to put the defence case for his clients with powerful oratory. His passion shone through in everything he did and said.” Mr Moore says Sir Peter’s lifelong commitment to prison reform was instrumental in ensuring prison conditions and the rights of prisoners were brought to public attention. More>>

ALSO:

CTU: Peter Conway – Family Statement

Peter committed his whole working life to improving the lives of working people, both in unions and, more recently, as the Economist and Secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. He was previously Chair of Oxfam New Zealand and was on the Board of NZ Trade and Enterprise. More>>

ALSO:

Hundertwasser Art Museum: Whangarei Says Yes

Provisional results confirm Whangarei voted Option B in a landslide result for the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre project. 13,726 voted for the Hundertwasser project in a FPP binding referendum that had higher voter turnout than the last local body election. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news