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

 

Review: Henry Rollins Burning Down The House

With his lantern jaw, close-cropped hair, and muscle-bound physique, Henry Rollins could not be further from the US Marine image his appearance might suggest. More>>

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news