Monday, June 24, 2013

Magazine Monday: Vitamin D and Iran

Interesting article in Smithsonian Magazine about the Vitamin D & MS connection in relation to some interesting statistics. During the time after the Iranian Revolution in 1979 - when the mandate for modest dress and head coverings was instated - the rates of MS in Iran skyrocketed. The rates of MS increased by almost 7-fold over a 16-year period, and tripled during the just 4-year period of 2005-2009! Better diagnoses is likely explanation for part of this jump, but certainly can't be enough to fully explain this huge increase. In the article, one Iranian research speculates that an Iranian genetic tendency for MS is exacerbated by the severe lack of vitamin D caused by the clothing mandate.

The full article can be read online here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Kayla,

I found your blog online, and I found it to be very interesting and inspirational. I work for a research firm just outside of Boston, MA – and we’re currently doing some really interesting work regarding MS medication. My understanding is that the medication that has been on the market is typically administered by injection only, and that it tends to be pretty hard on the body, comes with many side effects, etc. – but that some new oral medications are now starting to come out. My team is currently recruiting MS patients to join an online bulletin board / discussion community to record their experiences with various forms of treatment. Here are the details:

- The online bulletin board will run for 6 – 8 weeks
- During this period of time, participants would be asked to respond to questions on the online bulletin board an average of three times per week
- A professional moderator will also post comments and questions in response to what you’ve written, so participants will also need to log in to respond to those
- We expect that your active participation would be about 20 minutes per session, so approximately one hour per week
- Additionally, we might ask you to complete one or two exercises using your imagination and creativity, such as a weekly journal
- The online bulletin board is not real-time chat, so you’ll be able to log in whenever it’s convenient for you
- As a thank you for your time and opinions, you will receive a check for $350 after completing the full 6 – 8 week exercise
- In addition to the monetary incentive, this is a unique and interesting opportunity for you to influence the MS medications that are available and coming onto the market

We are specifically looking to recruit patients who have Relapse-Remitting MS, and who are in the process of switching to / from various medications, or starting new forms of treatment.

First and foremost, I was wondering if you might be interested in participating – but I was also thinking that you might be able to help me get the word out to any other MS patients who you think might be interested.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, if you’d like to learn more about what we’re doing, or if you’d like to sign up to participate.

Thanks very much,

Elizabeth Staples
Fieldwork Services Manager

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