A new US study that compared brain scans of people with multiple sclerosis to weather data over a two year period found that disease activity varied with the seasons, with spring and summer months showing predominantly the highest rates of activity, but with increased temperature and solar activity also showing a strong link. The researchers said designers of drug trials that use brain scans to measure results should also consider the possible influence of seasonal effects.
The study, by co-author Dr Dominik Meier, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues, is published in the 31 August issue of Neurology.
Meier told the press that:
“Our results showed that the appearance of lesions on brain scans was two to three times higher in the months of March to August, compared to other months of the year.”