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Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence

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Multiple Sclerosis Complementary and Alternative Medicine

The use of complementary medicine and alternative medicine (CAM) is common in MS. It includes approaches to MS that are not generally considered a part of conventional medicine. These approaches include dietary supplements, yoga, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, meditation and other mind/body medicine. The VA supports the use of an Integrative Medicine approach that combines CAM with conventional medicine. The VA continues to research safety and effectiveness of CAM in the treatment of MS and other neurologic disorders, with the goal of providing the best comprehensive care to our Veterans.

Articles

Overview of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Heidi Maloni, PhD

Update on Vitamin D
Walter Royal, MD, Baltimore, MD VA Medical Center

News Report from the National MS Society (August 2015) on Large Gene Study Supports Link Between Low Vitamin D Levels and Risk of Getting MS
Researchers reported results looking at genetic factors that cause vitamin D deficiency and their impact on people’s risks of developing MS. Previous studies have pinpointed low levels of vitamin D as one of the factors that increases an individual’s chance of getting MS. Researchers confirmed that people with gene variations linked to low vitamin D had double the chance of getting MS. It’s not known yet whether taking vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of developing MS or help treat MS in people who already have the disease.
Read coverage of the McGill study in Boots WebMD
Read the open-access research paper
Read more about Vitamin D and MS

Yoga and MS
Edward Kim, MD, Portland, OR VA Medical Center
Barry Oken, MD, Oregon Health & Science University
 

Useful Links

VA War Related Illness website addresses CAM: acupuncture and yoga.  

National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health

ORCCAMIND is a center without walls committed to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine research in neurological disorders