The team used extracranial vascular sonography in 51 pwMS and 25 age-matched controls to compare differences in blood flow patterns and cIMT between the two groups. These findings were considered in conjunction with disability severity determined using the Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
This led experts to point out that there is a significant positive association between EDDS and cIMT in the left and right common carotid arteries. Negative associations with right vertebral artery peak systolic blood flow velocity and left internal carotid artery end-diastolic velocity were also observed.
These findings were highly influenced by biochemical and lifestyle factors such as diet and physical activity. It was also found to have a greater impact on disability progression than aging.
“PwMS with increased cIMT, a surrogate marker of atherosclerosis, and decreased carotid artery blood flow velocities, were at greater risk of disability, in addition to the effects of aging,” said the authors. stated that interventions in response to dietary and lifestyle modifications potentially slowed disability progression by promoting optimal blood flow to the brain.
A summary of the study is available here.