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ECTRIMS Online Library. Yamamura T. Oct 25, 2017; 202391
Takashi Yamamura
Takashi Yamamura
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Abstract: 48

Type: Oral

Patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) are increasing in developed countries. Considering the physical and socio-economical burden of MS, the cause for the increasing trend should be intensively investigated. Of note, the trend of increasing incidence of MS is most obvious in Japan, referring to a government report on the registered cases of MS. Although only 1000 patients with MS or neuromyelitis optica (NMO) were registered in 1980, there are currently more than 20,000 patients with MS/NMO. The increase is more significant in MS than NMO, resulting in an increase in MS/NMO ratio. Regional epidemiological survey in Tokachi, Hokkaido (Houzen et al.) indicates that the increase is the reality, and not due to better awareness of the disease, improved health care system or better medical facilities. Among environmental risk factors for MS, cigarette smoking, lower exposure to sunlight, EB virus infection, or higher salt taking could not explain the increase. In the symposium, I discuss that westernization and changes in diet may at least partly explain the increase of patients with MS in Japan, possibly via altering gut microbiota and immune regulatory network.
Disclosure: Takashi Yamamura: nothing to disclose

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