Journal of Neurology

, Volume 258, Issue 11, pp 2036–2042 | Cite as

Vascular function and multiple sclerosis

  • Anette S. Fjeldstad
  • John McDaniel
  • Melissa A. H. Witman
  • Steve J. Ives
  • Jia Zhao
  • John W. Rose
  • James Hannon
  • D. Walter Wray
  • Russell S. Richardson
Original Communication


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease with an assumed autoimmune etiology which may lead to elevated oxidative stress, vascular dysfunction, and subsequent predisposition to cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to evaluate vascular function and the potential role of oxidative stress in patients diagnosed with MS compared to healthy controls (C). Fourteen patients with relapsing–remitting MS (47 ± 3 years) and 13 age- and activity-matched controls (44 ± 5 years) underwent brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) and reactive hyperemia testing using ultrasound Doppler. Venous blood was analyzed for C-reactive protein (CRP), lipid hydroperoxides (LH), the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase activity. CRP [1.8 ± 0.5 mg/L (MS), 1.0 ± 0.5 mg/L (C)] and LH [1.2 ± 0.2 μmol/L (MS), 1.1 ± 0.1 μmol/L (C)] were not different between MS patients and controls. FMD [8.0 ± 1.2% (MS) and 9.2 ± 1.6% (C)] and reactive hyperemia [380 ± 61 mL (MS) and 402 ± 69 mL (C)] were also not different between groups. Vascular function, as assessed by both FMD and reactive hyperemia, was not impaired in patients with MS compared to controls. Further, there was no evidence of elevated systemic inflammation or oxidative stress in these patients, who were currently all in remission. These findings suggest that impaired vascular function, elevated inflammation and oxidative stress are not an obligatory accompaniment to MS.


Inflammation Reactive hyperemia FMD Physical activity 



The authors thank the subjects for their time and effort in participating in this research study. This study was supported in part by NIH (P01HL091830 RSR) and AHA (0835209 N DWW).

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest to report.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anette S. Fjeldstad
    • 1
  • John McDaniel
    • 2
  • Melissa A. H. Witman
    • 3
  • Steve J. Ives
    • 3
  • Jia Zhao
    • 1
  • John W. Rose
    • 4
    • 5
  • James Hannon
    • 3
  • D. Walter Wray
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Russell S. Richardson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, George E. Whalen VA Medical CenterUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical CenterVAMCSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Exercise and Sports ScienceUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.Neurovirology Research Laboratory, VASLCHSC, and Department of NeurologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  5. 5.The Brain InstituteUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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