Irish Journal of Medical Science

, Volume 182, Issue 1, pp 29–32 | Cite as

Immunomodulators for multiple sclerosis may ameliorate spinal bone loss

  • M. J. McKenna
  • B. Murray
  • R. Lonergan
  • J. M. T. Redmond
Original Article



The effect of immunomodulator therapy (IMT) for multiple sclerosis (MS) on bone turnover is unknown.


The aim of this study was to assess bone turnover in MS patients on IMT.


MS patients (n = 29) on maintenance IMT had repeat measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) after a 4.0 ± 0.4 years; bone turnover markers (BTM) were measured at the time of repeat BMD.


BMD was unchanged at the spine but declined at the hip. BTMs, both resorption and formation, were reduced compared to normative range that may indicate an anti-resorptive action of IMT. Significant negative correlations were noted between BTMs and changes in BMD at spine but not hip.


These observations suggest that IMT may have a beneficial effect on spinal bone by an antiresorptive action. A prospective study of the effect of IMT on BMD and bone turnover is warranted.


Multiple sclerosis Immunodulator therapy Bone mineral density Bone turnover markers 


Conflict of interest

Dr. Redmond has received research grant support from Schering.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. McKenna
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Murray
    • 2
  • R. Lonergan
    • 3
  • J. M. T. Redmond
    • 3
  1. 1.DXA UnitSt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Metabolism LaboratorySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.Department of NeurologySt. James’s HospitalDublinIreland

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