The study, published by the Vitamin D Council in the US, looked at 101 patients who had their vitamin D levels tested within six months of an AON attack. It found that 52.5% of the patients had a moderate attack and 35.6% had a severe attack. They also found that 90.1% of this group had a full recovery from the attack.
“No previous study has specifically investigated the importance of vitamin D in severity of AON, and our results support the hypothesis that low vitamin D levels are related to worse multiple sclerosis disease course,” the researchers noted.
Acute optic neuritis (AON) is an inflammatory condition that occurs in the nerve fibres that communicate information between the eye and the brain. It is characterised by colour blindness, vision loss, and pain in the eye.
The condition is common in people with multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the covering of the body’s nerves. AON is often the first symptom that is present in those with multiple sclerosis, where the immune system attacks the optic nerves.
Vitamin D’s role in multiple sclerosis is well-established. Research suggests that maintaining healthy vitamin D levels helps slow progression of multiple sclerosis and help manage some aspects of the condition.