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J Neuroimmunol. 2005 Aug;165(1-2):186-91.

Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activity predicts disease progression in multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany.


Clinical studies have shown that groups of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients exhibit a chronically activated hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, the association of HPA axis activity and disease progression in MS is unknown. In this longitudinal study over a 3-year follow-up period, we report that patients who exhibited stronger HPA reactivity at baseline were significantly more likely to experience progression as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) during the follow-up period. Furthermore, HPA axis activity correlated with progression ratings and cognitive impairment three years later. Tests of HPA axis activity may be useful biomarkers for disease progression in MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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