MS and IBD possibly related

A recent case report of a man who has both inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) has caused researchers to call for further investigation into the link between the two.

The relationship between the conditions was first suggested in a 1982 study by Rang et al, where the prevalence of MS was three times higher in people who had been treated for IBD with a colectomy.

IBD is the umbrella term for two conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While 0.1 per cent of the population is estimated to have MS, among people with IBD, the prevalence leaps to 0.5 per cent. Researchers say the IBD and MS seem to share common immunological and epidemiological similarities, and recognising the link could help identify those who have a greater risk, although further larger studies are needed.