Quitting smoking slows MS progression

Quitting smoking may slow disease progression in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) a new large real-world study has found.

Researchers found that in people who had quit smoking, disease progression was slowed to a similar rate of progression seen in people who had never smoked.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest smoking is implicated in MS development and progression, but less was known about whether stopping smoking has a beneficial effect on progression of the condition.

Researchers analysed data from people participating in the UK MS Register. They concluded that “When smokers quit, there is a slowing in the rate of motor disability deterioration so that it matches the rate of motor decline in those who have never smoked,” and that “Smoking cessation is beneficial for people with MS.

The findings were presented at the 37th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), which ran virtually in October.