Study shows MS patients may have higher risk for thyroid complications

Recent research shows that patients with with multiple sclerosis (MS) are vulnerable to a variety of other autoimmune disorders, including thyroid abnormalities.

At the 26th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, investigators recommended that doctors examine patients for autoimmune thyroid disease, MedScape reports.

Researchers looked at 200 patients with MS and 200 control patients. The group, led by Recai Turkoglu from the Haydarpasa Numune Education and Research Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, tested thyroid-stimulating hormone and thyroid autoantibody before and after immune modulating therapy.

The researchers found significant differences in thyroid autoantibody levels between patients with MS and control subjects. Only two patients had positive thyroid autoantibodies after immune modulating therapy.

"It's still not clear whether there is a relationship, but this and other studies suggest there could be. I check my MS patients for autoimmune markers including thyroid antibodies," said Dr Al-Harbi, a neurologist at King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

An estimated 450,000 thyroid biopsies are performed each year in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.