Mike: We’ve had a lot of positive news that’s come through from some of the talks here at ECTRIMS, is there any areas that you felt that didn’t have enough attention, something that you wish that we could have had a bit more focus on?
Professor Gavin Giovannoni, Neurologist: Yeah, so I’m a big proponent of environmental factors and the triggers of MS, so we know that there are three big environmental factors: smoking, Epstein-Barr virus and vitamin D. So there was quite a bit about vitamin D in possibly high dose, very high dose vitamin D modifying the course of the disease, that will need to be reproduced before I recommend that dose of vitamin D to everybody.
There wasn’t anything on vir… or there’s about two posters on viruses, which is a big disappointment, because it’s quite clear that infections are a trigger for relapses. We know that there’s a strong link between getting infectious mononucleosis and MS and so I would have liked to have seen some more focus on environmental factors and this meeting was devoid of that, really. And we presented the results of our negative study, we did an anti-retroviral, this is a drug that’s licensed for treating HIV, and we tested this in people with relapsing disease and the trial was negative and we presented our results at this meeting.
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Professor Gavin Giovannoni has an MBBCh, PhD, FCP (Neurol., SA), FRCP, FRCPath amongst his qualifications. He is the Chair of Neurology at Barts and The London School of Medicine. His research interests have focused around multiple sclerosis and inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system. His teaching focuses on clinical neurology and neuroimmunology.