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Cardiovascular Dysfunction in Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological condition, characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation and demyelination of the central nervous system called relapsing-remitting episodes, and continuous axonal degeneration that leads to irreversible progressive invalidity.
Patients with multiple sclerosis present a higher mortality rate compared to the general population, and the excess of mortality may be explained by the increased cardiovascular risk and occurrence of cardiovascular disease. However, the exact pathways to cardiovascular dysfunction are not yet completely elucidated.
This review focuses on the most important mechanisms of cardiovascular dysfunction in MS, such as the cardiomyocite structure alteration, the cardiovascular autonomous nervous system dysfunction, physical invalidity, oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, as well as the impact of cardiovascular risk factors in MS.
The latest evidence about therapeutic approaches for MS, such as immunomodulatory treatment, vitamin D supplementation and statins are also discussed.
There is little knowledge about the cardiovascular dysfunction in MS, and further research is required to improve the understanding of these complex mechanisms.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular dysfunction, immunonodulatory treatment