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      Association Between Breastfeeding and Postpartum Multiple Sclerosis Relapses : A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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          Abstract

          Multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses may be increased in the postpartum period, and whether breastfeeding is associated with reduction in the risk of postpartum relapses remains controversial.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Pregnancy and multiple sclerosis (the PRIMS study): clinical predictors of post-partum relapse.

          The influence of pregnancy in multiple sclerosis has been a matter of controversy for a long time. The Pregnancy in Multiple Sclerosis (PRIMS) study was the first large prospective study which aimed to assess the possible influence of pregnancy and delivery on the clinical course of multiple sclerosis. We report here the 2-year post-partum follow-up and an analysis of clinical factors which might predict the likelihood of a relapse in the 3 months after delivery. The relapse rate in each trimester up to the end of the second year post-partum was compared with that in the pre-pregnancy year. Clinical predictors of the presence or absence of a post-partum relapse were analysed by logistic regression analysis. Using the best multivariate model, women were classified as having or not having a post-partum relapse predicted, and this was compared with the observed outcome. The results showed that, compared with the pre-pregnancy year, there was a reduction in the relapse rate during pregnancy, most marked in the third trimester, and a marked increase in the first 3 months after delivery. Thereafter, from the second trimester onwards and for the following 21 months, the annualized relapse rate fell slightly but did not differ significantly from the relapse rate recorded in the pre-pregnancy year. Despite the increased risk for the 3 months post-partum, 72% of the women did not experience any relapse during this period. Confirmed disability continued to progress steadily during the study period. Three indices, an increased relapse rate in the pre-pregnancy year, an increased relapse rate during pregnancy and a higher DSS (Kurtzke's Disability Status Scale) score at pregnancy onset, significantly correlated with the occurrence of a post-partum relapse. Neither epidural analgesia nor breast-feeding was predictive. When comparing the predicted and observed status, however, only 72% of the women were correctly classified by the multivariate model. In conclusion, the results for the second year post-partum confirm that the relapse rate remains similar to that of the pre-pregnancy year, after an increase in the first trimester following delivery. Women with greater disease activity in the year before pregnancy and during pregnancy have a higher risk of relapse in the post- partum 3 months. This is, however, not sufficient to identify in advance women with multiple sclerosis who are more likely to relapse, especially for planning therapeutic trials aiming to prevent post-partum relapses.
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            Disease-modifying drugs for multiple sclerosis in pregnancy: a systematic review.

            To systematically review the literature regarding safety of disease-modifying drug (DMD) use during pregnancy on perinatal and developmental outcomes in offspring of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A PubMed and EMBASE search up to February 2012 was conducted with a manual search of references from relevant articles. Selected studies were evaluated using internationally accepted criteria. Fifteen studies identified 761 interferon β-, 97 glatiramer acetate-, and 35 natalizumab-exposed pregnancies. Study quality ranged from poor to good; no study was rated excellent. Small sample sizes limited most studies. Compared with data for unexposed pregnancies, fair- to good-quality prospective cohort studies reported that interferon β exposure was associated with lower mean birth weight, shorter mean birth length, and preterm birth (<37 weeks), but not low birth weight (<2,500 g), cesarean delivery, congenital anomaly (including malformation), or spontaneous abortion. Fewer studies of fair quality were available for glatiramer acetate and natalizumab. Glatiramer acetate exposure was not associated with lower mean birth weight, congenital anomaly, preterm birth, or spontaneous abortion. Natalizumab exposure did not appear to be associated with shorter mean birth length, lower mean birth weight, or lower mean gestational age. No studies examined mitoxantrone or fingolimod exposure. One study of paternal DMD use during conception found no effect on gestational age or birth weight. Few studies examined longer-term developmental outcomes. Further studies are needed to determine the potential risks associated with preconceptional and in utero DMD exposure in patients with MS. Discontinuation of DMDs before conception is still recommended.
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              Exclusive breastfeeding and the risk of postpartum relapses in women with multiple sclerosis.

              To determine if exclusive breastfeeding protects against postpartum relapses of multiple sclerosis (MS) and, if so, whether this protection is related to prolonged lactational amenorrhea. We conducted structured interviews to assess clinical, menstrual, and breastfeeding history during each trimester and 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months postpartum and collected neurological examination findings from the treating physicians of women with MS. Hazards ratios (HRs) were adjusted for measures of disease severity and age. Kaiser Permanente Northern California and Stanford University. We prospectively enrolled 32 pregnant women with MS and 29 age-matched, pregnant controls. Main Outcome Measure Postpartum relapse. Of the 52% of women with MS who did not breastfeed or began regular supplemental feedings within 2 months postpartum, 87% had a postpartum relapse, compared with 36% of the women with MS who breastfed exclusively for at least 2 months postpartum (unadjusted HR, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.7-14.2; P = .003; adjusted HR, 7.1; 95% confidence interval, 2.1-24.3; P = .002). Sixty percent reported that the primary reason for foregoing exclusive breastfeeding was to resume MS therapies. Women who breastfed exclusively had a later return of menses (P = .001) than women who did not, and lactational amenorrhea was associated with a reduced risk of postpartum relapses (P = .01). Our findings suggest that exclusive breastfeeding and concomitant suppression of menses significantly reduce the risk of postpartum relapses in MS. Our findings call into question the benefit of foregoing breastfeeding to start MS therapies and should be confirmed in a larger study.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JAMA Neurology
                JAMA Neurol
                American Medical Association (AMA)
                2168-6149
                December 09 2019
                Affiliations
                [1 ]UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco
                [2 ]Department of Neurology, University of California, San Diego
                [3 ]Preventive & Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California, San Francisco
                Article
                10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.4173
                6902174
                31816024
                © 2019

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