Research Article| Volume 69, 104370, January 2023

Metabolic syndrome parameters and multiple sclerosis disease outcomes: A Portuguese cross-sectional study

Published:October 27, 2022DOI:


      • This study focuses on the evaluation of metabolic syndrome parameters.
      • The study includes adult patients with multiple sclerosis.
      • Waist Circumference correlates with lower cognitive function and increased disability.
      • Neurofilament light chain higher levels in the cerebrospinal fluid relate with lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.



      Metabolic syndrome and multiple sclerosis [MS] share the presence of chronic inflammation in their pathogenic mechanisms. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome parameters in MS and their association with disease disability, cognitive function, and Neurofilament Light chain [NfL] levels.


      Clinical, analytical, and magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained through medical records. Disease disability was measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS], the MS Severity Scale [MSSS] along with cognitive impairment by the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS [BICAMS] and Word List Generation test [WLG]. Metabolic syndrome parameters were evaluated by fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C], low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference [WC]. We also analysed serum leptin and ghrelin and cerebrospinal fluid NfL.


      Our sample included 51 people with MS, 34 (66.7%) females, mean age of 38.20±12.12 years and median disease duration of 3 years (P25=2.0, P75=5.0). Multivariate linear regression analysis confirmed that WC correlates with EDSS (β=0.04, p=.001) and MSSS (β=0.07, p=.002) as well as Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (β=-0.29, p=.008), WLG (β=-0.20, p=.039). NfL is also negatively associated with HDL-C (β=-4.51, p=.038).


      Waist circumference is associated with disability and deficits in cognitive tests. A decrease in HDL-C is associated with an increase in NfL. This suggests metabolic syndrome might be an important factor in MS disease course.


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