Conducting dietary intervention trials in people with multiple sclerosis: Lessons learned and a path forward

Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Ilana Katz Sand, Angela Senders, Rebecca Spain, Barbara Giesser, Patrick Sullivan, David J. Baer, Nicholas LaRocca, Kathleen M Zackowski, Ellen M. Mowry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Disease course in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is heterogeneous. The impact of dietary and nutritional factors on MS prognosis is of interest to both patients and clinicians; differences in diet are hypothesized to contribute to disease evolution over time. However, studying diet, especially in people with MS, introduces methodologic complexity that should be recognized. In this review, we focus on methodological aspects relevant to the conduct of dietary interventions in people with MS, given our experience in leading such studies and the challenges we encountered in the realization of this work. We summarize key aspects of study design and important considerations, regardless of the specifics of the actual study (e.g. the particular diet of interest, target MS population, etc.). We discuss strategies for the design of the intervention as well as the selection of appropriate study endpoints. Finally, we provide an overview of strategies to improve the rigor of conducting dietary studies in people with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101478
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Diet
  • Diet intervention
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Study design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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