Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) and although it is a well-established autoimmune disease its ethiopathogenesis has yet to be fully elucidated. The disease may present in several clinical forms that are closely associated with disease morbidity. In recent years various environmental and hormonal factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmunity.
Objectives: To evaluate ferritin and prolactin levels in MS patients and their correlation with clinical manifestations of the disease.
Methods: Serum samples from 150 multiple sclerosis patients were evaluated for demographic characteristics, clinical parameters as well as prolactin and ferritin levels utilizing the Liaison chemiluminescent immunoassays (DiaSorin, Italy). Sera from 100 matched healthy donors were used as controls.
Results: Hyperprolactinemia was documented in 10 of 150 MS patients (6.7%) and hyperferritinemia in 12 (8%), both of which were significantly more common in this group compared with healthy controls (P ≤ 0.01 and P = 0.02 respectively). Among female MS patients, elevated prolactin levels were related to the secondary progressive type of disease (P = 0.05), whereas hyperferritinemia was associated with male gender (P = 0.03) and with the relapsing progressive type of the disease (P = 0.02). An inverse association was found between hyperferritinemia and the relapsing-remitting type of MS in male patients (P = 0.05)
Conclusions: Our results suggest a plausible association between these biomarkers and certain clinical types and gender among MS patients. Further studies combining clinical data, CNS imaging and these markers are warranted.