Complementary and alternative treatments of multiple sclerosis: a review of the evidence from 2001 to 2016

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Abstract

People with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) commonly use complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), but an understanding of their efficacy is lacking. Here, we quantitatively review the class I and class II studies of treatment efficacy for multiple sclerosis from January 2001 to January 2017, in order to assess the modern evidence for CAM use. The 38 studies included in this review are divided across five CAM types (cannabis, diet, exercise, psychological approaches and other). We found little evidence to support CAM efficacy. The studies contained little replication in intervention, primary outcomes or study design. Six of 16 CAMs included in this review were only researched in a single study. Future work in this area should build consensus around study methodologies and primary outcomes.

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