The levels were found to be lower across all MS subtypes, but particularly so in people with secondary progressive MS.
The research, published in Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders, was titled ‘Reduced serum immunoglobulin G concentrations in multiple sclerosis: prevalence and association with disease-modifying therapy and disease course.’
Scientists at Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland, examined the link between antibodies, targeted therapies, and disease characteristics in people with MS. They analysed 327 patients from two hospitals and found that 15.3 per cent of MS patients had less than 700 mg/dL of an antibody type called immunoglobulin (IgG), which is considered the normal level. These levels were significantly higher than the control group’s percentage, which was 3.5 per cent. Two other types of antibodies, IgA and IgM, were found to be lower in people with MS, but the differences were not statistically significant.
People in the study being treated with disease-modifying drugs had significantly lower levels than those not on any active treatment, but what was somewhat unexpected was that even in those not being treated, around 8.1 per cent had IgG levels below the normal level.
The researchers also found those with secondary progressive MS had significantly lower IgG levels than those with primary progressive MS – 750 mg/dL versus 940 mf/dL.
Researchers said they believe monitoring IgG levels could be helpful in avoiding dangerously low antibody levels that could predispose people to infections.