NEU Research papers

Find out more about the peer-reviewed research studies that has been conducted on the OMS 7-Step Recovery Program.

The studies referred to here have all been published in high impact, MEDLINE-indexed, peer-reviewed medical journals that cut across many different medical specialties, including neurology, endocrinology, immunology, biology, general medicine, epidemiology, genetics, public health, pharmacology and many others.


Paper: Health-related quality of life outcomes at 1 and 5 years after a residential retreat promoting lifestyle modification for people with multiple sclerosis

Journal: Neurological Sciences

Conclusions: Analysis of the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of people with MS attending a 5-day residential retreat in Victoria, Australia was undertaken using the MSQOL-54, prior to attendance, 1 and 5 years after the retreat. One year after attending the retreat, median improvements of 11% were observed in the overall quality of life domain; 19% in the physical health composite; and 12% in the mental health composite. In those who had reached the 5-year time-point, there was a 20% median improvement in overall quality of life; 18% in the physical health composite and 23% in the mental health composite, compared to baseline. 


Paper: Omega 3 and fish consumption association with MS disease outcomes

Journal: International Journal of Neuroscience

Description: The role of fish consumption and omega 3 supplementation in multiple sclerosis (MS) is controversial, although there is some evidence to support a beneficial effect. Univariate and multivariate analyses were undertaken. Of 2,469 respondents, 1493 (60.5%) had relapsing-remitting MS. Those consuming fish more frequently and those taking omega 3 supplements had significantly better quality of life, in all domains, and less disability. Flaxseed oil supplementation was associated with over 60% lower relapse rate over the previous 12 months. 


Paper: Smoking and alcohol association with MS disease outcomes

Journal: Journal of the Neurological Sciences

Conclusions: This cross-sectional study supports previous research showing a link between morbidity indicators in MS and alcohol use and smoking. Smokers had significantly worse quality of life and more disability than non-smokers.


Paper: Dietary factors and MS

Journal: Nutritional Neuroscience

Conclusions: Of 2,469 participants with confirmed MS, 2087 (84.5%) provided complete data on their dietary habits (DHQ total score). Multivariate regression models demonstrated that every 10-point increase on the DHQ total score was associated with nearly a six-point and five-point increase in physical and mental HRQOL, respectively, and 30% reduced likelihood of higher disability. ‘Healthy’ consumption of fruit and vegetables and dietary fat predicted better quality of life and less likelihood of higher disability when compared to respondents with a ‘poor’ diet. For those with relapsing-remitting MS, the DHQ total significantly predicted a lower relapse rate.


Paper: Depression and MS

Journal: BMC Psychiatry

Conclusions: In total, approximately one fifth (19.3%) of our sample screened positive for depression (PHQ-2 score ≥3). Regression analyses showed that poor diet, low levels of exercise, obesity, smoking, marked social isolation and taking interferon were associated with greater depression risk. Participants who supplemented with omega 3s, particularly flaxseed oil, had frequent fish consumption, supplemented with vitamin D, meditated, and had moderate alcohol consumption had significantly reduced depression risk.


Paper: Exercise and MS

Journal: BMC Neurology

Conclusions: For people with MS, regardless of disability level, increased physical activity was related to better quality of life in terms of energy, social functioning, mental and physical health.


Paper: Fatigue and MS

Journal: PLoS ONE

Conclusions: This study supports strong and significant associations between clinically significant fatigue and modifiable lifestyle factors. Specifically, there were increased odds of fatigue associated with obesity, DMD use, poor diet, and reduced odds of fatigue with exercise, fish consumption, moderate alcohol use, and supplementation with vitamin D and flaxseed oil.


Paper: Sunlight, vitamin D, latitude and MS

Journal: BMC Neurology

Conclusions: We detected significant associations between latitude, deliberate sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation and health outcomes of this large group of people with MS. Quality of life was related to vitamin D supplementation in a direct, dose-response relationship, and latitude with disability.


Paper: Engagement with OMS resources and MS

Journal: Neurological Sciences

Conclusions: People with MS attending residential retreats and actively engaged in resources that promote lifestyle modification had better mental and physical quality of life, and a markedly lower prevalence of clinically significant fatigue and depression. Physicians should support and encourage people with MS to play a more active role in their health and to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors.


Paper: Other chronic conditions, being overweight or obese and MS

Journal: PLoS ONE

ConclusionsObese participants were more likely to have other chronic conditions, including a five-fold higher risk of diabetes and high blood pressure but also twice the risk of depression. Being overweight, obese, or a former, or current smoker was associated with an increase in the number of chronic conditions; while healthy diet, exercise and moderate alcohol consumption were associated with decreased number. Increasing number of other chronic conditions was related to worse quality of life, increased likelihood of disability and relapses. Obese people with MS had higher risk of disability and lower quality of life. This lends strong support to the healthy lifestyle approach of OMS.


Paper: Determinants of quality of life in people with MS

Journal: BMC Neurology

Conclusions: Factors associated with better physical health quality of life were: exercise, non-smoking compared to current smoking, better diet, normal body mass index (BMI) versus overweight or obese, fewer other chronic conditions, and not taking a disease-modifying drug (DMD). Better mental health quality of life determinants were: exercise, non-smoking compared to current, normal BMI versus overweight or obese, meditating regularly, and no DMD use. Again, strong support was provided for the OMS approach in terms of improved quality of life.


Paper:  Determinants of disability in people with MS

Journal: PLoS ONE

Conclusions: There was significantly lower risk of disability for those people with MS who had better diet, never smoked, exercised at least moderately, lived closer to the equator), took flaxseed oil, and had fewer other chronic conditions. The study also bore out what has been shown in clinical trials, that is, those taking disease-modifying medications had significantly less disability. While cross-sectional in nature, the study lent more support to the OMS approach in respect of disability prevention.