Background: There is an ongoing research on the etiology of multiple sclerosis (MS). It is still unclear whether nutritional status and biochemical parameters such as serum 25(OH)D, magnesium, and potassium influence the development of disease.
Aims: This study aimed to make contributions to the literature in terms of the recognition of MS by comparing nutritional status and biochemical information of people with and without MS.
Materials and methods: The study was designed as a controlled descriptive study. Total of 112 individuals were included (control group, n = 56 and MS group, n = 56). Socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, nutritional status, and biochemical information were collected from the participants. A decision tree model was built to evaluate the impact of these parameters on the presence of MS. The parameters were compared using Student's t tests and Mann-Whitney U tests.
Results: A decision tree model having an accuracy rate of 86.52% was constructed. Strong statistical differences were observed among the vitamin and mineral intakes of the groups. In terms of biochemical parameters, especially for serum levels of 25(OH)D and potassium, the differences were significantly different (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: Constructed decision tree indicated that the main parameters differed between an MS patient and a healthy person were as follows: serum levels of 25(OH)D, magnesium, calcium, and intakes of potassium and carbohydrate. Based on the findings of this study, nutritional precautions might be taken against MS.
Keywords: Biochemical parameters; decision tree; malnutrition; multiple sclerosis; nutritional status.