• The Effects of the Mad Dog Diet on Bowel Function, Body Composition, Neuropathic Pain, and Depression in a Spinal Cord Injury and Multiple Sclerosis Population

      Sullivan, Timothy; Applied Health Sciences Program
      Inflammation has been shown to negatively influence bowel function, body composition, neuropathic pain, and depression within the spinal cord injury (SCI) and multiple sclerosis (MS) populations. Four individuals with varying levels of SCI’s (C5-T1/AIS A-D/3 male 1 female) and two individuals with varying diagnoses of MS (SPMS & RRMS, female) were recruited for the study. Bowel function was assessed via The Bowel Management subset of the Spinal Cord Injury Quality of Life (SCI-QOL) and Neurological Bowel Dysfunction (NBD) questionnaires, body composition was assessed via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans, neuropathic pain was assessed via the neuropathic pain questionnaire, and depression was measured via the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) questionnaire. This study investigated the effects of 6-weeks of the Mad Dog diet, which aimed to reduce inflammation, and improve the aforementioned ailments. The 6-week Mad Dog diet was associated with a significant reduction in total body mass (p=0.006), lean mass (p=0.046) and fat mass (p=0.038). Despite the significant reduction in fat mass, there were no significant changes in subcutaneous fat mass (p=0.091), or visceral mass (p=0.33), which suggests that the study was underpowered and could not distinguish the relative contribution of either fat source to the losses in total fat mass. Likewise, there were no significant changes in bowel function as determined by SCI-QOL scores (p=0.33), or NBD scores (p=0.29), and no significant changes in any domain of neuropathic pain (sensory, p=0.55; affective, p=0.15; sensitivity, p=0.12), or depression (CES-D scores, p=0.34). These findings demonstrate that 6 weeks of the Mad Dog diet may be beneficial for body composition in the SCI and MS populations. Findings from this research provide the basis for a larger study that can more fully assess the outcomes from this study along with changes in biological measures of inflammation.