Osteoporosis and low bone density are common in people who are in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS), a recent Norwegian study found.

Researchers at Oslo University Hospital in Norway studied 99 people who had either just been diagnosed with MS or had symptoms of it, but had not been diagnosed.

Osteoporosis or low bone density were evident in 51 percent of those with MS, compared to 37 percent in those people without MS.

Dr. Robert Fox, who treats MS patients at Cleveland Clinic, said before any of the common side effects of MS develop, doctors tend to see evidence of bone thinning.

“Even at the very early stages of MS, before we would expect any of the impact of MS itself on bone density, the decreased ability to walk, the decreased exercise and other things that might be associated with progressive disability of multiple sclerosis,” he said.

Doctors should consider steps to prevent osteoporosis in those people struggling in the early stages of multiple sclerosis, Dr. Fox said.

The complete findings were published in the journal “Neurology.”