The fatty acid composition of the phospholipids of red blood cells and blood platelets has been investigated in multiple sclerosis patients and in normal individuals. The variation in the platelet phospholipid fatty acid pattern in normals has been measured for the first time and has been shown to be small. The relative level of linoleate, expressed as a percentage of the five main fatty acids, was found to be significantly lower in the multiple sclerosis patients than in healthy individuals, both in the red cells and platelets. A highly significant correlation was found between serum linoleate and both platelet and red cell linoleate.
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