Early Treatment May Help Cut MS Risk

Multiple SclerosisRecent research studies show that early treatment of patients showing early signs of multiple sclerosis may cut down the risk of the disease from becoming full-blown. According to a study that involved 80 sites in 16 countries, using glatiramer acetate to treat the early signs of MS in patients cuts the risk of developing clinically definite multiple sclerosis in patients by up to 45 percent as compared to a group given a placebo.

Glatiramer acetate is a treatment approved for treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. It helps reduce the relapses and disease activity usually brought by the said disease. The researchers aimed to find out whether early treatment of multiple sclerosis using glatiramer acetate may have a significant impact in the development of the disease.

Almost 85 percent of patients who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis first show signs of a clinical event that then goes away. About one third of those do not develop the disease while the rest usually does at certain levels but may not be severely disabled. The researchers wanted to know if early treatment after the first clinical event may affect how the disease may develop later on.

The study involved 481 patients that showed the initial clinical event associated with multiple sclerosis. They were then randomly assigned to receive either glatiramer acetate or a placebo for a period of 36 months or up until some patients develop clinically definite multiple sclerosis.

The findings of the study showed that patients who used glatiramer acetate experienced reduced risk in the development of clinically definite multiples sclerosis by 45 percent as compared to those patients who took a placebo. In 25 percent of the patients, those who took glatiramer acetate experienced a more prolonged period of conversion to clinically definite multiple sclerosis by about 115 percent. Those who took a placebo experienced conversion to a clinically definite MS by an average of 336 days while its an average of 722 days for those who took glatiramer acetate.

Source:

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961259-9/fulltext