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Monday, October 22, 2012

Screening Tool Reveals Two Multiple Sclerosis Types


Test might someday help doctors determine who has aggressive disease earlier




By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter
(HealthDay News) -- An experimental screening technique finds that multiple sclerosis patients have two different molecular "signatures" that reflect disease severity.
This suggests that doctors might one day use this tool to help determine who has a more aggressive form of MS and might need earlier treatment with stronger medications, researchers report.
"This study shows there is evidence that we can begin to identify subsets of MS patients, and that we're moving ever-so-slowly to personalizing MS care," said study author Dr. Philip De Jager, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and an associate neurologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
But this screening tool "is not ready for the clinic at this point. It needs to be validated in another trial," De Jager said. He envisions that this test would be one component of a number of tests doctors could use to generate risk estimates.
Results of the study are published in the Sept. 26 issue ofScience Translational Medicine.

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