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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Early intervention benefits patients with multiple sclerosis


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Early treatment has long-lasting effects on MS activity, researchers found in a study published in the Aug. issue of Neurology, a medical journal from the American Academy of Neurology. According to a Newswise press release, researchers studied 468 patients randomly assigned to receive either early treatment or placebo.

After participants were diagnosed with MS or after two years, the participants could switch from placebo to an interferon beta-1b drug or something similar, the press released stated. After 11 years, researchers reevaluated the 278 who remained in the study. Those who had early treatment were 33% less likely to be diagnosed with MS than those who received delayed treatment, according to the study.

“Overall, early treatment appears to have a benefit on relapses, especially early in the disease, but limited effects on other outcome measures, including outcomes reported by patients,” said Brian C. Healy, PhD, in the press release. Healy is on staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a member of the American Academy of Neurology, who wrote an accompanying editorial.

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