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BOSTON -- Fatigue and lower limb problems predicted conversion from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive MS in the long run, researchers reported.
In an analysis of data from the New York State Multiple Sclerosis Consortium (NYSMSC), those two factors were the only significant predictors of disease progression over 5 years in patients who had the disease for many years, according to Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, of the University at Buffalo in New York, and colleagues. The research will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting here in April.
"We have to inquire on patients' perceived symptoms and not rely only on neurologic exam," Weinstock-Guttman told MedPage Today. "The presence of these symptoms should raise increased concerns, and [physicians should] consider more appropriate therapies, such as change to a more efficacious disease-modifying therapy. They should also re-emphasize active exercise, improved diet, the importance of sleep, and a general [attention] to wellness."
Traditional factors shown to be predictive of a higher risk of disease conversion in MS include older age at onset, high frequency of relapses, and male gender. To assess additional factors that may help in predicting disease progression, Weinstock-Guttman and colleagues assessed data from the NYSMSC, which included 155 patients who at baseline had relapsing-remitting disease, were at least 50 years old, and had a disease duration of at least 15 years.
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