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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Study uncovers potential risks of common MS treatment

In one of the most comprehensive studies to date, University of British Columbia researchers found an increased risk of events such as stroke, migraine, and depression, as well as abnormalities in the blood with taking beta interferon for multiple sclerosis. Researchers hope their study will lead to further research to develop biomarkers to help identify patients who are at the greatest risk of having an adverse event.

The study’s authors aimed to identify potential adverse events related to beta-interferon treatment for relapsing-remitting MS by analyzing health records of more than 2,000 British Columbians with MS between 1995 and 2008.

The researchers found a 1.8-fold increased risk of stroke, a 1.6-fold increased risk of migraine, and a 1.3-fold increased risk of both depression and abnormalities in the blood. The researchers stress that patients and physicians should not change their treatment plans. The study is based on population-level data and the risk to individual patients will vary greatly depending on individual factors.

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