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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Spinal Fluid, Blood Tests May Provide Clues to MS Progression

June 28, 2018
Researchers may have found a way to determine disease progression in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) by using cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).
Currently, there’s no way to precisely determine how the disease will progress after a patient’s first attack.
“MS is different in every person and being able to predict course of disease or severity of disease would be great,” Bruce Bebo, PhD, executive vice president of research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, told Healthline. “It would really help clinicians and healthcare providers consider what kind of treatment to provide.”
Some people with MS have a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and no other future attacks. Other patients get hit harder and harder, losing mobility and body function.
There are currently 17 disease-modifying drugs for MS approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Only one of these drugs, ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), is approved for progressive MS.
In multiple sclerosis, no two patients present the same, so matching patient to therapy is challenging.
These 17 medication choices also come with a variety of risks and side effects, depending on the intensity of the drug.
More potent therapies have potentially greater side effects, while more gentle therapies may not fully control the condition but allow a person to manage life.
With this in mind, Bebo stressed the importance of being able to predict the severity of disease.
“If the patient isn’t going to develop the disease severity then treat with [a drug] with less risks,” he said.
Cost is also a challenge to patients when medications can cost $65,000 per year.

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