Navigation Links
Early Use of MS Drug May Cut Likelihood of Progression

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- A new three-year study finds that a multiple sclerosis drug is more likely to prevent patients from progressing to a definite form of MS if it's given early in patients who appear to be ill.

The drug, a form of interferon called "interferon beta-1a," is not available in the United States. It is, however, available in countries in the European Union, Canada and elsewhere.

"While we've known it's beneficial to start MS drugs as soon as possible, this is the first trial to show a benefit of early injections of interferon beta-1a treatment at three years," Dr. Mark Freedman, of the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

The study tracked 517 people who had brain lesions and symptoms -- such as tingling, numbness or balance problems -- that suggested they might have multiple sclerosis.

One-third of the study participants received 44-microgram doses of interferon beta-1a three times a week, one-third received the drug once a week and one-third received an inactive placebo for two years until they showed more signs of having the disease. At that point, they got the dose three times a week.

After two years, 133 people were still taking a placebo. They were then switched to the 44-microgram dose three times a week.

Those who got the drug three times a week for the entire time of the study were less likely to develop what is known as clinically definite MS. Twenty-seven percent of them did so, compared with 28 percent of those who got one dose a week for the entire period, and 41 percent of those who switched mid-stream from the placebo to the actual drug.

Side effects included flu-like symptoms, injection-site reactions and headache.

The findings were released April 19 and will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, held April 21 to 28 in New Orleans.

"This research adds to a consistent body of evidence suggesting that early treatment for MS is usually better than waiting," Timothy Coetzee, chief research officer at the National MS Society, said in an interview. "Continued research in this area is important so that we can gain a fuller understanding of how therapeutic options actually impact the course of MS and, hopefully, lead to improved quality of life for those diagnosed with MS in the future."

The study, which lasts for five years, is continuing. The research is supported by the pharmaceutical company Merck Serono S.A., of Geneva.

Because this study was presented at a medical meeting, the data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about multiple sclerosis

-- Randy Dotinga

SOURCES: Timothy Coetzee, Ph.D., chief research officer, National Multiple Sclerosis Society; American Academy of Neurology, news release, April 19, 2012

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Warren Buffett Has Early Stage Prostate Cancer
2. Detecting malaria early to save lives: New optical technique promises rapid and accurate diagnosis
3. Role of Screening, Monitoring in Early Kidney Disease Unclear
4. Brain Tumor Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial
5. First contact: Early intervention key in diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness
6. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
7. Eye Tremors May Aid Early Diagnosis of Parkinsons: Study
8. JCI early table of contents for April 9, 2012
9. Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Early and Aggressively: Guidelines
10. Early Study Finds Some Promise for Lung Cancer Vaccine
11. An Early Start for Your Child with Autism
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Early Use of MS Drug May Cut Likelihood of Progression
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. ... ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport ... taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ... , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the ... several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent ... Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce ... Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits ... terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps ... slow progress toward their goal. , Research from reveals that ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... Type (Organic Chemical (Sugar, Petrochemical, Glycerin), Inorganic Chemical), Functionality ... - Global Forecast to 2021" report to their ... global pharmaceutical excipients market is projected to reach USD ... in the forecast period 2016 to 2021. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ANGELES , June 23, 2016 ... CAPR ), a biotechnology company focused ... therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in its ... in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its 24-patient ... enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: