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:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer ... Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship ... former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who ... Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) ... in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of ... Cozy Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite ... business model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Brillianteen, McGaw YMCA’s student-produced musical show, will ... Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled for March 4-6, 2016. Auditions for this final production ... been a treasured tradition for numerous families in the Evanston community. Over the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ST. LOUIS, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, ... ... with Project HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as ... Proceeds from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... DUBLIN , November 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... the addition of the "2016 Future ... Drugs of Abuse Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... report to their offering. --> ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier Shares, ... Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and ... of the "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Market: Supplier Shares, Country Segment Forecasts, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> --> ... of the Italian therapeutic drug monitoring market, including ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: