Conference Coverage

Continuous treatment reduces risk of confirmed disability progression in MS



Pooled data from several national multiple sclerosis (MS) registries indicate that continuous exposure to disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for more than 10 years reduces the risk of confirmed disability progression (CDP), according to an investigation presented at the annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.

Using several confirmation points for Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) progression (e.g., 12 months and 24 months), researchers detected a clear gradient of treatment effect. Identification of the most reliable outcome definitions will require further investigations, they said.

“The ultimate goal of MS treatment is the prevention of long-term disability accumulation,” said Giuseppe Lucisano, a biostatistician at the Center for Outcomes Research and Clinical Epidemiology in Pescara, Italy. “Continuous DMT exposure can impact long-term disability accumulation in MS, but it has not been definitively demonstrated yet.”

Registries and clinical databases provide the opportunity to collect longitudinal data for treated and untreated patients as a means of investigating questions such as this one, the researchers said. The Danish, Italian, and Swedish national MS registries, MSBase, and the Observatoire of MS (OFSEP) merged their data in the Big Multiple Sclerosis Data (BMSD) Network, which includes approximately 150,000 patients and more than 470,000 EDSS evaluations. The result is a large dataset suitable for long-term longitudinal studies.


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