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New Treatments in MS Can Help Change the Way Patients Manage their Disease

Overview

Published: 06/21/2016

by Arielle Duke

“Newer treatments offer patients choices when it comes to dosing, and for those looking for less frequent dosing, medications like Plegridy with a once-every-two-week dosing schedule are now available,” says Dr. Kremenchutzky. “We know that earlier treatment can have a positive effect on the progression of MS, so it's important for people living with MS to work with their doctor to find treatments that work for them.”

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease in which the cells of a person's immune system attack the central nervous system. The longer the disease progresses, the more chance there is for irreversible damage to occur – so why are so many patients foregoing treatment?

“Until the 1990s, there were no medications available to properly treat the disease. It wasn't until the introduction of beta-interferons that patients started to find effective therapies to help with disease management,” says Dr. Marcelo Kremenchutzky, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic in London, Ontario.

But sometimes, patients find themselves with a tough decision: go on treatment that may present challenges like side effects, effectiveness, monitoring, daily or weekly dosing and potential long-term safety concerns, or battle MS with no treatment and 'hope for the best outcomes'.

Dr. Kremenchutzky says patients need to work with their doctor to ensure they are getting the benefits of treatment because medications provide some measure of control over the inflammation that injures nerve fibres, improves inflammation and generally reduces the frequency and severity of MS relapses.1 Slowing the accumulation of nerve damage may also prevent some of the disability seen during the lifetime course of MS.

Since the 90s, there have been several advancements in the treatment landscape, providing people living with MS a variety of options.

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