AAN: Drug Reduces Progression to Clinically Definite MS

Taking interferon β-1a soon after a clinical event for possible MS delays progression to clear diagnosis

THURSDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals suspected of having multiple sclerosis (MS) are less likely to be diagnosed with clinically definite disease if they soon start treatment with interferon (IFN) β-1a, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held from April 21 to 28 in New Orleans.

As part of a Phase 3 trial, Mark Freedman, M.D., from the University of Ottawa in Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 517 individuals who had a first clinical demyelinating event and brain lesions detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to a subcutaneous serum-free formulation of IFN β-1a one or three times a week, or placebo. Placebo patients were switched to IFN β-1a three times a week after two years or after a diagnosis of clinically definite MS.

At three years, the researchers found that the probability of developing clinically definite MS was 41.3 percent for placebo patients switched to IFN β-1a, but was significantly lower for those who received IFN β-1a once a week (27.6 percent) or three times a week (27.1 percent). Similar results were found for the probability of a McDonald MS diagnosis, at 86.5, 79.1, and 66.8 percent, respectively.

"While doses three times a week and once a week equally delayed a clinically definite MS diagnosis without MRI measures, there were significantly more benefits in taking the drug three times a week compared with once a week when it came to brain lesion changes and other McDonald criteria for diagnosing MS," Freedman said in a statement.

The study was supported by Merck Serono S.A.

Press Release
More Information

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles

Debunking Three Rape Myths
Journal of Forensic Nursing, October/December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95


Drug updates and approvals: 2014 in review
The Nurse Practitioner, 13December 2014
Expires: 12/31/2016 CE:3 $27.95


Can Food Processing Enhance Cancer Protection?
Nutrition Today, September/October 2014
Expires: 10/31/2016 CE:2 $21.95


More CE Articles

Subscribe to Recommended CE

Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events