Based on the results of a study published in the journal Neurology, treating the earliest signs of multiple sclerosis (MS), such as numbness, fatigue, dizziness, vision problems and imbalance with the drug interferon beta-1b may help lower the risk of disease diagnosis. Additionally, drug therapy with this medicine early on may also lower the chances of relapse shortly after diagnosis. Interferon beta-1b is a drug currently used to help MS patients manage their symptoms, primarily in those who have the relapsing-remitting form of multiple sclerosis.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, involved 468 participants who exhibited early symptoms of MS but had not yet received a diagnosis. One group of participants was given early treatment with interferon beta-1b, while the other group was given delayed treatment. The delayed treatment group started taking the drug either two years after the study began or if they had received a diagnosis during the study period – whichever came first. The researchers found that those who received early treatment with interferon beta-1b were 33 percent less likely to have been diagnosed with MS. Additionally, compared to those in the delayed treatment group, those who received early drug treatment took longer before having their first relapse, as well as a lower yearly relapse rate.
Given the encouraging results of this study, the researchers plan on running future studies which utilize other MS drug treatments to determine their effectiveness at minimizing the risks of diagnosis and relapse for patients who experience the earliest stage symptoms of the disease.
Interested in learning more about multiple sclerosis (MS) research? Please call 561-296-3820. The Premiere Research Institute in West Palm Beach regularly conducts clinical research studies in the field of MS. To find out more about these studies click here or sign up for their newsletter to keep informed about the newest treatments, articles, and research that are being conducted in the field of MS.
Whiteman, H. (2016, August 11). “MS: Treating earliest signs reduces risk of diagnosis, relapse.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/312210.php.
Who Gets MS? (n.d.). Retrieved January 11, 2017, from http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS/Who-Gets-MS