Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Remitting multiple sclerosis: Natalizumab reduces relapses and disability, review suggests

Date:
October 5, 2011
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Taking the new generation anti-inflammatory drug natalizumab for two years lowers the number of remitting multiple sclerosis patients who experience relapses and progression of disability.

Taking the new generation anti-inflammatory drug natalizumab for two years lowers the number of remitting multiple sclerosis patients who experience relapses and progression of disability. This is the main finding of a systematic review published in the latest edition of The Cochrane Library.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that damages a person's nervous system. The symptoms vary considerably from person to person, but many have a form of the disease in which they feel healthy for a time, and then relapse into periods of ill health. Over time, the disease tends to develop into a permanent disability. The aim of many treatments is to increase the period of remission that MS patients have between each relapse, and to delay the progression to the full disease for as long as possible.

Part of the body's defensive immune system involves a type of white blood cell that actively moves to areas where there is disease or damage. This movement causes the swelling associated with inflammation. Natalizumab, normally abbreviated as NTZ, is an advanced form of medicine that prevents some of these white blood cells passing from blood vessels into the brain. As MS is closely linked to inflammation, the theory is that blocking this passage of cells might help reduce the symptoms.

By searching through the medical literature a team of researchers working in Italy and the UK found three trials that met their inclusion criteria. Together these trials involved over two thousand patients, and showed that after two years of treatment, NTZ reduced the risk of experiencing at least one new bout of disease at two years by about 40%, and the number who had disability progression over the two years was reduced by 25%. MRI brain scans also showed evidence that NTZ had reduced disease activity.

"Our analysis indicated that NTZ is well tolerated and safe over a period of up to two years," says study leader Eugenio Pucci, who works at the neurological unit in Macerata, Italy.

Using it, however, is not simple, and two patients in the trials did develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare and often fatal brain disease caused by the virus named JCV. There wasn't enough data in the original trials to show a definite risk associated with NTZ. However, surveillance programs are in place in several countries watching for any signs of a link. "Various factors seem to increase the risk of developing PML, including the number of NTZ infusions a person receives, whether the patient has had previous immunosuppressive treatment and if their blood contains antibodies against JCV," says Pucci.

Consequently Pucci and his colleagues believe that NTZ should be used only by skilled neurologists in MS centres under national or international surveillance programs.

Because of the safety concerns and the considerable cost of using NTZ, Pucci is keen to see further research that will show which category of MS patient would gain most from the medication.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Remitting multiple sclerosis: Natalizumab reduces relapses and disability, review suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004221110.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2011, October 5). Remitting multiple sclerosis: Natalizumab reduces relapses and disability, review suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004221110.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Remitting multiple sclerosis: Natalizumab reduces relapses and disability, review suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111004221110.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins