Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Early detection of MS treatment complication may improve survival

Date:
March 10, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
The drug natalizumab is effective for treating multiple sclerosis (MS), but it increases the risk of a rare but potentially fatal brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). A new study suggests that early detection of PML may help improve survival and disability levels.

The drug natalizumab is effective for treating multiple sclerosis (MS), but it increases the risk of a rare but potentially fatal brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). A study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013, suggests that early detection of PML may help improve survival and disability levels.

The study examined 319 people with MS who were treated with natalizumab and diagnosed with PML. Because of the risk of PML, people taking natalizumab are monitored by their physicians for possible symptoms of the brain infection. The study compared people who had symptoms of PML at the time of diagnosis to people who had no symptoms of the infection, but who were diagnosed with the disease by brain scans and tests in the spinal fluid for the virus that causes the infection. The level of disability for the people in the study was assessed before the PML diagnosis, at the time of diagnosis, and again six months and one year after the diagnosis.

A total of 21 people had no PML symptoms at the time of their diagnosis, while 298 people had symptoms. The preliminary data from the study suggest that people who have no symptoms at diagnosis may have improved survival and less disability than those who had developed symptoms prior to their diagnosis, according to study author Tuan Dong-Si, MD, a medical director with Biogen Idec in Weston, MA.

At the time of PML diagnosis, those people with no symptoms had an average score of 67 on the Karnofsky Performance Scale, which measures disability, while those people with symptoms had a score of 54. A Karnofsky score of 70 indicates that the individual may be able to care for him or herself, but may be unable to carry on normal activities or do active work. A Karnofsky score of 50 indicates that a person may require considerable assistance and frequent medical care. One year after PML diagnosis, the average Karnofsky score of those people with no symptoms at diagnosis was 70, compared to 47 for those with symptoms at diagnosis. Karnofsky scores of less than 50 indicate that the individual may be unable to care for him or herself and may require institutional care or the equivalent.

As of January 1, 2013, all of the 21 people (100 percent) with no symptoms at the time of PML diagnosis were living, compared to 77 percent of the people with symptoms at the time of diagnosis. "These results suggest that the consequences of PML infection can be mitigated by early detection of the disease," said Dong-Si.

Natalizumab is generally prescribed for people who have not responded to or cannot tolerate other treatments for MS.

The study was supported by Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan Pharmaceuticals.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Early detection of MS treatment complication may improve survival." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130310163752.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, March 10). Early detection of MS treatment complication may improve survival. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130310163752.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Early detection of MS treatment complication may improve survival." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130310163752.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
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