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Top 10 Multiple Sclerosis Stories of 2018

Read about our top 10 most read MS articles of 2018, covering results of clinical trials, potential new treatments, and data on Ocrevus.

Multiple Sclerosis News Today brought you daily coverage of key findings, treatment developments, and clinical trials related to multiple sclerosis (MS) throughout 2018.

We look forward to reporting more news to patients, family members, and caregivers dealing with MS during 2019.

Here are the top 10 most-read articles of 2018, with a brief description of what made them relevant for the MS community.

No. 10 — #ACTRIMS2018 – “MS Therapy MD1003’s Disability Improvements Hold Over Time, Study Shows”

A 27-month follow-up study of the MS-SPI Phase 3 trial (NCT02220933) showed that treatment with MedDay Pharmaceuticals’ therapy MD1003 — a highly concentrated oral formulation of biotin — led to sustained lessening of disability in patients with progressive MS who received the treatment over 36 months. The results showed that the benefits in disability and exercise capacity were sustained throughout the three year-period. Patients who took MD1003 over the initial placebo-controlled nine months had better results than those who switched to the treatment candidate after receiving placebo, suggesting that “earlier treatment leads to a lower disability,” the researchers wrote. Treatment with MD1003 was well-tolerated.

No. 9 — “MS Society Calls Attention to Recent Research into Gait and Movement Problems”

The National MS Society issued a press release covering studies it is supporting to improve gait and balance, as well as to remind MS patients of the importance of exercise and diet. This news resulted from the 7th International Symposium on Gait and Balance in MS, which was held September 2017 and brought together, among others, researchers, clinicians, and engineers. Research presented at the meeting and highlighted by the MS Society reported an impaired ability of MS patients to correct themselves after a disturbance in walking, their reduced daily step count over one year, their increased tendency to lose balance and to have a sedentary behavior. According to the MS Society, effective rehabilitation strategies to improve balance and gait in MS patients are essential.

No. 8 — “Long-term Rituxan Treatment Is Effective and Safe in MS, Study Shows”

Off-label use of the lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis treatment rituximab —  marketed as Rituxan by Genentech — was effective and safe in patients with either MS, myasthenia gravis or neuromyelitis optica, who received the treatment over three to seven years. Rituximab targets a protein called CD20 in immune B-cells. The findings revealed complete depletion of circulating B-cells in most patients, and a marked depletion in some throughout the treatment period. Rituximab was well-tolerated, with a low rate of adverse side effects.

No. 7 — “Epstein-Barr Virus May Increase Risk of MS, Other Diseases, Study Reports”

In April we reported a study showing that infection with the common Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) may increase the risk for MS, as well as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes. EBV, which causes mononucleosis, invades and takes control of immune B-cells. Specifically, the team found that the virus-derived EBNA2 transcription factor (a tiny protein that regulates gene expression) binds to several spots in the human genome that are associated with these seven diseases.

Read on: Top 10 Multiple Sclerosis Stories of 2018

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