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Treating Multiple Sclerosis Early Is Worth It

Early treatment for multiple sclerosis could help delay symptoms and flare-ups of the disease.

Getting an early head start on treating multiple sclerosis (MS) may bring dividends years down the road, finds a new study published Wednesday in Neurology.

In 2005, researchers recruited 468 patients who had the earliest signs of MS, such as troubles with vision or balance and suggestive brain lesions found via an MRI scan, to be placed into two groups. One group immediately received a standard treatment for MS, regular doses of interferon beta-1b, while the other received a placebo for as long as two years before being switched onto interferon or another drug. Over the course of the following 11 years, the researchers kept track of how the patients progressed, including whether they developed full blown MS. Of the remaining 278 patients in the study, they found that the early treatment group was 33 percent less likely to be diagnosed with clinical MS than those given delayed treatment. It also took them twice as much time to come down with the first relapse of the disease and they experienced less relapses annually.

 “Not much research has been done on how starting treatment this early affects the long-term course of the disease,” said lead author Dr. Ludwig Kappos of the University Hospital Basel in Basel, Switzerland in a statement. “Our study adds to the evidence supporting treatment at the earliest sign of the disease and indicates that early treatment has a long-lasting effect on disease activity.”

Read Full Article: Treating Multiple Sclerosis Early Is Worth It

Read Full Article: Treating Multiple Sclerosis Early Is Worth It

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