Evidence-based information for the physicians on the latest treatments for multiple sclerosis is obtained from a review of the literature on treating the disease. The article, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) looks at the latest pharmacologic research as well as disease-modifying agents and the benefits and risks of various treatments.
"Recently, several new compounds have been developed and approved with the aim of favourably changing the disease course, but with varied success," writes Dr. Loredana La Mantia, Cochrane Multiple Sclerosis Cochrane and Rare Diseases of the Central Nervous System Group, Milan Italy, with coauthors. "The evaluation of the effectiveness of treatments for MS is complex, and identifying the most appropriate treatment for an individual patient may be difficult."
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They discuss the benefits and risks of immunosuppressants such as natalizumab, fingolimod and others as well as new treatments under investigation.
"Several important areas of the pharmacologic management of MS need further investigation. The long-term efficacy of drug treatments is unknown in terms of the accumulation of disability and the prognosis of relapsing-remitting MS. A better understanding of the neuroprotective effects of available drugs and newer compounds is needed," the authors conclude.
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