Early treatment does delay MS disease progression, new study confirms

Early treatment with disease modifying therapies (DMTs) is most effective in preventing progression of multiple sclerosis, according to a large-scale Danish study.

early treatmentThe study “Early versus Later Treatment Start in Multiple Sclerosis – A Register Based Cohort Study” is to be presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). This is to be held in Los Angeles from this Saturday, April 21, until Friday April 27.

Effects: Early treatment versus later start

The study’s research team compared long-term effects of early treatment with DMTs, against a later treatment start, in a real-world setting.

How the study was conducted is explained here.  

Data shows:

  • Patients who began treatment later had a 28% increased probability of faster disease progression. They took less time to reach EDSS 6 than those who started treatment early. This was found more pronounced in women treated later. They had a 39% increased probability of reaching EDSS 6, while men were only 9%.
  • Treatment timing, early or later, was not found to significantly change the mortality rates in patients included in the study.

Early treatment recommended

Researchers say their results “support the scheme of early treatment.”

early treatmentOn its website, the MS Society says: “Evidence now tells us that, rather than waiting to see whether more relapses occur, disease modifying therapies should be offered as close as possible to diagnosis. 

“We now know that early treatment improves long-term health and wellbeing by slowing down the build-up of irreversible damage and reducing the number of relapses people experience. Starting treatment early is best but if you start later it can also have some benefits.”

The study was supported by Sclerose Foreningen, the Danish MS association, among others.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.

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