Starting disease-modifying treatment in MS

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Recent successes in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) with the beta interferons and glatiramer acetate have raised the hopes and expectations of MS patients and their physicians for more effective control of the disease. Data from different clinical trials agree that there should be a more aggressive approach to early treatment in MS. Glatiramer acetate and the beta interferons cannot be considered curative therapies, and much clinical research is still needed to improve our understanding of the different mechanisms of activity, but it seems possible to consider them as strategies to delay neurological deterioration. The drugs have different mechanisms of action, and each can be considered as an alternative treatment for a patient in whom the other is unsuccessful. Accumulating evidence indicates that both drugs maintain efficacy beyond 5 years of administration, but therapy must be tailored to suit the patient's clinical history and magnetic resonance imaging findings, and side-effects should be monitored carefully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalInternational MS Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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