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Drug preserves use of upper limbs in Multiple Sclerosis

Research suggests a treatment could preserve use of arms in patients with secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The drug was used for patients who have entered a stage of the disease, where they have fewer relapses, yet their disability is increasing slowly.

The Biogen led trial, of which BRC supported Professor Raju Kapoor was first author, tested the benefits of treatment with natalizumab for two years, with an open label extension to test safety and longer term benefits.  Significant benefits in the overall level of disability or time taken to walk 25 feet  were not apparent in the first two years of treatment, though possible benefits did emerge in the open label extension. Moreover, the treatment reduced progression of disability in in the use of the upper limbs in both the initial and open label phases of the trial.

The study looked at whether natalizumab could slow progression of (secondary progressive MS).

The authors concluded that longer-term trials would be needed to assess whether treatment benefits  could emerge in this group of MS patients could emerge with more prolonged therapy.

To read the full paper visit The Lancet Neurology.