MS News That Caught My Eye: Young Patients Quit DMDs, Antioxidant to Slow Brain Decline, Interview with Top Ocrevus Doc, and Why Don’t I Smell That?

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by Ed Tobias |

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In case you missed them, here are some news stories that appeared in MS News Today that caught my eye over the past week.

Younger MS Patients Who Are Hospitalized May Be at Higher Risk of Quitting Treatment, Study Reports


Why would young patients, whose MS is severe enough to require hospital treatment, be quitting their disease-modifying drugs (DMD)? I’d think that younger folks would be more likely to continue their DMDs than those of us who are getting up in age, not less. But as Teresa Pais reports, a large percentage of those who quit eventually return to using a DMD, though it’s often a different one. So, perhaps the “quitting” reported in this research is actually just a desire on the part of younger patients to move to a DMD they think might work better for them.

MS patients who start treatment at a younger age, and whose condition requires hospitalization, are more likely to stop treatment, a Canadian study reports.

The research, published in the journal Dovepressdealt with the main reasons Canadian patients quit first-line injected disease-modifying therapies, or DMTs. It was titled, Persistence to disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis in a Canadian cohort.”


Lipoic Acid, an Over-the-Counter Antioxidant, Seen to Slow Brain Atrophy in SPMS Patients


This study has made quite a splash on social media. It sure would be great if an antioxidant that’s easy to get and isn’t too expensive could slow brain atrophy. Janet Stewart reports on this small, preliminary study of how Lipoic Acid may do this.

The over-the-counter antioxidant lipoic acid slowed brain deterioration in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), according to a pilot study.

An Oregon Health & Science University research team conducted the study, “Lipoic acid in secondary progressive MS.” It was published in the journal Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation.


New Ocrevus Findings Show Benefits to Range of MS Patients: Interview with Genentech’s Dr. Hideki Garren


There are two statements in Magdalena Kegel‘s interview with Dr. Garren that jumped out at me, but they don’t appear until several paragraphs into the story. First, these new Ocrevus findings report that the drug is effective at slowing a decline in walking ability for both RRMS and PPMS patients. Second, Ocrevus appears to reduce disability progression, even in people who are rapidly going downhill. Be sure to read far enough into this story so that you get the details.

Genentech shared new insights into the workings of Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and its effectiveness in reducing disease activity, and slowing progression in relapsing and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) at the recent 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology (EAN).

The new findings, previously reported here, built on analyses of information gathered during the three Phase 3 clinical trials assessing Ocrevus’ safety and efficacy, as well as through monitoring patients in extension studies.


Problems with Sense of Smell Are Worse in Primary Progressive MS Than Relapsing-Remitting Form, Study Reports


My wife smells a lot of things that I don’t. I never thought there was anything unusual about that. Her sniffer must just be more sensitive than mine. But I’ve read about people with MS who say they smell strange things, and now I see, as Ana Pamplona reports, that my MS could be affecting my nose.

Problems with sense of smell are more frequent and severe in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) than in those with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a study reports.

The research, “Olfactory dysfunction in patients with primary progressive MS,” was published in the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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