A new study draws a reverse link between the number of MRI scans of multiple sclerosis patients who are on interferon-beta 1a and doctors declaring there is evidence of the patients’ disease worsening.
When doctors looked at one scan, rather than multiple ones, they were more likely to say that a patient’s disease had failed to progress.
The study applied to relapsing-remitting, or RRMS, patients. The treatment, also known as IFN β-1a, is marketed under a number of brand names.
Researchers published their research in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences. It was titled “Early MRI results and odds of attaining ‘no evidence of disease activity’ status in MS patients treated with interferon β-1a in the EVIDENCE study.“
“No evidence of disease activity,” or NEDA, is one of the terms doctors use to assess MS patients’ condition. It refers to no signs of the disease worsening, including no indications that patients have had relapses or that their level of disability has advanced.
Scientists have used the designation in a number of trials evaluating the effectiveness of relapsing MS treatments. A NEDA assessment relies on sensitive magnetic resonance imaging information. This makes it important for scans to be done in a standard way.
Researchers looked at evidence from a clinical trial of interferon-beta 1a as a treatment for RRMS patients to see if they could make a connection between the number of MRI scans the patients had and how many received a NEDA designation. The trial was named EVIDENCE, for EVidence of Interferon Dose-response: European–North American Comparative Efficacy.
The MRI-related analysis of the trial results covered three factors: the number of scans that patients had, the number of patients who received a NEDA designation at 24 weeks or beyond, and the characteristics of patients’ diseases that showed up on MRI scans before and after treatment.
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