MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Ocrevus Experiences, Early MS Treatment Study, Cognitive Decline

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by Ed Tobias |

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5 MS Patients Across US Talk About How Ocrevus Has Changed Their Lives

There’s high interest in Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), one of two disease-modifying therapies that have shown promise for reversing some multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms. (The other is Lemtrada.) So, I’m including this article. Keep in mind, however, that the positive experiences of these patients — a sample of people who commented on an earlier Multiple Sclerosis News Today interview — may not be the results that you would have if you were using this therapy.

It’s been a little over a year since United States regulators approved Genentech’s Ocrevus as the first treatment for both relapsing and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis — a disabling neurological disease now believed to affect nearly one million Americans.

While the jury’s still out regarding the therapy’s long-term effectiveness and safety, five MS patients we spoke to across the U.S. say Ocrevus — an intravenous infusion therapy that carries a retail price of $65,000 a year — has made a dramatic difference in their daily lives.


Adverse Effects Influence Patient’s Perspective of Ocrevus’s Effectiveness, Survey Shows

Here’s another perspective of the Ocrevus treatment. In this case, the data come from many MS patients through the patient-connection website GeneFo. Some 840 Ocrevus patients participated in this survey, and about half of them reported no physical improvement.

Higher rates of adverse effects have a negative impact on a patient’s perspective about treatment with Ocrevus, according to a survey conducted by the multiple sclerosis community GeneFo.

About half of the 840 patient responses surveyed so far have reported improvements from Ocrevus. Those reporting none had a higher rate of adverse effects, a finding highlighting the importance of doctors managing the therapy’s side effects.


#AAN2018 — Early Treatment Delays MS Disease Progression But Does Not Affect Death Rate, Study Suggests

I’m just a layman who has MS, but it’s certainly not surprising to me that the sooner a disease is treated, the more likely it is that you can slow its progression. That’s what this study reports.

Beginning treatment early with disease-modifying therapies is the most effective approach to prevent MS progression in patients, a large-scale study suggests.

Data from the Danish study will be presented at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), taking place April 21 to 27 in Los Angeles. The oral presentation is titled “Early versus Later Treatment Start in Multiple Sclerosis – A Register Based Cohort Study.”


SPMS Patients Have More Cognitive Decline Than Those with RRMS, Study Reports

Though the study is small, it provides an interesting look at how cognitive functions differ between relapsing and progressing MS. RRMS patients had impairments in three categories — initial verbal word encoding, word consolidation, and delayed recall of verbal information. SPMS patients had problems in all of the test areas.

People with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) have more cognitive decline than those with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), according to a Greek study.

The finding confirmed a long-held assumption that the more progressive form of the disease — SPMS — also involves more cognition problems. Some previous research has confirmed that hypothesis, but other studies have contradicted it.


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.


Carole Williams avatar

Carole Williams


Jason avatar


$65 grand a year vs a one time fee...hmmmm....I wonder who's facilitating this and why?

They've been doing this test since, at least, 2009.


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