The study, “Improvement in Cognitive Function as Measured by NeuroTrax in Patients with Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis Treated with Natalizumab: A 2-Year Retrospective Analysis,” was published in the journal CNS Drugs.
About 40-65% of MS patients have cognitive impairment, one of the disease’s most disabling symptoms. It strongly affects patients’ quality of life, in both their personal and professional areas, and can impact their employment prospects.
NeuroTrax is a validated computerized screening test of cognition that provides a global score based on seven domains — executive function, memory, attention, visual-spatial processing, information processing speed, verbal function, and motor function.
A large-scale study using NeuroTrax showed that MS patients have poorer cognitive abilities than healthy people, particularly in areas involving information processing speed and executive function — and such problems worsen with disease duration. The test is rarely used, however, to assess treatment response in MS patients.
Tysabri, developed by Biogen, is an approved RRMS therapy that has been shown to lower MS-related disability and disease activity. It is also associated with improved cognitive function after one to three years of treatment.
Researchers collected data to evaluate Tysabri’s impact on cognitive function, assessed by Neurotrax, in 52 adults with RRMS treated at a New York center between May 2007 and August 2012. The patients, 39 women and 13 men, used Tysabri (300 mg intravenous infusion) every four weeks for at least two years.
Their mean age was 45.9 years, and 22 patients (42.3%) had a disease duration of five or fewer years while 30 (57.7%) were diagnosed at least six years ago. Tysabri was the first treatment given to 12 of these 52 patients (23.1%).
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