MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Non-contrast MRIs, Stem Cell Study Seeks Subjects, Postpartum Relapses, Which DMT?

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by Ed Tobias |

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Non-contrast MRI Effective in Monitoring Progression of MS, Study Shows

There’s been increased interest in the risks versus the benefits of using gadolinium to make lesions more visible on an MRI. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory last year raising the level of concern. Now research indicates that the newest models of MRI machines may make using a contrast material unnecessary.

The evaluation of disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be performed without the use of a contrast agent, new research has shown.

These findings suggest that routine use of contrast-enhanced MRI is unnecessary for most follow-ups with MS patients, reducing both imaging time and cost without missing new or enlarged lesions.

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Phase 2 Trial Will Assess Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy to Treat Progressive Forms of MS

This is a very small trial, as only 50 people will be selected to participate. I’m sure that many more people with MS will want to be involved than can be accepted. But all of us can at least be pleased to see a stem cell transplant study progress and hope that it will lead to an approval for this type of therapy in the U.S. soon.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is funding a new Phase 2 clinical trial to test the effectiveness of stem cell therapy on individuals with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), using mesenchymal stem cells from their own bone marrow.

The ability of stem cells to both self-renew and create new cell types (differentiation) makes them a promising tool to repair damaged or diseased cells and tissues. The types of cells generated during differentiation depend on the stem cell type (origin) and its potency (ability to become other cell types).

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#AAN2019 – Risk of MS Relapses Not Increased Right After Giving Birth, Study Suggests

This study says the risk isn’t increased. But I know a woman who had a severe relapse many years ago, soon after giving birth. These results are contrary to what had been the “conventional wisdom.” So, was my friend’s experience the exception? Or have the disease-modifying therapies that have been developed since then had an impact on the number of postpartum relapses?

Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) do not experience more relapses right after giving birth, as previously believed, according to a preliminary study.

The study also revealed that mothers with MS who breastfeed their babies have a lower relapse risk compared with those who do not breastfeed.

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Cleveland Clinic Nevada Joins DELIVER-MS Trial Assessing RRMS Treatments

This headline hides the real significance of this study. This trial seeks to determine whether it’s better to begin treating MS by using disease-modifying treatments that are considered highly effective, such as Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), Tysabri (natalizumab), and rituximab, or with treatments with lower efficacy but also lower risk. That treatment choice is a topic of hot debate in the MS community these days.

The Cleveland Clinic Nevada is recruiting participants for DELIVER-MS, a clinical trial comparing two common treatment approaches for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Results from the DELIVER-MS trial, titled “Determining the Effectiveness of Early Intensive Versus Escalation Approaches for the Treatment of Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis” (NCT03535298), are expected to provide a framework for overall treatment choices for RRMS.

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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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