When safety measures like isolation are in place, neither disease-modifying therapy (DMT) use nor greater physical disability appear to heighten the risk of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) contracting COVID-19, a large U.K. registry-based study found.
Preliminary study data also suggested that these factors do not affect a patient’s ability to recover from the disease.
These findings were presented at MSVirtual2020 by Afagh Garjani, a PhD student at the University of Nottingham, on Sept. 26 in the late-breaking presentation “COVID-19 in people with MS: A large community-based study of the UK MS Register.”
Since the start of the pandemic, research in the field of MS has focused on assessing the severity of COVID-19 and risk factors that might increase the chances of poor clinical outcomes in this patient population.
Among questions raised was whether MS raised a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19 relative to the general population.
Garjani reported the findings of a U.K. registry study evaluating and comparing the incidence of COVID-19 among MS patients and the general U.K. population.
Researchers also evaluated how certain demographic and clinical parameters — such as age, gender, disability severity, and DMT use — influenced patients’ risk of this virus.
The study drew on data from the U.K. MS Register (UKMSR), which has been collecting demographic and clinical information on MS patients throughout the U.K. since 2011.
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