disease-modifying therapies (DMTs)

Fatigue not eased with DMTs in people with MS: Study

Using disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) doesn’t reduce fatigue levels in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a study in Norway suggests. Anxiety and depression were both associated with fatigue, suggesting “there are other underlying causes of fatigue than focal inflammation, on which DMTs have an effect,” the study’s researchers wrote…

Stem Cell Transplant Gaining Ground as MS Therapy Option

Nothing was working for Jennifer Stansbury Koenig, who was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 2010 the day before she learned she was pregnant. The first disease-modifying therapy (DMT) Koenig started in 2013, Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), an oral capsule developed and marketed by Biogen, made her…

The Trials and Tribulations of MS Medications

“Hey, man, I’m alive. I’m taking each day and night at a time/ I’m feeling like a Monday but someday I’ll be Saturday night.” — Bon Jovi Multiple sclerosis (MS) medications can generally be separated into two categories: disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and those that help to manage symptoms. While…

An Epstein-Barr Virus Primer for MS Patients

You may have heard about the research that’s just been published about the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis (MS). The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health study reports that being infected by EBV raises the risk of developing MS by 32 times. This isn’t a small or…

Worsening of Disability Evident in Older Patients Who Stop DMTs

While older multiple sclerosis (MS) patients whose conditions are stable commonly stop using disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), a study indicates this decision can shortly lead to a marked disease worsening in a substantial portion of them. “Our results raise important questions about the accepted practice of discontinuing medications once MS…

Ocrevus Benefited RRMS Patients Who Responded Poorly to DMTs

Most relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients switching to Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) following suboptimal responses to other disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) show no evidence of disease activity, according to final two-year data from the European-based CASTING Phase 3b trial. These clinical benefits, which entail no relapses or disease progression and no…

Do People With MS Need a 3rd Vaccine Shot?

Now that a third COVID-19 vaccine shot has been approved in the U.S. for immunocompromised people, and vaccine boosters are expected to be available to the general public sometime after Sept. 20, Walgreens and CVS have lost no time in offering the additional shot to those who qualify.

World Brain Day Focuses on Global Access to Treatments

The first World Brain Day, created by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN), occurred seven years ago, and since then has been devoted to raising awareness about disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, and epilepsy. This year, WFN, which represents 122 national neurological societies, is turning its…

Will Reduced Treatment Time Keep Ocrevus Competitive?

One of the key considerations when choosing a disease-modifying therapy (DMT) is how much it will disrupt your life. It’s one of several factors that need to be evaluated. Unlike shots and pills, infusion treatments can require a significant amount of time. That’s why the U.S. Federal Drug Administration’s December…

MSIF Issues New Recommendations to Protect Against COVID-19

The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF) has issued new recommendations about how people with MS should adjust their daily lives because of the coronavirus pandemic. The MSIF, a network of national MS societies from around the world, first issued COVID-19 recommendations last spring. But much has been learned…

Restarting Rituxan: One Down, and a Lifetime to Go

Last week, I again started my twice-annual infusion of Rituxan (rituximab). After 384 days without my disease-modifying therapy, my team decided I could no longer wait. In its absence, my symptomology had worsened. Halting progression trumped a pandemic, and with personal protective equipment in place, I begin…

Relapse, Relapse, Relapse, Profanity, Relapse

Maybe I should have called this one “Short and Sharp 2.” Yes, I’ve had another relapse, following my last one in May. I can no longer clean my own tail, and the present regime is literally to “s**t the bed!” I’m using a lot of exclamation points here,…

Another Medication, Zeposia, Joins the MS Treatment Arsenal

By my unofficial count, disease-modifying therapy No. 19 has just become available to people with multiple sclerosis in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zeposia (ozanimod) in late March. While pharmaceutical companies usually rush to make newly approved medications available to patients, with COVID-19 raging,…

A Snapshot of COVID-19 and Disease-modifying Therapies

Are people with MS more susceptible than the average person to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19? And if COVID-19 attacks them, what’s the likely course of their illness? What about COVID-19 and disease-modifying therapies? Doctors from around the world are collecting information right now to try to answer these…

Zeposia Is Now Approved, But Expect Delays

Zeposia’s recent approval in the U.S. is exciting news for all in the MS community. Unfortunately, we will need to table that excitement a bit longer. Despite its approval, the treatment’s commercial distribution will be delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am confident, however, that it will be…

Have You Tested Positive for Coronavirus with MS?

What happens if you have MS and you’ve tested positive for COVID-19? How will the disease affect your disease-modifying therapies and your MS? Dr. Barry Singer, (@drbarrysinger), a neurologist who directs The MS Center for Innovations in Care in St. Louis, has posed…

Guidelines for DMT Use as COVID-19 Spreads

People with multiple sclerosis have unique concerns about the new coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease that it causes. Many of us use disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that suppress our immune systems and give us an extra element to worry about when we plan our defense against this virus. To help us…