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Annu Rev Med. 1999;50:291-302.

Immunologic therapy of multiple sclerosis.

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  • Department of Neurology, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA. barnason@drugs.bsd.uchicago.edu


Three interferon beta preparations (Betaseron, Avonex, and Rebif) have shown efficacy in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Attack frequency is reduced by 30% and major attacks to an even greater extent. Accumulating disease burden as measured by annual T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging is markedly lessened, and disease activity as measured by serial gadolinium-enhanced MRI scanning is reduced by over 80%. A fourth preparation, Copaxone, a basic copolymer of four amino acids, lessens MS attack frequency by 30% and also lessens disease activity as measured by gadolinium-enhanced MRI. Betaseron lessens accumulation of disability in MS patients with secondary progressive disease regardless of the severity of disability at the time treatment is commenced. MS is now a treatable disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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