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Mult Scler. 2013 Nov;19(13):1765-72. doi: 10.1177/1352458513485981. Epub 2013 May 7.

The effects of long-term interferon-beta-1b treatment on cognitive functioning in multiple sclerosis: a 16-year longitudinal study.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago Medical Center, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease of the central nervous system that affects cognition. Short-term treatment with interferon-beta-1b (IFN-b-1b) has been shown to have beneficial effects on cognition.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effects of IFN-b-1b on cognitive functioning in patients with MS over the course of 16 years.

METHODS:

Sixteen subjects with relapsing-remitting MS participated in the study. Nine of these subjects received IFN-b-1b, while seven received placebo treatment in the pivotal MS trial. After five years, all subjects were switched to IFN-b-1b treatment. At two and four years into the study, all subjects underwent a brief neuropsychological test battery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and neurologic ratings; measures were repeated at 16 years.

RESULTS:

Across the total cohort, cognitive functioning remained relatively stable over the course of 16 years. The placebo/IFN-b-b group exhibited increased visual memory performance relative to the IFN-b-1b treatment group, but had a greater decline in verbal memory. Initial MRI lesion load demonstrated a significant, negative correlation with overall cognitive performance at 16 years (p = 0.00).

CONCLUSION:

We conclude that IFN-b-1b has beneficial effects on long-term cognition outcomes in MS.

KEYWORDS:

Multiple sclerosis; beta-interferon; cognition; visual memory

PMID:
23652214
DOI:
10.1177/1352458513485981
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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