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J Neurosci Nurs. 2013 Dec;45(6 Suppl 1):S14-23. doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000020.

Multiple sclerosis research: diagnostics, disease-modifying treatments, and emerging therapies.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease that affects the central nervous system. It is believed to be an immune mediated disease, and although the etiology remains unknown, it is believed to occur from a combination of genetic risk factors and environmental risk factors. There is no single diagnostic test for MS, and diagnostic criteria have been developed to aid the provider in making an accurate and timely diagnosis. Once a diagnosis of MS is made, treatments directed toward the inflammatory immune response should be initiated. Currently, there are 10 treatments for MS: four interferon beta products; one glatiramer acetate; one monoclonal antibody--natalizumab; three oral treatments--fingolimod, teriflunomide, and dimethyl fumarate; and one immunosuppressant agent--mitoxantrone. Each of these agents has a different administration and different risks and side effects. Numerous agents are in late stage development, and it is possible that several more agents, all with different mechanisms of action, will become available over the next several years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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