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      Multiple sclerosis

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          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="d16048860e186">Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common chronic inflammatory, demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system in young adults. This disorder is a heterogeneous, multifactorial, immune-mediated disease that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. In most patients, reversible episodes of neurological dysfunction lasting several days or weeks characterize the initial stages of the disease (that is, clinically isolated syndrome and relapsing-remitting MS). Over time, irreversible clinical and cognitive deficits develop. A minority of patients have a progressive disease course from the onset. The pathological hallmark of MS is the formation of demyelinating lesions in the brain and spinal cord, which can be associated with neuro-axonal damage. Focal lesions are thought to be caused by the infiltration of immune cells, including T cells, B cells and myeloid cells, into the central nervous system parenchyma, with associated injury. MS is associated with a substantial burden on society owing to the high cost of the available treatments and poorer employment prospects and job retention for patients and their caregivers. </p>

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          Most cited references191

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          Cortical demyelination and diffuse white matter injury in multiple sclerosis.

          Focal demyelinated plaques in white matter, which are the hallmark of multiple sclerosis pathology, only partially explain the patient's clinical deficits. We thus analysed global brain pathology in multiple sclerosis, focusing on the normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and the cortex. Autopsy tissue from 52 multiple sclerosis patients (acute, relapsing-remitting, primary and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis) and from 30 controls was analysed using quantitative morphological techniques. New and active focal inflammatory demyelinating lesions in the white matter were mainly present in patients with acute and relapsing multiple sclerosis, while diffuse injury of the NAWM and cortical demyelination were characteristic hallmarks of primary and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Cortical demyelination and injury of the NAWM, reflected by diffuse axonal injury with profound microglia activation, occurred on the background of a global inflammatory response in the whole brain and meninges. There was only a marginal correlation between focal lesion load in the white matter and diffuse white matter injury, or cortical pathology, respectively. Our data suggest that multiple sclerosis starts as a focal inflammatory disease of the CNS, which gives rise to circumscribed demyelinated plaques in the white matter. With chronicity, diffuse inflammation accumulates throughout the whole brain, and is associated with slowly progressive axonal injury in the NAWM and cortical demyelination.
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            Multiple sclerosis--the plaque and its pathogenesis.

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              Alemtuzumab versus interferon beta 1a as first-line treatment for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial.

              The anti-CD52 monoclonal antibody alemtuzumab reduced disease activity in a phase 2 trial of previously untreated patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. We aimed to assess efficacy and safety of first-line alemtuzumab compared with interferon beta 1a in a phase 3 trial. In our 2 year, rater-masked, randomised controlled phase 3 trial, we enrolled adults aged 18-50 years with previously untreated relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Eligible participants were randomly allocated in a 2:1 ratio by an interactive voice response system, stratified by site, to receive intravenous alemtuzumab 12 mg per day or subcutaneous interferon beta 1a 44 μg. Interferon beta 1a was given three-times per week and alemtuzumab was given once per day for 5 days at baseline and once per day for 3 days at 12 months. Coprimary endpoints were relapse rate and time to 6 month sustained accumulation of disability in all patients who received at least one dose of study drug. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00530348. 187 (96%) of 195 patients randomly allocated interferon beta 1a and 376 (97%) of 386 patients randomly allocated alemtuzumab were included in the primary analyses. 75 (40%) patients in the interferon beta 1a group relapsed (122 events) compared with 82 (22%) patients in the alemtuzumab group (119 events; rate ratio 0·45 [95% CI 0·32-0·63]; p<0.0001), corresponding to a 54·9% improvement with alemtuzumab. Based on Kaplan-Meier estimates, 59% of patients in the interferon beta 1a group were relapse-free at 2 years compared with 78% of patients in the alemtuzumab group (p<0·0001). 20 (11%) of patients in the interferon beta 1a group had sustained accumulation of disability compared with 30 (8%) in the alemtuzumab group (hazard ratio 0·70 [95% CI 0·40-1·23]; p=0·22). 338 (90%) of patients in the alemtuzumab group had infusion-associated reactions; 12 (3%) of which were regarded as serious. Infections, predominantly of mild or moderate severity, occurred in 253 (67%) patients treated with alemtuzumab versus 85 (45%) patients treated with interferon beta 1a. 62 (16%) patients treated with alemtuzumab had herpes infections (predominantly cutaneous) compared with three (2%) patients treated with interferon beta 1a. By 24 months, 68 (18%) patients in the alemtuzumab group had thyroid-associated adverse events compared with 12 (6%) in the interferon beta 1a group, and three (1%) had immune thrombocytopenia compared with none in the interferon beta 1a group. Two patients in the alemtuzumab group developed thyroid papillary carcinoma. Alemtuzumab's consistent safety profile and benefit in terms of reductions of relapse support its use for patients with previously untreated relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; however, benefit in terms of disability endpoints noted in previous trials was not observed here. Genzyme (Sanofi) and Bayer Schering Pharma. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature Reviews Disease Primers
                Nat Rev Dis Primers
                Springer Nature America, Inc
                2056-676X
                December 2018
                November 8 2018
                December 2018
                : 4
                : 1
                Article
                10.1038/s41572-018-0041-4
                30410033
                f8a25f4d-9889-4a0c-82f6-046fdf1d7388
                © 2018

                http://www.springer.com/tdm

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