A new report launched today (7 October) at the ECTRIMS conference in Barcelona sets out the case for a therapeutic strategy that aims to preserve lifelong brain health in people with MS.
Brain health: time matters in multiple sclerosis was written by an international, multidisciplinary expert group led by UK neurologist Professor Gavin Giovannoni. The authors recommend a therapeutic strategy that includes early intervention, a clear treatment target, regular monitoring and improved access to disease-modifying therapies. A comprehensive approach to the management of MS which involves adopting a healthy lifestyle and preventing and treating comorbidities is also a vital component.
“Time is critical in MS,” said Professor Giovannoni. “The evidence shows we need to focus on diagnosing the disease as early as possible, monitoring the disease regularly and offering effective treatments that maintain cognitive function and maximise brain health to stave off future disability.”
The report recommends that treatment should involve the use of a disease-modifying therapy, the adoption of a ‘brain-healthy’ lifestyle, and taking steps to minimise the impact of conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease on brain health.
Amy Bowen, Director of Service Development at the MS Trust said: “The MS Trust warmly welcomes this important report. It is a timely, well considered and mature exploration of the clinical, service and policy issues that impact the treatment of people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. . It also makes important recommendations for everyone with MS about the importance of a ‘brain-healthy’ lifestyle.
“The report is a call to arms for everyone committed to improving services. Early treatment, active management and information to help people make their treatment choices are the benchmark in this new era in MS care. We congratulate the authors and look forward to supporting the implementation of the findings here in the UK and beyond.”
For background information and to read the full report see www.msbrainhealth.org