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MS in the media - 9 October 2015

These are links to recent news stories that may be of interest to people in the UK. The link beneath each item will take you to the original story.

Please note that the MS Trust did not write the original items and does not endorse their content nor any claims made in them.

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Ocrelizumab effective in all types of MS

Ocrelizumab reduced the risk of progression in primary progressive MS by a quarter compared to placebo - the first drug to show an effect on progressive MS.  It also caused increased walking speed, fewer new lesions and slower brain atrophy. Other studies in relapsing MS found ocrelizumab reduced relapses by almost half compared to beta interferon. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: Genentech press release on Pharmiweb
Source: BBC
Source: Guardian

MS Trust link: Ocrelizumab

Daclizumab study results

New data showed that daclizumab reduced relapses by 45% compared to beta interferon and almost twice as many people in daclizumab group had no relapse, no progression and no new lesions after two years.  The measure of disability progression showed the drugs had a similar effect.  People in the daclizumab group had more side effects. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: Biogen press release
Source: Medical Xpress

MS Trust link: Daclizumab (Zinbryta)

Gilenya (fingolimod) long-term benefits

Seven year follow up data from the FREEDOMS and FREEDOMS II trials shows 31.2% to 44.8% of people continues to have NEDA (no relapses, MRI lesions, brain atrophy and disability progression) in each of the years three to seven.  Including brain atrophy in measures at year one increased the ability to predict outcomes at year seven. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: Novartis press release

MS Trust link: Gilenya (fingolimod)

Aubagio (teriflunomide) real world study

An ongoing real world study of teriflunomide found that after two years on the drug, treatment satisfaction scores had improved by almost a quarter and scores on the Multiple Sclerosis Performance Scale had gone up fractionally.  Seven in tem people reported an adverse effect. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: MD Magazine

MS Trust link: Aubagio (teriflunomide)

Sativex in clinical practice

An observational study found that people taking Sativex showed similar results to those seen in the formal trials.  After three months about a quarter showed at least 30% improvement in spasticity measures, though almost a quarter had stopped treatment - mostly due to lack of efficacy or side effects.  At three months, average dose was 5.1 sprays. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: MedPage Today

MS Trust link: Sativex

Stopping smoking reduces brain atrophy

A study of 254 people who smoked at the start of the research found that the loss of brain volume was significantly slower in those who stopped. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: Neurology Advisor

MS Trust link: Smoking

Suicide and self harm risks higher in MS

A Swedish study found that people with MS were almost twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population and more than twice as likely to attempt suicide.  A UK study found that risk of any type of self harm was almost 60% higher. Reported at ECTRIMS

Source: MedPage Today