The 2017 meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) took place in Boston from 22 to 28 April.

The following is a selection of the news coverage of information presented at the meeting. 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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Aubagio in people at risk of MS

A trial of Aubagio (teriflunomide) in people following a first clinical episode suggestive of MS found the drug reduced the loss of brain tissue (atrophy) and delayed the onset of clinically definite MS

Source: Patient Daily

MS Trust link: Aubagio (teriflunomide)

Cladribine

An analysis of study results for cladribine in just those people with highly active MS found that they had a greater reduction in the risk of progression and had fewer relapses than seen in the overall study

Source: News Medical

MS Trust link: Cladribine

Gilenya

Results from MS-MRIUS (Multiple sclerosis and clinical outcome and MRI in the US) study of Gilenya (fingolimod) in a real world setting found three out of five participants achieved NEDA-3 (no relapses, no new lesions no disability progression) and a third achieved NEDA-4 (those three measures plus reduced brain tissue loss).

Source: MS News Today
Source: Wall Street

MS Trust link: Gilenya (fingolimod)

Lemtrada long-term data

Six year follow up studies found that two out of three people who hadn't previously used a disease modifying drug (DMD) only required a two year course of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab). In a trial where people had previously had unsuccessful DMD treatment, half only needed the two year course. In year 6, almost three quarters were free of disability worsening and 43% of these showed an improvement lasting six months.

Source: Medpage Today

MS Trust link: Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)

Lemtrada and black people

An analysis of previous trial results found that the 46 black people on the Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) trials did as well as participants overall. Generally black people with MS tend to do worse.

Source: Medical News Today

MS Trust link: Lemtrada (alemtuzumab)

Opicinumab

A trial compared myelin repair in people with relapsing or secondary progressive MS taking either opicinumab (anti-LINGO-1) or Avonex (beta interferon 1a). Although the trial was negative and showed no significant difference, researchers identified younger people with relapsing MS and short disease duration as better responders and plan to focus further research on them

Source: MS News Today

MS Trust link: Opicinumab (anti-LINGO-1)

Siponimod

A study found siponimod reduced the risk of three-month confirmed disability progression by 21% and six-month confirmed disability progression by 26% compared to placebo. It also reduced the annualized relapse rate by a little over half

Source: Neurology Reviews

MS Trust link: Siponimod

Importance of early effective treatment

Real-world data for Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) and Tysabri (natalizumab) suggest that treatment at early disease stages improves outcomes and prevents disability development

Source: MS News Today
Source: Pharma Letter

MS Trust link: Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate)
MS Trust link: Tysabri (natalizumab)

NEDA challenged

New study shows evidence that despite being classed at having no evidence of disease activity (NEDA), some people still had worsening scores for fatigue, time to walk 25 feet and in more details brain scans

Source: Medpage Today

MS Trust link: NEDA (no evidence of disease activity)

Measuring disease activity in progressive MS

Researchers suggest a way to expand the idea of NEDA to make it more relevant as a marker for people with progressive MS. As well as no relapses, no new lesions and no increase in EDSS, NEPAD adds in increase of 20% of more in 9-hole peg test and 25-foot walk. Ocrelizumab did well on this new measure vs placebo (29.9% v 9.4%)

Source: MedPage Today

MS Trust link: Progressive MS

Predicting risk of conversion to SPMS

A study recruited people who had had relapsing remitting MS for at least 15 years.  When they were reviewed five years later, those who reported fatigue and lower limb problems at the start of the trial were more likely to have developed secondary progressive MS

Source: Neurology Advisor

MS Trust link: Secondary progressive MS

Risk factors for MS in children and teenagers

Researchers found that children with MS were more likely to have been exposed to the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes glandular fever) and herpes simplex virus. They were also more likely to have lower levels of vitamin D

Source: Neurology Advisor

MS Trust link: Childhood MS