This newest edition of The Motivator features the cover story, “Finding Direction When Newly Diagnosed,” which covers a range of topics including MS basics, treatment options, employment issues, government programs, and more.
The 2018 MS Research Update provides a comprehensive overview of study results on many of the approved and experimental disease-modifying therapies for MS, as well as highlights on new directions in MS research.
Read excerpts from these two publications here:
While the physical symptoms of MS – such as changes in bladder function, spasticity, and mobility, for example – are greatly important and can impact one’s daily activities and lifestyle, these types of symptoms are more apparent, more relatable, and more tangible to care partners. Most physical symptoms have a variety of treatment options available, and for the most part, can be monitored and measured.
The emotional, cognitive, and psychological symptoms of MS, on the other hand, are not only quite challenging for both people with MS and those close to them, but they can also be very confusing for everyone involved. A variety of issues are possible, but some of the more common symptoms include anxiety, cognitive changes, depression, and pseudobulbar affect (PBA). Again, as a reminder, individuals with MS experience a variety of symptoms – and not everyone will experience these types of emotional, cognitive, and psychological changes.
Developments over the past year or more provide yet another reminder that while research inevitably leads us forward, the path is not straight and smooth, with detours, dead-ends, and disappointments – as well as breakthroughs – encountered along the way.
As last year’s edition of the MS Research Update was prepared for publication, the “breaking news” included at the 11th hour was the FDA’s March 2017 approval of Ocrevus™ (ocrelizumab). This new DMT was not only approved for relapsing forms of MS (RMS), but was also the first DMT approved for primary-progressive MS (PPMS). During the 25 years since 1993, when the FDA approved Betaseron® (interferon beta-1b) as the first MS treatment, the MS community has seen numerous milestones, and this new ability to treat PPMS truly ranks among the most important of those achievements.
The “breaking news” this year is mixed. March 2018 saw Biogen and AbbVie announce the withdrawal of their monoclonal antibody Zinbryta® (daclizumab) from markets worldwide. That decision follows reports from Europe of inflammation of the brain or nearby tissues in a dozen people taking the immune-modulating medication. The withdrawal comes less than two years after Zinbryta was approved for use in the United States for treating relapsing forms of MS. Recent months also saw disappointing trial results for medications that had encouraging initial findings. To cite one example, the experimental medication laquinimod missed its primary endpoints in trials evaluating its efficacy in RMS and PPMS.