Improving outcomes in multiple sclerosis through early diagnosis and effective management

The primary care companion to CNS disorders 10/2012; 14(5). DOI: 10.4088/PCC.11016co2cc
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    ABSTRACT: Both women and men with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. A non-systematic review of the prevalence,pathogenesis and treatment of osteoporosis in patients with multiple sclerosis. MS and osteoporosis share aetiological risk factors such as smoking and hypovitaminosis D, as well as pathogenetic players such as osteopontin and osteoprotegerin. Recently, low bone mineral density (BMD) values have been measured shortly after diagnosis of clinically isolated syndrome and MS and in fully ambulatory persons with MS below 50 years of age. Studies consistently show that BMD at the femoral neck decreases with increasing MS-related disability. Osteoporosis-related fractures cause increased morbidity and mortality and add to the burden of having MS. We argue that MS, like a number of other chronic diseases, is a cause of secondary osteoporosis. Therefore, bone health assessment should be a part of the integral management of persons with MS. We suggest that BMD be measured shortly after diagnosis, that BMD measurements be repeated depending on BMD values and individual osteoporosis risk profile, and that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D be monitored. All persons with MS should receive bone health advice.
    Acta neurologica Scandinavica. Supplementum 08/2011; 124(191):44-9. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-0404.2011.01543.x
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) requires exclusion of diseases that could better explain the clinical and paraclinical findings. A systematic process for exclusion of alternative diagnoses has not been defined. An International Panel of MS experts developed consensus perspectives on MS differential diagnosis. Using available literature and consensus, we developed guidelines for MS differential diagnosis, focusing on exclusion of potential MS mimics, diagnosis of common initial isolated clinical syndromes, and differentiating between MS and non-MS idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating diseases. We present recommendations for 1) clinical and paraclinical red flags suggesting alternative diagnoses to MS; 2) more precise definition of "clinically isolated syndromes" (CIS), often the first presentations of MS or its alternatives; 3) algorithms for diagnosis of three common CISs related to MS in the optic nerves, brainstem, and spinal cord; and 4) a classification scheme and diagnosis criteria for idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating disorders of the central nervous system. Differential diagnosis leading to MS or alternatives is complex and a strong evidence base is lacking. Consensus-determined guidelines provide a practical path for diagnosis and will be useful for the non-MS specialist neurologist. Recommendations are made for future research to validate and support these guidelines. Guidance on the differential diagnosis process when MS is under consideration will enhance diagnostic accuracy and precision.
    Multiple Sclerosis 10/2008; 14(9):1157-74. DOI:10.1177/1352458508096878 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the safety and efficacy of vitamin D3 as an add on therapy to interferon β-1b (IFNB) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). 1 year, double blind, placebo controlled, randomised study in 66 MS patients. The primary outcomes were T2 burden of disease (BOD) on MRI scans, proportion of patients with serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) ≥85 nmol/l or intact parathyroid hormone (PTH) ≤20 ng/l, and number of adverse events. Secondary outcomes were number of MRI enhancing T1 lesions and new T2 lesions, annual relapse rate, changes in the Expanded Disability Status Scale score, timed 25 foot walk test and timed 10 foot tandem walk tests. Median change in BOD was 287 mm(3) in the placebo group and 83 mm(3) in the vitamin D group (p=0.105). Serum levels of 25(OH)D increased from a mean of 54 (range 19-82) nmol/l to 110 (range 67-163) nmol/l in the vitamin D group. 84% of patients reached a serum 25(OH)D level >85 nmol/l in the vitamin D group and 3% in the placebo group (p<0.0001). Patients in the vitamin D group showed fewer new T2 lesions (p=0.286) and a significantly lower number of T1 enhancing lesions (p=0.004), as well as a tendency to reduced disability accumulation (p=0.071) and to improved timed tandem walk (p=0.076). There were no significant differences in adverse events or in the annual relapse rate. Vitamin D3 add on treatment to IFNB reduces MRI disease activity in MS. EudraCT number 2007-001958-99 and ClinicalTrialsGov number NCT01339676.
    Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 02/2012; 83(5):565-71. DOI:10.1136/jnnp-2011-301876 · 6.81 Impact Factor
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