[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Data on familial recurrence rates of complex diseases such as multiple sclerosis give important hints to aetiological factors such as the importance of genes and environment. By linking national registries, we sought to avoid common limitations of clinic-based studies such as low numbers, poor representation of the population and selection bias. Through the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Registry and a nationwide hospital registry, a total of 28 396 patients with multiple sclerosis were identified. We used the national Multi-Generation Registry to identify first and second degree relatives as well as cousins, and the Swedish Twin Registry to identify twins of patients with multiple sclerosis. Crude and age corrected familial risks were estimated for cases and found to be in the same range as previously published figures. Matched population-based controls were used to calculate relative risks, revealing lower estimates of familial multiple sclerosis risks than previously reported, with a sibling recurrence risk (λs = 7.1; 95% confidence interval: 6.42-7.86). Surprisingly, despite a well-established lower prevalence of multiple sclerosis amongst males, the relative risks were equal among maternal and paternal relations. A previously reported increased risk in maternal relations could thus not be replicated. An observed higher transmission rate from fathers to sons compared with mothers to sons suggested a higher transmission to offspring from the less prevalent sex; therefore, presence of the so-called 'Carter effect' could not be excluded. We estimated the heritability of multiple sclerosis using 74 757 twin pairs with known zygosity, of which 315 were affected with multiple sclerosis, and added information from 2.5 million sibling pairs to increase power. The heritability was estimated to be 0.64 (0.36-0.76), whereas the shared environmental component was estimated to be 0.01 (0.00-0.18). In summary, whereas multiple sclerosis is to a great extent an inherited trait, the familial relative risks may be lower than usually reported.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Alcohol consumption may be a modifiable lifestyle factor that affects the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). Results of previous studies have been inconsistent. OBJECTIVE To investigate the possible association of alcohol consumption with the risk of developing MS and to relate the influence of alcohol to the effect of smoking. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This report is based on 2 case-control studies: Epidemiological Investigation of Multiple Sclerosis (EIMS) included 745 cases and 1761 controls recruited from April 2005 to June 2011, and Genes and Environment in Multiple Sclerosis (GEMS) recruited 5874 cases and 5246 controls between November 2009 and November 2011. All cases fulfilled the McDonald criteria. Both EIMS and GEMS are population-based studies of the Swedish population aged 16 to 70 years. In EIMS, incident cases of MS were recruited via 40 study centers, including all university hospitals in Sweden. In GEMS, prevalent cases were identified from the Swedish national MS registry. In both studies, controls were randomly selected from the national population register, matched by age, sex, and residential area at the time of disease onset. MAIN OUTCOME AND MEASURE Multiple sclerosis status. RESULTS There was a dose-dependent inverse association between alcohol consumption and risk of developing MS that was statistically significant in both sexes. In EIMS, women who reported high alcohol consumption had an odds ratio (OR) of 0.6 (95% CI, 0.4-1.0) of developing MS compared with nondrinking women, whereas men with high alcohol consumption had an OR of 0.5 (95% CI, 0.2-1.0) compared with nondrinking men. The OR for the comparison in GEMS was 0.7 (95% CI, 0.6-0.9) for women and 0.7 (95% CI, 0.2-0.9) for men. In both studies, the detrimental effect of smoking was more pronounced among nondrinkers. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Alcohol consumption exhibits a dose-dependent inverse association with MS. Furthermore, alcohol consumption is associated with attenuation of the effect of smoking. Our findings may have relevance for clinical practice because they give no support for advising patients with MS to completely refrain from alcohol.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A significant proportion of patients with multiple sclerosis who receive interferon beta (IFNβ) therapy develop neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) that reduce drug efficacy. To investigate if HLA class I and II alleles are associated with development of NAbs against IFNβ we analyzed whether NAb status and development of NAb titers high enough to be biologically relevant (>150 tenfold reduction units/ml) correlated with the HLA allele group carriage in a cohort of 903 Swedish patients with multiple sclerosis treated with either intramuscular IFNβ-1a, subcutaneous IFNβ-1a or subcutaneous IFNβ-1b. Carriage of HLA-DRB1*15 was associated with increased risk of developing NAbs and high NAb titers. After stratification based on type of IFNβ preparation, HLA-DRB1*15 carriage was observed to increase the risk of developing NAbs as well as high NAb titers against both subcutaneous and intramuscular IFNβ-1a. Furthermore, in patients receiving subcutaneous IFNβ-1a carriage of HLA-DQA1*05 decreased the risk for high NAb titers. In IFNβ-1b treated patients, HLA-DRB1*04 increased the risk of developing high NAb titers, and in a subgroup analysis of DRB1*04 alleles the risk for NAbs was increased in DRB1*04:01 carriers. In conclusion, there is a preparation-specific genetically determined risk to develop NAbs against IFNβ high enough to be clinically relevant in treatment decisions for patients with multiple sclerosis if confirmed in future studies. However, choice of IFNβ preparation still remains the single most significant determinant for the risk of developing NAbs.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(3):e90479. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smoking may contribute to the induction of neutralizing antibodies to interferon β-1a.
In this study, we aimed to investigate the influence of smoking on the risk of developing antibodies to natalizumab, another biological drug in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
This report is based on 1338 natalizumab-treated multiple sclerosis patients included in either of two Swedish case-control studies in which information on smoking habits was collected. Using logistic regression, patients with different smoking habits were compared regarding risk of developing anti-natalizumab antibodies, by calculating odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals.
Compared with nonsmokers, the odds ratio of developing anti-natalizumab antibodies was 2.4 (95% CI 1.2-4.4) for patients who smoked at the time of screening, and a significant trend showed higher risk of developing antibodies with higher intensity of smoking. When smoking within two years prior to screening was considered, the odds ratio of developing anti-natalizumab antibodies was 2.7 (1.5-5.1).
The finding strengthens our hypothesis of the lungs as immune-reactive organs on irritation in relation to autoimmune responses, and may also be of clinical relevance since antibodies against natalizumab abrogate the therapeutic effect of the treatment.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smoking is one of the most established risk factors for multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this study was to investigate how age at smoking debut, duration, intensity and cumulative dose of smoking, and smoking cessation influence the association between smoking and MS risk. In two Swedish population-based case-control studies (7,883 cases, 9,264 controls), subjects with different smoking habits were compared regarding MS risk, by calculating odds ratios with 95 % confidence intervals. We observed a clear dose response association between cumulative dose of smoking and MS risk (p value for trend <10(-35)). Both duration and intensity of smoking contributed independently to the increased risk of MS. However, the detrimental effect of smoking abates a decade after smoking cessation regardless of the cumulative dose of smoking. Age at smoking debut did not affect the association between smoking and MS. Smoking increases the risk of MS in a dose response manner. However, in contrary to several other risk factors for MS that seem to affect the risk only if the exposure takes place during a specific period in life, smoking affects MS risk regardless of age at exposure, and the detrimental effect slowly abates after smoking cessation.
European Journal of Epidemiology 10/2013; · 5.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using the ImmunoChip custom genotyping array, we analyzed 14,498 subjects with multiple sclerosis and 24,091 healthy controls for 161,311 autosomal variants and identified 135 potentially associated regions (P < 1.0 × 10(-4)). In a replication phase, we combined these data with previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from an independent 14,802 subjects with multiple sclerosis and 26,703 healthy controls. In these 80,094 individuals of European ancestry, we identified 48 new susceptibility variants (P < 5.0 × 10(-8)), 3 of which we found after conditioning on previously identified variants. Thus, there are now 110 established multiple sclerosis risk variants at 103 discrete loci outside of the major histocompatibility complex. With high-resolution Bayesian fine mapping, we identified five regions where one variant accounted for more than 50% of the posterior probability of association. This study enhances the catalog of multiple sclerosis risk variants and illustrates the value of fine mapping in the resolution of GWAS signals.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiological data suggest a role for common viruses in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), and recent data showed a negative association of past cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection on pediatric MS risk.
Our aim was to analyze the association of CMV infection with MS risk in an adult case-control material. A meta-analysis was performed to validate our findings.
Epidemiological Investigation in MS (EIMS) is a case-control study with incident cases and population-based controls. Anti-CMV antibody titers were measured with ELISA, and HLA-A and DRB1 genotyping was performed with SSP-PCR, in 658 MS cases, who all fulfilled the McDonald criteria for MS, and 786 controls.
CMV seropositivity was associated with a decreased MS risk, OR = 0.73 (0.58-0.92 95% CI), p = 0.005, adjusted for index age, gender, smoking, sun exposure, EBNA1 IgG titer and HLA-A*02 and DRB1*15. When we removed all cases and controls younger than 18 years at index, the protective effect was still apparent.
CMV is negatively associated with adult-onset MS pathology, consistent with results from a study on pediatric MS cases. It remains to be shown whether this negative association is due to a true protective effect of CMV infection on MS risk.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to interferon β (IFNβ) products that develop during treatment are associated with a loss of clinical efficacy.
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of smoking habits on the risk of developing NAbs to IFNβ, in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
This report is based on 695 MS patients treated with IFNβ-1a, included in two Swedish case-control studies that collected information on smoking habits. Using logistic regression, the development of NAbs to IFNβ-1a among current smokers was compared with that of non-smokers, by calculating the odds ratio (OR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).
Current smokers showed an increased risk of developing NAbs to IFNβ-1a, compared with non-smokers (OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.3-2.8; p = 0.002). There were no gender differences. We observed no association between past smoking and the risk of developing NAbs to IFNβ-1a.
The finding that current smokers have an increased risk of developing NAbs to IFNβ-1a has implications, both for the practical care and the treatment of MS; it also provides an interesting perspective of the lungs as an immune-reactive organ, reacting upon irritation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Possible associations between childbearing patterns and multiple sclerosis (MS) risk have been studied for a long time, with conflicting results. We aimed to investigate the influence of reproductive history on MS risk.
Using a Swedish population-based case-control study involving incident cases of MS (1798 cases, 3907 controls), we calculated odds ratios (OR) for MS comparing parents with childless subjects together with 95% confidence intervals (CI) employing logistic regression.
Overall, there was an association between having children and reduced MS risk among both sexes. Subjects who had become parents within five years prior to the index year had a substantially reduced risk of developing MS (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.5-0.8 for women, and OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.3-0.6 for men). No association between having children and MS risk was observed when more than 10 years had passed since the birth of the last child. We found no association between increasing offspring number and MS risk.
The observed association between reproductive history and MS risk is restricted to a limited time period preceding the index year, with similar findings in both sexes, which contradicts biologic impact of pregnancy on MS risk and argues in favor of reverse causality, i.e. that fecundity is affected by yet-undiagnosed MS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory CNS disease with a substantial genetic component, originally mapped to only the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region. In the last 5 years, a total of seven genome-wide association studies and one meta-analysis successfully identified 57 non-HLA susceptibility loci. Here, we merged nominal statistical evidence of association and physical evidence of interaction to conduct a protein-interaction-network-based pathway analysis (PINBPA) on two large genetic MS studies comprising a total of 15,317 cases and 29,529 controls. The distribution of nominally significant loci at the gene level matched the patterns of extended linkage disequilibrium in regions of interest. We found that products of genome-wide significantly associated genes are more likely to interact physically and belong to the same or related pathways. We next searched for subnetworks (modules) of genes (and their encoded proteins) enriched with nominally associated loci within each study and identified those modules in common between the two studies. We demonstrate that these modules are more likely to contain genes with bona fide susceptibility variants and, in addition, identify several high-confidence candidates (including BCL10, CD48, REL, TRAF3, and TEC). PINBPA is a powerful approach to gaining further insights into the biology of associated genes and to prioritizing candidates for subsequent genetic studies of complex traits.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 05/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Although multiple sclerosis (MS) often implies substantial disability, there is little knowledge about sick leave and disability pension among MS patients. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence rates of sick leave and disability pension among MS patients and to explore how socio-demographics are associated with such rates. METHODS: The register data of all people who lived in Sweden in 2005 and were 16-64 years old was used to identify 9721 MS patients and matched controls. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and effect modifications were evaluated with Wald X(2) tests. RESULTS: In 2005, 61.7% of the MS patients were on partial or full disability pension compared to 14.2% among the controls. Of the others, 36.8% had ≥1 sick-leave spell for >14 days during that year. Socio-demographics were similarly associated with sick leave and disability pension among MS patients and controls, with the noteworthy exceptions that female gender and immigration status were less potent risk factors in the MS population (p<0.05). CONCLUSION: In spite of widespread access to modern health care including disease-modifying drugs, the majority of MS patients of working ages were on a disability pension. Strategies enabling MS patients to retain their footing in the labour market are needed.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The activation of microglia, in general, and the upregulation of the translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO) system, in particular, are key features of neuroinflammation, of which the in vivo visualization and quantitative assessment are still challenging due to the lack of appropriate molecular imaging biomarkers. Recent positron emission tomography (PET) studies using TSPO radioligands such as [11C]PK11195 and [11C]PBR28 have indicated the usefulness of these PET biomarkers in patients with neuroinflammatory diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). [18F]FEDAA1106 is a recently developed PET radioligand for the in vivo quantification of TSPO. In the present study, we aimed at investigating the diagnostic usefulness of [18F]FEDAA1106 in patients with MS. METHODS: Nine patients (three on the interferon beta therapy and six without immunomodulatory therapy; seven females/two males; age 34.2 +/- 9.1 years old) with relapsing-remitting MS in acute relapse and with gadolinium (Gd)-enhancing lesion(s) in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and five healthy controls (four females/one male, age 38.0 +/- 9.7 years old) were investigated in this study. Genetic information about the TSPO binding could not be obtained because knowledge about the importance of genetic background for TSPO binding was not available at the time the study was performed. Dynamic PET measurements were performed using an ECAT EXACT HR system (CTI/Siemens, Knoxville, TN, USA) for a total of 150 min, with a 30-min break after the injection of 153.4 +/- 10.2 MBq of [18F]FEDAA1106. Metabolite-corrected arterial plasma samples were used to calculate the input function. PET data were analyzed in the following ways: (1) region-of-interest analysis for cortical and subcortical regions was performed using a two-tissue compartment kinetic model in order to estimate binding potentials (BPND) and distribution volume (VT), (2) the feasibility of the estimation of BPND and VT was investigated for MS lesions, and (3) VT parametric images by a Logan plot and standard uptake value (SUV) images were visually compared with the corresponding MRI, focusing on MRI-identified MS lesions. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the BPND or VT values between patients with MS and healthy controls. Robust BPND and VT values could not be obtained for most MS lesions due to noisy time-activity curves. Visual inspection of VT and SUV images in all nine patients did not reveal high uptake of the radioligand inside and beyond MRI-identified active MS lesions with the exception of one Gd-enhanced MS lesion in the whole patient population. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, [18F]FEDAA1106 as a PET radioligand could neither differentiate patients with MS from healthy controls nor detect active plaques in the brain of MS patients. Stratification with respect to genetics and binder status might help to uncover the differences between the groups, which could not be detected here.Trial registration: NCT01031199.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human soluble interleukin-7 receptor (sIL7R)α circulates in high molar excess compared with IL-7, but its biology remains unclear. We demonstrate that sIL7Rα has moderate affinity for IL-7 but does not bind thymic stromal lymphopoietin. Functionally, sIL7Rα competes with cell-associated IL-7 receptor to diminish excessive IL-7 consumption and, thus, enhances the bioactivity of IL-7 when the cytokine is limited, as it is presumed to be in vivo. IL-7 signaling in the presence of sIL7Rα also diminishes expression of CD95 and suppressor of cytokine signaling 1, both regulatory molecules. Murine models confirm diminished consumption of IL-7 in the presence of sIL7Rα and also demonstrate a potentiating effect of sIL7Rα on IL-7-mediated homeostatic expansion and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis exacerbation. In multiple sclerosis and several other autoimmune diseases, IL7R genotype influences susceptibility. We measured increased sIL7Rα levels, as well as increased IL-7 levels, in multiple sclerosis patients with the predisposing IL7R genotype, consistent with diminished IL-7 consumption in vivo. This work demonstrates that sIL7Rα potentiates IL-7 bioactivity and provides a basis to explain the increased risk of autoimmunity observed in individuals with genotype-induced elevations of sIL7Rα.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are at increased infection risk. Here the influences of susceptibility, severity and surveillance bias on infection-related hospital admission are assessed. METHODS: Swedish registers identified 20 276 patients with MS, matched with 203 951 people from the general population without MS. Risk of first hospital admission for infection and mortality over 36 years was estimated by Poisson regression. RESULTS: Multiple sclerosis was associated with an increased hospital admission risk for all infections, with an adjusted relative risk (and 95% confidence interval) of 4.26 (4.13-4.40). A proportion of this raised risk was probably due to surveillance and referral bias, although a raised risk remained when MS was compared with other immune-mediated diseases. The 1-month mortality rate following hospital admission for infection was higher in MS patients than in the comparison cohort, with a relative risk of 4.69 (4.21-5.22). There was no clear temporal trend in the results, and risks were higher in males and varied by MS phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: Higher hospital admission rates among MS patients for infection are likely to be due to a combination of surveillance bias, cautious medical management and greater susceptibility to severe infections. MS-related functional limitations may increase infection risk and this should be considered in MS management.
European Journal of Neurology 03/2013; · 4.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The anti-JC virus (JCV) antibody status has been introduced to stratify patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) for higher or lower risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). OBJECTIVE: To assess the potential utility of anti-JCV antibody levels for earlier diagnosis or prediction of PML. METHODS: An analytically validated antibody assay was used to determine serological status, normalised optical density values, and dilution titres for anti-JCV antibodies. The method was applied to stored sera of 1157 patients with MS including five cases of PML, all enrolled in the Swedish pharmacovigilance study for natalizumab (NAT). Anticytomegalovirus (CMV) and antivaricella-zoster (VZV) antibody levels served as controls. RESULTS: Prior to treatment with NAT, anti-JCV antibody levels were stable in the anti-JCV positive patients. During therapy, a slight decrease in anti-JCV and anti-VZV antibody levels, but not anti-CMV antibody levels, was observed. All five patients who developed PML showed a mild to moderate increase in anti-JCV antibody levels at time of PML diagnosis; pre-PML samples suggested that this increase might start already prior to diagnosis of PML. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment initiation with NAT may lead to a slight decrease in anti-JCV and anti-VZV antibody levels, suggestive of a mild suppressive effect of NAT on antibody levels. Our findings in five cases of PML demonstrate that the onset of PML can be accompanied by increasing anti-JCV antibodies in serum. Monitoring of anti-JCV antibody levels could potentially be used as a tool for prediction or earlier diagnosis of PML during NAT treatment for MS. Further studies are warranted.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 03/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: JC virus (JCV) is an opportunistic virus known to cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Anti-JC virus (Anti-JCV) antibody prevalence in a large, geographically diverse, multi-national multiple sclerosis (MS) cohort was compared in a cross-sectional study. Overall, anti-JCV antibody prevalence was 57.6%. Anti-JCV antibody prevalence in MS patients ranged from approximately 47% to 68% across these countries: Norway, 47.4%; Denmark, 52.6%; Israel, 56.6%; France, 57.6%; Italy, 58.3%; Sweden, 59.0%; Germany, 59.1%; Austria, 66.7% and Turkey, 67.7%. Prevalence increased with age (from 49.5% in patients < 30 years of age to 66.5% in patients ≥ 60 years of age; p < 0.0001 comparing all age categories), was lower in females than in males (55.8% versus 61.9%; p < 0.0001) and was not affected by prior immunosuppressant or natalizumab use.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: It has been hypothesized that exposure to anaesthetic agents, some of which are chemically related to organic solvents, may affect the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this study was to estimate the influence of occupational exposure to anaesthetic agents on the risk for MS. We further aimed to investigate the impact of general anaesthesia and usage of nitrous oxide. METHODS: This report is based on two population-based, case-control studies, one with incident cases (1798 cases, 3907 controls) and one with prevalent cases (5216 cases, 4701 controls). Using logistic regression, the occurrence of MS among subjects who have been exposed to anaesthetic agents was compared with that of those who have never been exposed by calculating the odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval. RESULTS: No association was found between occupational exposure to anaesthetic agents and risk of developing MS, also general anaesthesia or usage of nitrous oxide had no impact on MS risk. CONCLUSIONS: Neither occupational exposure to anaesthetic agents, nor general anaesthesia or usage of nitrous oxide has any impact on MS risk and is safe also for people with a genetic susceptibility to the disease. However, further studies would be valuable in order to clarify whether other forms of organic solvents contribute to the triggering of MS.
European Journal of Neurology 01/2013; · 4.16 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: The use of moist snuff is common in Sweden and leads to exposure to high doses of nicotine. Recent studies indicate that exposure to nicotine could modulate immune responses. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of snuff use on the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), taking smoking habits into consideration. METHODS: In two Swedish population-based, case-control studies (7883 cases, 9437 controls), subjects with different snuff use habits were compared regarding MS risk, by calculating odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: Snuff-takers have a decreased risk of developing MS compared with those who have never used moist snuff (OR 0.83, 95% CI 0.75-0.92), and we found clear evidence of an inverse dose-response correlation between cumulative dose of snuff use and the risk of developing the disease. We further observed that subjects who combined smoking and snuff use had a significantly lower risk for MS than smokers who had never used moist snuff, also after adjustment for amount of smoking. CONCLUSIONS: Our results add evidence to the hypothesis that nicotine exerts anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects in a way that might decrease the risk of developing MS.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:
In Assessment of OraL Laquinimod in PrEventing ProGRession in Multiple SclerOsis (ALLEGRO), a phase III study in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), oral laquinimod slowed disability and brain atrophy progression, suggesting laquinimod may reduce tissue damage in MS. MRI techniques sensitive to the most destructive aspects of the disease were used to further investigate laquinimod's potential effects on inflammation and neurodegeneration.
1106 RRMS patients were randomised 1:1 to receive once-daily oral laquinimod (0.6 mg) or placebo for 24 months. White matter (WM), grey matter (GM) and thalamic fractions were derived at months 0, 12 and 24. Also assessed were evolution of gadolinium-enhancing and/or new T2 lesions into permanent black holes (PBH); magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) of normal-appearing brain tissue (NABT), WM, GM and T2 lesions; and N-acetylaspartate/creatine (NAA/Cr) levels in WM.
Compared with placebo, laquinimod-treated patients showed lower rates of WM at months 12 and 24 (p=0.004 and p=0.035) and GM (p=0.004) atrophy at month 12 and a trend for less GM atrophy at month 24 (p=0.078). Laquinimod also slowed thalamic atrophy at month 12 (p=0.005) and month 24 (p=0.003) and reduced the number of PBH at 12 and 24 months evolving from active lesions (all p<0.05). By month 24, MTR decreased significantly in NABT (p=0.015), WM (p=0.011) and GM (p=0.034) in placebo-treated patients, but not in laquinimod-treated patients. WM NAA/Cr tended to increase with laquinimod and decrease with placebo at 24 months (p=0.179).
Oral laquinimod may reduce (at least in the initial phase of treatment) some of the more destructive pathological processes in RRMS patients.
The ALLEGRO trial identifier number with clinicaltrials.gov is NCT00509145.
MRI, Multiple Sclerosis
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 01/2013; · 4.87 Impact Factor