6,601 research outputs found

    Interferon beta in multiple sclerosis: experience in a British specialist multiple sclerosis centre

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    Background: The efficacy of interferon beta (IFN beta) is well established in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the use of this drug in clinical practice is complex, especially because it is only partially effective, its long term efficacy and side effects are unknown, its efficacy may be abrogated by the development of neutralising antibodies, compliance is variable, and its cost effectiveness is controversial. Objectives and Methods: Analysis of a prospectively followed up series of 101 MS patients treated with IFN beta was undertaken to: (1) monitor the outcome of IFN beta treatment in clinical practice; (2) compare the immunogenicity of the three commercial IFN beta preparations available; (3) assess the proportion of patients fulfilling the current guidelines of the Association of British Neurologists for stopping IFN beta therapy. Results: During a median treatment period of 26 months (range 2–85), the relapse rate decreased by 41%. Although the reduction in the relapse rate was similar for all three commercial products, none of the Avonex treated patients were relapse free, compared with 19% of the Betaferon treated and 27% of the Rebif treated patients (p=0.02). Neutralising antibodies were not detected in Avonex treated patients (0 of 18), compared with 12 of 32 (38%) Betaferon treated and 10 of 23 (44%) Rebif treated patients (p=0.02). Forty of 101 (40%) patients satisfied the current (2001) Association of British Neurologists criteria for stopping IFN beta treatment at some stage during their treatment. Conclusion: IFN beta is effective in reducing the relapse rate in patients with relapsing-remitting MS in routine clinical practice. However, after a median treatment duration of 26 months, 40% of initially relapsing-remitting MS patients seem to have ongoing disease activity, presenting as disabling relapses or insidious progression

    Prospective Randomized Trial Comparing Endoscopic Sphincterotomy Followed by Surgery with Surgery Alone in Good Risk Patients with Choledocholithiasis

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    Background: Role of endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) in high risk patients with choledocholithiasis is established but its role in good risk patients is unclear

    Setting a research agenda for progressive multiple sclerosis: The International Collaborative on Progressive MS

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    Despite significant progress in the development of therapies for relapsing MS, progressive MS remains comparatively disappointing. Our objective, in this paper, is to review the current challenges in developing therapies for progressive MS and identify key priority areas for research. A collaborative was convened by volunteer and staff leaders from several MS societies with the mission to expedite the development of effective disease-modifying and symptom management therapies for progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. Through a series of scientific and strategic planning meetings, the collaborative identified and developed new perspectives on five key priority areas for research: experimental models, identification and validation of targets and repurposing opportunities, proof-of-concept clinical trial strategies, clinical outcome measures, and symptom management and rehabilitation. Our conclusions, tackling the impediments in developing therapies for progressive MS will require an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to enable effective translation of research into therapies for progressive MS. Engagement of the MS research community through an international effort is needed to address and fund these research priorities with the ultimate goal of expediting the development of disease-modifying and symptom-relief treatments for progressive MS