Research: Age and Progression

Epub: Bove et al. Effect of gender on late-onset multiple sclerosis Mult Scler. 2012 Mar 1.

Objectives: We aimed to examine the incidence and disease course of late-onset multiple sclerosis (LOMS) compared with adult-onset MS (AOMS) in our clinic cohort, stratified based on gender and race, since both have been reported as important mode outcomes in MS.

Methods: Patients with LOMS and AOMS were compared in terms of demographic characteristics and disease course characteristics. Combined effects were investigated with a logistic regression model. Time from disease onset to sustained Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score of 6 was investigated using an extension of log-rank test appropriate for interval-censored data.

Results: About 8% of 4273 patients studied had an onset of MS after the age of 50 years (Late Onset MS) and 1.3% experienced an onset after age 60. Progressive onset was more common in Late-onset MS relative to adult onset MS. The proportion of women with progressive-onset disease was similar in AOMS and LOMS. Time to EDSS 6 was slower in adult onset MS females compared with males; however, it was similar between males and females in the late onset MS group.

Conclusions: Women with Late Onset MS have a different trajectory in terms of disease progression than women with young adult disease onset MS.

If you develop MS later on in life, you have an increased risk of developing progressive MS, but this we already knew this.

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  • Hello,

    I was diagnosed with MS in 2001, when I was 56 years old. I don't know what my EDSS status was then, but it has been 2.0 since 2006 when I first started tracking it. I have only had two relapses since 2001, each one about 5 years apart and each one mild. I started on Avonex at the outset, then Rebif, and went on Gilenya in March 2011. I am doing very well. I think all of these studies need to begin to take into account the various therapies now available because there are bound to be differences in disease progression. Liz

  • You are correct as we are moving to an age of effective DMT this will no doubt change the demographics of disease

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