Tysabri helps recovery from relapse

Lublin FD et al. Natalizumab reduces relapse clinical severity and improves relapse recovery in MS.Multiple sclerosis and related disorder.DOI: 10.1016/j.msard.2014.08.005

Objectives:Compare relapse clinical severity, post-relapse residual disability, and the probability of confirmed complete recovery from relapse between patients who relapsed during natalizumab (n=183/627 [29%]) and placebo (n=176/315 [56%]) treatments in the AFFIRM trial.
Methods: In this post-hoc analysis, relapse clinical severity and residual disability were defined by change in Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score occurring between pre-relapse and at-relapse assessment and between pre-relapse and post-relapse assessment, respectively. Patients were considered completely recovered from relapse when their post-relapse EDSS score was less than or equal to their pre-relapse EDSS score, and this was maintained for 12 or 24 weeks.
Results: At relapse, an increase in EDSS score of ≥0.5 points occurred in 71% of natalizumab and 84% of placebo patients (P=0.0088); an increase of ≥1.0 point occurred in 49% of natalizumab and 61% of placebo patients (P=0.0349) (mean increase in EDSS at relapse: natalizumab=0.77; placebo=1.09; P=0.0044). After relapse, residual disability of ≥0.5 EDSS points remained in 31% of natalizumab and 45% of placebo patients (P=0.0136) (mean post-relapse residual EDSS increase: natalizumab=0.06; placebo=0.28; P=0.0170). In patients with an increase in EDSS of ≥0.5 or ≥1.0 during relapse, natalizumab increased the probability of 12-week confirmed complete recovery from relapse by 55% (hazard ratio [HR]=1.554; P=0.0161) and 67% (HR=1.673; P=0.0319) compared to placebo, respectively.
Conclusions: In AFFIRM, natalizumab treatment decreased the clinical severity of relapses and improved recovery from disability induced by relapses. These beneficial effects would limit the step-wise accumulation of disability.
We all know that Tysabri can slow like the rate of relapse, but this study indicates that if you do relapse on the drug you do better than you would not on drug and slowed the accumulation of disability at and after the relapse and was associated with more apparent complete recovery than on placebo.

CoI ProfG is a co author

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