Background. We examined (1) patient characteristics and disease-modifying drug (DMD) exposure in late-onset (LOMS, ≥50 years at symptom onset) versus adult-onset (AOMS, 18-<50 years) MS and (2) the association between interferon-beta (IFNβ) and disability progression in older relapsing-onset MS adults (≥50 years). Methods. This retrospective study (1980-2004, British Columbia, Canada) included 358 LOMS and 5627 AOMS patients. IFNβ-treated relapsing-onset MS patients aged ≥50 (regardless of onset age, 90) were compared with 171 contemporary and 106 historical controls. Times to EDSS 6 from onset and from IFNβ eligibility were examined using survival analyses. Results. LOMS patients (6%) were more likely to be male, with motor onset and a primary-progressive course, and exhibit faster progression and were less likely to take DMDs. Nonetheless, 57% were relapsing-onset, of which 31% were prescribed DMDs, most commonly IFNβ. Among older relapsing-onset MS adults, no significant association between IFNβ exposure and disability progression was found when either the contemporary (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.46; 95% CI: 0.18-1.22) or historical controls (HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.20-1.42) were considered. Conclusion. LOMS differed clinically from AOMS. One-third of older relapsing-onset MS patients were prescribed a DMD. IFNβ exposure was not significantly associated with reduced disability in older MS patients.
Shirani A, Zhao Y, Petkau J, Gustafson P, Karim ME, Evans C, Kingwell E, van der Kop ML, Oger J, Tremlett H. Multiple Sclerosis in Older Adults: The Clinical Profile and Impact of Interferon Beta Treatment. Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:451912. Epub 2015 Apr 1.
Older onset MSers are more likely to be male and primary progressive