Sharifian-Dorche M, Sahraian MA, Fadda G, Osherov M, Sharifian-Dorche A, Karaminia M, Saveriano AW, La Piana R, Antel JP, Giacomini PS. COVID-19 and disease-modifying therapies in patients with demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system: A systematic review. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2021 Jan 29;50:102800
If you want to see a more recent review of the influence of COVID-19 you can see this free piece of a review of COVID-19 MS papers in 2020.
Whays does it say.
Introduction: The Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to expand across the world. This pandemic has had a significant impact on patients with chronic diseases. Among patients with demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) or Neuromyelitis Optica Spectrum Disorder (NMOSD), concerns remain about the potential impact of COVID-19 on these patients given their treatment with immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapies. In this study, we review the existing literature investigating the impact of disease-modifying therapies(DMT) on COVID-19 risks in this group of patients.
Method: For this systematic review, we searched PubMed from January 1, 2020, to December 3, 2020. The following keywords were used: “COVID-19” AND “Multiple Sclerosis” OR “Neuromyelitis Optica.” Articles evaluating COVID-19 in patients with demyelinating diseases of CNS were included. This study evaluates the different aspects of the DMTs in these patients during the COVID-19 era.
Results and conclusion: A total of 262 articles were found. After eliminating duplicates and unrelated research papers, a total of 84 articles met the final inclusion criteria in our study. Overall, the experiences of 2493 MS patients and 37 NMOSD patients with COVID-19 were included in this review. Among them, 46(1.8%) MS patients died(the global death-to-case ratio of Covid-19 was reported about 2.1%). Among DMTs, Rituximab had the highest mortality rate (4%). Despite controversies, especially concerning anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapies, a relation between DMT-use and COVID-19 disease- course was not found in many studies. This observation reinforces the recommendation of not stopping current DMTs. Other variables such as age, higher expanded disability status scale (EDSS) scores, cardiac comorbidities, and obesity were independent risk factors for severe COVID-19. Despite the risks of infection, most patients were willing to continue their DMT during the pandemic because of more significant concern about the risk of relapse or worsening MS symptoms. After the infection, an immune response’s attenuation was seen in the patients on Fingolimod and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies. This may be a critical finding in future vaccinations.
So full steam on let’s look at the vaccine response in fingolimod (and other Sphingosine-1-phosphate modulators) and ocrelizumab, rituxumab and other anti-CD20 antibodies. Over all, it is as we predicted at the beginning of the pandemic and the fear first shown by some has not materialised