Author Topic: (Abst.) Stopping disease-modifying therapy in nonrelapsing MS  (Read 44 times)

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Offline agate

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The people with SPMS under discussion here who safely stopped taking DMTs seem to have been 70 years old or older. From PubMed, March 1, 2017:

Int J MS Care. 2017 Jan-Feb;19(1):11-14.

Stopping Disease-Modifying Therapy in Nonrelapsing Multiple Sclerosis: Experience from a Clinical Practice

Birnbaum G.


Current disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are of benefit only in people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). Thus, safely stopping DMTs in people with secondary progressive MS may be possible.


Two groups of patients with MS were studied. Group A consisted of 77 patients with secondary progressive MS and no evidence of acute central nervous system inflammation for 2 to 20 years. These patients were advised to stop DMTs. Group B consisted of 17 individuals with RMS who stopped DMTs on their own. Both groups were evaluated at treatment cessation and for a minimum of 1 year thereafter. Multiple variables were assessed to determine those that predicted recurrent acute disease.


Nine patients in group A (11.7%) and ten patients in group B (58.8%) had recurrent acute disease, almost always within 1 to 2 years of stopping treatment. The only variable of significance in group A distinguishing stable and relapsing patients was age (P = .0003), with relapsing patients being younger. Group B patients were younger and had significantly lower Expanded Disability Status Scale scores than group A, with no significant differences in age between relapsed and stable patients.


The DMTs can be stopped safely in older patients with MS (≥7 decades) with no evidence of acute disease for 2 years or longer, with an almost 90% probability of remaining free of acute recurrence. The high proportion of untreated patients with RMS experiencing recurrent acute disease is consistent with published data.
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.


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