The analyses were performed on data from the AFFIRM and SENTINEL studies, which involved 2,138 men and women with relapsing multiple sclerosis from clinics in Europe, North American, Australia, and New Zealand. More than half of the people received the drug natalizumab every four weeks for two years. The rest of the group received placebo. Researchers used eye charts of low contrast letters to test the vision of the participants every 12 weeks.
The study found vision loss, defined as a worsening in score by two rows of letters on the eye chart, was reduced by as much as 47 percent among people taking natalizumab compared to those taking placebo.
"Not only does natalizumab prevent the worsening of vision loss in people with relapsing MS, we also found the drug was associated with significant reductions in the likelihood of sustained vision loss," said study author Laura J. Balcer, MD, MSCE, with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA, and member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Specifically, this drug may have implications for preventing further sustained vision loss due to inflammatory demyelination of nerve fibers that connect to the eye, which is common in MS."
However, Balcer said the potential benefits of natalizumab treatment must be weighed with the drug's potential risks or complications, including the rare, often lethal brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), of which three confirmed cases have been reported.
In addition, data from AFFIRM and SENTINEL studies showed that low-contrast letter acuity eye chart testing is effective for assessing visual outcomes in future MS clinical trials, which have not typically included visual testing components despite vision loss being a main disability of MS.
Angela Babb | EurekAlert!
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
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