Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Multiple sclerosis not as progressive or disabling as once thought

23.01.2004


In the most comprehensive study of how multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms change over time, Mayo Clinic researchers have found that less than half of patients studied developed worsening disability within 10 years. Their report appears in the current edition of the journal Neurology [Pittock SJ et al. (2004). Neurology 62:51-59].



Knowing how the symptoms of MS change over time provides good news for patients newly diagnosed with MS, who may feel the disease leads to inevitable and uniform decline in physical functioning. It also offers vital information for public health planners charged with meeting future needs of MS patients.

In their study, the Mayo Clinic researchers provide encouraging evidence that for many patients the disability from MS remains mild -- so much so that of 99 patients who were walking unassisted when examined in 1991, 71 retained that ability in 2001. And only about 20 percent of patients who did not require a wheelchair in 1991 needed one 10 years later.


"The fact that most MS patients don’t get progressively worse over 10 years is the really great news," says Moses Rodriguez, M.D., the neurologist who led the Mayo Clinic research team.

Survival was slightly reduced compared with the general U.S. population, however, and 30 percent of patients progressed to a more disabling MS state -- such as needing a cane or a wheelchair -- over the 10-year follow-up period.

The finding that most MS is not as progressively disabling as once thought is counter to the common perception of MS as a disease marked by a steady decline in motor function. These new results are extremely encouraging to the Mayo Clinic researchers, who treat patients in addition to conducting research.

Adds Sean Pittock, M.D., another member of the Mayo Clinic research team: "Natural history studies like this one can provide a long-term benchmark against which outcomes of treatment and placebo groups can be compared, and in addition can help in counseling patients because it can help them envision a likely future."

Significance of the Mayo Clinic Research

The Mayo Clinic research is the first comprehensive and scientifically rigorous natural history of MS to document how the disease changes over 10 years’ time. It is important because:

1. Mayo Clinic’s unique database of MS patients provides context. Several generations of Mayo Clinic scientists have been systematically studying MS since 1905. While other researchers have performed large-population studies -- notably in London, Ontario, Canada; in Iceland; and in Northern Ireland -- Mayo Clinic’s computerized, centralized diagnostic index and excellent record keeping enable researchers to ascertain the status of nearly 100 percent of the MS patients they’ve studied.

2. In terms of scientific depth and statistical power, it will likely not be repeated. Mayo Clinic doctors tested, interviewed and conducted physical exams from all MS patients studied, a total of 162 living in Olmsted County in 1991. Olmsted is the southeastern Minnesota county in which Mayo Clinic is located. Researchers visited the patients at home or in the nursing home if necessary.

Ten years later, research team members returned to the field to find the same patients -- and found all but one of them. They administered the same battery of tests to document change over time of increasingly severe MS symptoms. These ranged from moderate gait impairment, to the need to use a cane or a wheelchair to get around.

"This astounding continuity of patient base gives the Mayo Clinic study a statistical power rarely seen in studies of living patients, and not likely to be equaled in subsequent efforts," says Dr. Rodriguez.

Multiple Sclerosis at a Glance

MS is a disease of the central nervous system that affects an estimated 200,000 Americans. Neither the cause nor the cure of MS is known. MS is characterized by a pattern of attack and remission of a variety of symptoms. These include numbness or weakness in one or more limbs; uncoordinated or unsteady gait and blurred vision or problems with eye movements. Nerve fibers malfunction to produce MS symptoms when the protective sheath around them is damaged. Researchers suspect the damage may be caused by a virus or by environmental pathogens.

No one knows why, but women are slightly more likely to get MS than men, and northern states’ populations face greater risk than southern states’ populations. A November 2003 study published in Neurology by the same Mayo Clinic research team upholds this geographic association.

Bob Nellis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Using fragment-based approaches to discover new antibiotics
21.06.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>