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Breaking News from AAN 65th Annual Meeting


The 65th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is underway in San Diego, Calif. The following breaking news is related to multiple sclerosis. Read more on these topics and others in the MSFYi, the MSF’s monthly internet newsletter. You can subscribe for free by going to www.msfocus.org, clicking on “MSF Publications”, and following the simple steps.

*The first controlled clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of interventional endovascular therapy on the symptoms and progression of multiple sclerosis has found that the intervention, sometimes called the “liberation treatment,” does not improve outcomes. In a few cases, the treatment made symptoms worse. University at Buffalo researchers presented their results in an “Emerging Science” poster session. 

*Biogenic Idec Inc. announced its experimental MS drug peginterferon beta-1a reduced the annual relapse rate of people with MS by 36 percent when dosed once every two weeks. Peginterferon beta-1a, which will be marketed, if approved, under the brand name Plegridy, is an injectable drug designed to reduce the dosing schedule of standard interferon drugs (such as Biogen's own Avonex®), which are typically dosed at least once a week.

*New data presented show Gilenya® (fingolimod), the first oral disease modifying therapy approved to treat relapsing forms of MS, significantly and consistently reduced the rate of brain volume loss. Results also showed that Gilenya reduced annualized relapse rates across important subgroups; and additional data reinforce Gilenya's safety profile in people treated up to four years.

*Treatment with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) may be helpful for people whose MS is not well-controlled through their regular treatment, according to the results of a pilot study. Regina Berkovich, MD, Ph.D., from the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, presented her findings during the Emerging Science session at the AAN annual meeting.

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