New Hope for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

The New York Times published an article today on new drugs that are dramatically improving the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis.  You can view Times the article here.

In the United States, there are approximately 400,000 people living with multiple sclerosis.  People are usually, but not exclusively diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50.  Women are two to three times more likely to have multiple sclerosis than men.  It is more common among Caucasians, but persons of African, Asian and Hispanic ancestry can develop the disease.

According to the Times article, these new medications are being prescribed for persons who experience symptom flare-ups and to help reduce the severity and frequency of relapses.  Some even slow and prevent progression of the disease.  Due to the availability of newer, more effective medications, people with multiple sclerosis can live lives that are relatively normal.  Progressive deterioration is no longer the norm.

The availability of new drugs comes after decades of research on multiple sclerosis.  And hope continues – there are currently at least four other drugs in Phase-3 clinical trials that could be approved within the next year.  The National Multiple Sclerosis Society provides a list of multiple sclerosis-related clinical trials here in New York, which can be found here.

Their website also provides information on drug patient assistance programs.  You can access this information here.

-Jaime Venditti, 12/27/11