“Our main focus [since the first MS approval] has been that we need to get therapies out there, we need to get stronger therapies—we haven’t really thought of age as a factor to consider.”

In the early 1990s, when the first therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment became widely available, physicians who were managing these patients had little on their minds outside of addressing the need for more therapies. As time went on, this focus shifted toward a need for higher efficacy therapies, but all the while, patients with MS were getting older.

Now, according to Le Hua, MD, director, Multiple Sclerosis Program, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, the prevalence of MS has altered to an older population. As treatment has improved, patients have begun to live longer with the disease—and are on disease-modifying therapies longer. This, she told NeurologyLive, has required a parallel shift in thinking about age in MS.

At the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) forum, February 27-29, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Florida, Hua discussed the need to take age into consideration when managing a patient with MS, and how the approach to treating this population changes over time.

For more coverage of ACTRIMS 2020, click here.