“A lot of the studies have shown that the older you get, the less relapses there are, the less MRI changes, the less activity. …[But,] we don’t have a really good idea as to if we should be treating older patients differently if what’s actually underlying the disease is different.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a difficult disease for physicians to treat, even with the relatively vast arsenal of therapeutics available as treatment options. Additionally, a wide variety of factors, including a patient’s age at the time and at diagnosis as well as the duration of the disease, influence the physician’s approach to managing its progression.

At the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) forum, February 27-29, 2020, in West Palm Beach, Florida, a number of conversations around the topic of treatment in this sense sprung up. Currently, the disease-modifying therapies are designed to target the early phase disease course, which is characterized by lesion activity and inflammation, while treatments for progressive disease have required a modified approach.

To find out more about the questions facing MS specialists and the correlation between age, disease duration, and treatment in patients, NeurologyLive sat with Le Hua, MD, director, Multiple Sclerosis Program, Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Hua detailed the current thinking about how to address this challenge.

For more coverage of ACTRIMS 2020, click here.