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The State of Multiple Sclerosis Treatment - Episode 1

Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC: The Argument for Early MS Treatment

“We now have treatments that allow us to escalate gradually as we wish or start with the most effective treatment up front. The value there is that if we think we prevent injury early on, that will translate to better outcomes in the long run.”

The multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment landscape continues to grow, with over a dozen approved therapies available to address the disease. In addition to tried-and-true first-line therapies, the advent of highly effective disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) has shifted prescribing practices, with an increased emphasis on addressing MS early on with the most effective drugs versus a step-up approach.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA, the Melissa and Paul Anderson President’s distinguished professor at the Perelman School of Medicine, and chief of the MS Division at the University of Pennsylvania, pointed out that each patient has a different natural progression pattern, and more therapeutic options mean there is potential for a more individualized treatment plan.

Despite the availability of highly effective DMTs, Bar-Or commented that there is still a population of patients and clinicians who opt to escalate treatments gradually, despite evidence suggesting that even patients with more mild MS continue to accumulate neurologic injury which may lead to poorer outcomes in the long run.

We spoke with Bar-Or to learn more about the ever-changing state of treatment in MS and the strategies used to optimize that treatment for individual patients.