Patricia Coyle, MD: Needed Improvements in Multiple Sclerosis

September 16, 2018

The director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Stony Brook Neuroscience Institute discussed these needs.

“I would like for people to be using an identical protocol.”

With a plethora of approved treatments and multiple highly efficacious disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), it’s hard for the clinicians who treat the disease to ask for more. But as Patricia Coyle, MD, would say, that does not mean there aren’t plenty of needs that remain to be met.

Coyle, the director of the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at Stony Brook Neuroscience Institute sat with NeurologyLive to discuss these needs. Specifically, she mentioned the need for informative biomarkers. While the collection of treatment for MS outpaces many other neurologic disorders, deciding on which therapy will be successful in which patient can be a staggering task. Biomarkers that could point to the efficacy of a therapy in a specific patient are of the utmost need.

Additionally, those that could provide prognostic information that surpasses what can currently be done with magnetic resonance imaging are also at the top of Coyle’s list, right alongside a validated diagnostic biomarker.

Where there is the most room for improvement, though, is with imaging protocol. Currently, Coyle noted, insurance coverage can dictate too much of what could be beneficial to the patient. Without complete uniformity in the diagnostic criteria used, the patient suffers. For Coyle, standardization could result in leaps for the field.