State of Multiple Sclerosis Research and Understanding of the Impact of Age and Sex: Nancy Sicotte, MD


The chair of the Department of Neurology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center discussed the prominent topics of research in multiple sclerosis and the need to learn more about age and sex. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"What we don’t know is, does the infection maintain the ongoing inflammatory activity that we see? Does it just sort of set off the disease? Or is it actually the virus itself?"

Over the years, the knowledge on the pathology of multiple sclerosis (MS) has grown, with research suggesting that its underlying cause may be triggered by a viral infection. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), known to cause infectious mononucleosis, has been among the top suspects, and was further confirmed in a large-scale study by Albert Ascherio, MD, DrPH, in early 2022. That study, comprising of more than 10 million active duty US military personnel between 1993 and 2013, served as an example of how far the field has come; however, questions still remain.

The extended efforts in drug development have produced highly efficacious and safe therapies for relapsing forms of MS, and now the conversations have shifted to potential strategies that target neurodegeneration and remyelination. Additionally, treatment optimization and matching patients with the right medications has become a hot topic in the field as the treatment landscape has expanded.

Recently, Nancy Sicotte, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, sat down to discuss the advances made in the MS community, and where the greatest focus in research is currently. Specifically, she spoke about the role of viral infections and the questions that still remain. Furthermore, she answered questions about the implications of sex and aging in patients with MS, and how they interact with inflammation and neurodegeneration.

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