Uncovering Ethnic, Racial Differences in Multiple Sclerosis Onset: Farren B. S. Briggs, PhD, ScM


The associate professor in the department of population and quantitative health sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine talked about the presentation of multiple sclerosis in Latinx individuals compared with White Americans. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"When we looked at the data with those who presented with relapsing disease, the Latinx patients were an average age of 30 compared with 35 years old for the White Americans. The Latinx with progressive disease were an average age of 33 compared with 41 years old for the White Americans. I would like to think about how to make sure that these are real findings because this is potentially a paradigm shift in how we think about onset of this disease in diverse populations.”

One of the fastest growing populations in the United States is Latinx, which is said to double by the year 2060. Although the Latinx population has a lower incidence rate of multiple sclerosis (MS), this may change. In a recent retrospective cross-sectional study, findings showed that the Latinx population in the US are 5 years younger at MS onset than White patients. Overall, the results also suggest that specific race/ethnicities may differentially present with clinically isolated syndrome or progressive phenotypes.1

Farren B. S. Briggs, PhD, ScM,associate professor in the department of population and quantitative health sciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, presented these findings in a disease management platform session at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado. In the analysis, there 3089 patients diagnosed between 2010 and 2020, including 247 (7.4%) Latinx (96 [2.9%] White Latinx; 151 [4.5%] non-White Latinx) and 3089 (92.6%) White nonLatinx.

Recently, Briggs sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to further discuss the findings from the research. He talked about how they accounted for regional heterogeneity in the Latinx population while comparing MS onset with White Americans. He also explained the role of disease duration and how recent social justice movements have played into the understanding of self-identification and ethnic representation in research. Additionally, Briggs spoke about how the earlier onset of MS in Latinx individuals might impact healthcare strategies and treatment approaches.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2023.

1. Briggs FBS. Latinx with Multiple Sclerosis Have an Earlier Onset. Presented at: 2023 CMSC Annual Meeting; May 31-June 3; Aurora, CO. DMX04.
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