The director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Autoimmune Neurology provided insight on a unique way the institution cares for patients who present with an inflammatory or autoimmune entity. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 5 minutes
"The second M is, how do we Maintain that maximal reversibility? We’ve made you better, but how do we keep you there? Because we can’t give you steroids forever. We can’t give you immunoglobulin IV forever. We then select an immunotherapy that allows us to spare those agents."
Autoimmune disorders remain one of the more complex challenges for clinicians to treat, mainly because there are more than 80 different presentations with no available cure. These disorders, typically grouped as either organ-specific or not, occur when an individual’s immune system mistakenly attacks their own body tissues. Due to the difficulties in diagnosing, especially in the earlier stages, clinicians have leaned on physical examination, medical history, X-rays, biopsies, and antibody testing.
For more than 2 decades, Mayo Clinic has been a key component in the research and care for autoimmune disorders, most notably through the discovery of the neuromyelitis optica antibody. That antibody and its target, the aquaporin-4 water channel, led to a breakthrough in therapeutics specifically for patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, an autoimmune disease that for years, was often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis (MS). For an individual who presents to the clinic with an inflammatory or autoimmune entity, they receive Mayo Clinic’s so-called 3-M approach, says Sean J. Pittock, MD.
The approach is designed to have patients obtain the maximum reversibility of their disease, while on the least harmful, but effective medications. Pittock, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for MS and Autoimmune Neurology, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss the treatment strategy, along with how it can be simplified based on the various presentations.