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Interferon treatment is beneficial in early multiple sclerosis

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7265.854/f (Published 07 October 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:854
  1. Fred Charatan
  1. Florida

    Treatment with interferon beta-1a (Avonex) reduced the rate of development of multiple sclerosis in patients with early signs of the disease by about a half, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine has shown (NEJM 2000;343:898-904).

    The study was carried out at 50 US and Canadian hospitals on 383 patients, each of whom had at least one episode of neurological symptoms indicating a first acute demyelinating event—optic neuritis, incomplete transverse myelitis, or a brain stem or cerebellar syndrome.

    There was also evidence in each patient of prior subclinical demyelination on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. After initial treatment with corticosteroids, 193 patients were randomly assigned to receive weekly intramuscular injections …

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