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Drug treatment of multiple sclerosis

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 03 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:299

Clinical review was unsystematic

  1. Ruairidh Milne, senior lecturer in public health medicine (,
  2. Andy Clegg, senior research fellow,
  3. Jackie Bryant, research fellow
  1. Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, Mailpoint 728, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX
  2. Department of Neurology, Academic Hospital Vrije Universiteit, PO Box 7057,1007 MB, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    EDITOR—Polman and Uitdehaag present a clinical review of drug treatment of multiple sclerosis that is unsystematic and makes no attempt to take account of existing systematic reviews of the evidence.1 In consequence, it has several important deficiencies as an assessment of the drugs available to help patients with this serious disease.

    Firstly, the authors say that “the amount of [magnetic resonance imaging] lesions in the early phase of the disease predicts future disability” but make no comment about the conclusion of a recent meta-analysis of nine longitudinal studies that [gadolinium enhanced magnetic resonance imaging] “is not a strong predictor of the development … of …

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