March is MS awareness month and is a great opportunity to give people confidence to speak up and share stories. The goal of this month for the National MS Society is to “help people better understand life with MS and become inspired to do whatever it takes to change the world for people living with [the condition]”.1
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) which causes the immune system to attack nerve fibres and the sleeves of fatty tissue around nerve cells called the myelin sheath, which destroys the brain’s nerve cell processes and alters its electrical signals.2 In addition to the loss of myelin, MS can cause the damage of nerve fibres which is the source of the gradual increase of the disability over time.3
MS affects over 2.8 million people worldwide, making it the most widespread disabling neurological condition of young adults.4 Although anyone can develop MS, its diagnosis is most common between the ages of 20 and 505 and is 2-3 times more common in women than men.5
There has been a lot of attention placed on MS, however, there is still an unmet need in the development of disease modifying therapies (DMTs) that stop the accumulation of neurological disabilities in MS patients.6 In recent years there has been an increase in the understanding of the inflammatory and neurodegenerative aspects of the disease, which presents a strong opportunity for advancements in treatments. Although there are bottlenecks in developing medications, an increasing number of trials for progressive MS are being run, which is an enormous source of hope for future treatments.7
At The Corpus, we recently completed our “MileStones in MS” programme, comprising a series of 20 live online medical education meetings over a span of 4 months. Guided by our Scientific Advisory Board co-Chair, Professor Gavin Giovannoni from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, this programme covered a range of key topics around MS with the aim of improving patient outcomes and management, such as pharmacovigilance, emerging treatment targets, models of care, and treatment options for women with MS.
One of the key things we endeavoured to do through “MileStones in MS” was to provide practicing Neurologists with key information around the latest treatment options, the efficacy of the different MS therapies and optimal sequencing, with a particular focus on DMTs. After completing the programme, 94% of the attendees highly rated the scientific content and balance of the presentations, and have more confidence in their knowledge following the meetings. A fantastic result!
Although there is still no cure for MS, there has been a lot of progress in developing treatments which are more efficacious and effective at managing symptoms, if used correctly.8 It's important to keep the conversation around MS open and ongoing, as this is how we can ensure that patients receive the information they need, from their physician, to understand the disease better and make more informed decisions about their condition and health.
If you would be interested in sponsoring a series of medical education meetings focused on managing multiple sclerosis, please get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on +44 (0)207 428 2903.
1. EverydayHealth.com. (n.d.). Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month 2022. [online] Available at: https://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/awareness-month/ [Accessed 15 Mar. 2022].
2. McNamara, L. (n.d.). What is Multiple Sclerosis (MS)? | The Johns Hopkins Multiple Sclerosis Center. [online] www.hopkinsmedicine.org. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/multiple_sclerosis/conditions/.
3. MS Society (2019). What is MS? [online] Mssociety.org.uk. Available at: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms/what-is-ms.
4. Walton, C., King, R., Rechtman, L., Kaye, W., Leray, E., Marrie, R.A., Robertson, N., La Rocca, N., Uitdehaag, B., van der Mei, I., Wallin, M., Helme, A., Angood Napier, C., Rijke, N. and Baneke, P. (2020). Rising prevalence of multiple sclerosis worldwide: Insights from the Atlas of MS, third edition. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 26(14), pp.1816–1821.
5. Koskie, B. (2018). Multiple Sclerosis: Facts, Statistics, and You. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/facts-statistics-infographic.
6. Mehr, S. R., & Zimmerman, M. P. (2015). Reviewing the Unmet Needs of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. American health & drug benefits, 8(8), 426–431.
7. Hollen, C. W., Paz Soldán, M. M., Rinker, J. R., 2nd, & Spain, R. I. (2020). The Future of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Therapies. Federal practitioner : for the health care professionals of the VA, DoD, and PHS, 37(Suppl 1), S43–S49.
8.Gohil K. (2015). Multiple Sclerosis: Progress, but No Cure. P & T : a peer-reviewed journal for formulary management, 40(9), 604–605.