Posted by: Thixia | April 27, 2008

Interferon Beta-1a Therapy Improves Quality of Life in MS

Interferon Beta-1a Therapy Improves Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis: Presented at AAN


 One year of treatment with interferon beta-1a significantly improves the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers reported here at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 60th Annual Meeting.


 “The results of our study emphasize the importance of early treatment with immunomodulatory agents to attenuate disease activity with important beneficial effects on quality of life,” said Norman Putzki, MD,  Professor of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis Centre, University of Duisberg-Essen, Essen, Germany.


 In the 1-year, prospective, observational, open-label, multicentre study, presented April 16 in a poster session, Dr. Putzki and colleagues also found that treatment with the disease-modifying agent may improve a patient’s ability to continue employment.


 The researchers enrolled 1,157 individuals diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS who had not been treated with immunomodulatory therapy in the preceding year. Patients were treated with interferon beta-1a 30 mcg once weekly for 12 months.


 Patients underwent evaluations at baseline; at 3, 6, and 9 months; and at the study’s conclusion. They were evaluated using the EuroQol (EQ-5D) questionnaire, and the relapse rate and impact of disability were measured using the Expanded Disability Status Score as it refers to employment status.


 “More than 90% of our patients felt an improvement or at least noted no reduction in their general health while on interferon beta-1a,” Dr. Putzki said. The mean expanded disability status scores for the patients were 2.06 at baseline and 2.14 at the end of the study — not a statistically significant difference (P = .233).


 “These data reinforce that interferon beta-1a provides patients with the ability to delay disability progression and show that this effective treatment may enhance quality of life,” he said.


 Dr. Putzki said patients were trained by nursing staff in performing injections and this training appeared to improve treatment adherence and facilitated patients’ ability to cope with adverse effects. Patients who accepted the training sessions experienced 60% fewer adverse injection-site events than did patients who did not undergo the training sessions.


 Funding for this observational study was provided by Biogen Idec.



 By Ed Susman



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