Immunoglobulin therapy in MS?

Aug 24 2008

Intravenous gamma globulin (IVIG) is a sterile solution of concentrated antibodies, extracted from healthy people.  Given into a vein, IVIG is used to treat disorders of the immune system including some neurological disorders.  The antibodies in the IVIG may block disease-causing antibodies in a patient’s body.  Early smaller trials had shown benefit on relapses and MRI activity.

The PRIVIG study examined whether IVIG helped keep more people with MS relapse-free.  One hundred, twenty-seven people with relapsing remitting MS received infusions every 4 weeks for 48 weeks.  No significant benefit of IVIG was seen on being free of relapses.   In addition, the total number of new, active MRI lesions was not better on IVIG than placebo. 

This study does not rule out benefit of a larger dose of IVIG than the doses used (0.2 or 0.4 g/kg). The number of relapses that occurred even on placebo was low.  While it is likely no benefit would have been seen with more patients, there may not have been enough patients to show a difference.

BY: Barry Singer, MD DATE: August 24, 2008 TOPIC: MS Research News