Are MRI scans useful on MS treatment?

Jul 28 2013

One advantage of getting a follow-up MRI scan of the brain is sometimes new activity is found even when no new symptoms are occurring.  While no treatment works 100% of the time to stop new activity,  many people on multiple sclerosis therapies have no new activity on follow-up MRI scans.  Other patients may have some new activity.

In a study in Rome of 394 MS patients,  30% of the patients had progression of disability over almost 5 years despite treatment with interferon.  Of the group of patients that had no new activity on their MRI scan one year on treatment,  less than 5 percent of the patients had progression of disability.  Of patients having 3 or more new brain spots (T2 lesions) one year after beginning treatment, 83% of patients had worsening of disability over 5 years.   With 10 treatments available in the US for relapsing MS,  the opportunity for switching medication can be considered when significant new MRI activity in seen (even without new relapses or worsening disability).

L Prosperini. European Journal of Neurology  2009 16:1202-1209.




BY: Barry Singer, MD DATE: July 28, 2013 TOPIC: MS Research News