Skip to navigation Skip to content

Disease Modification

Share

In this article

Overview

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by inflammation, demyelination and degenerative changes that can lead to functional loss and disability.

Most people with MS experience relapses and remissions of neurological symptoms, particularly early in the disease, and relapses are usually associated with new inflammation in the CNS. Over time, there are fewer relapses and less new inflammatory activity with the disease process becoming more progressive.  There is a large body of evidence that supports early and ongoing treatment with an approved disease modifying therapy as an evidence-based approach to reducing new relapses, delaying progression of disability and limiting new inflammation in the CNS.

COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for People Living with MS and Healthcare Professionals

The National MS Society Vaccine Advisory Group has developed COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance for People Living with MS and Timing MS Medications with COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines, which will be progressively elaborated over time. The group has also developed COVID-19 Considerations for Healthcare Professionals, which addresses the most common questions  from healthcare providers related to the COVID-19 vaccines and MS.

Updates to this information will be disseminated to healthcare providers by email and through our healthcare provider Twitter account @mssocietyHCP. 

FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies (DMTs)

The FDA has approved several disease modifying therapies for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS, which include clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease (RRMS) and active secondary progressive disease (SPMS with relapses). One DMT has also been approved for primary progressive MS and one other for non-active secondary progressive MS (no inflammatory demyelination or clinical relapses).

Read more about each of the disease modifying therapies here.

American Academy of Neurology Practice Guideline for the Use of DMTs

In April 2018 the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) published a practice guideline for the use of disease modifying therapies for adults with multiple sclerosis. These guidelines have been endorsed by the National MS Society and Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. The guidelines address starting, switching and stopping disease modifying therapies for adults with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting MS and progressive forms of MS. The full guidelines and summaries are available for clinicians and patients.

Guideline: Disease Modifying Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis - American Academy of Neurology

For most people, it’s better to start taking drugs for multiple sclerosis (MS) early on rather than letting the disease run its course, according to a new guideline for treating MS from the American Academy of Neurology.

Additional resources

Share


Become a Research Champion

An MS Research Revolution

Support MS Research

Understanding and ending MS can’t come fast enough – it will take all of us working together. It’s easy to be a champion for MS Research – join us and proudly let everyone know that you’re helping to lead the MS Research Revolution.

Become a Research Champion

Become a Research Champion
© 2021 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.