Multiple sclerosis is the second leading cause of disability in young people after road accidents. In the world it is estimated that people affected by this pathology are about 2.8 million, of which 1,200,000 in Europe and about 133,000 in Italy (Aism data). It is a chronic disease for which there is currently no definitive cure, but encouraging prospects have opened up in recent years. “The effort that clinicians are making is to understand where the neurodegenerative process begins in order to then be able to start ever earlier therapies aimed at slowing down and preventing disability”. As Paolo Gallo, associate professor in Neurology at the University of Padua and head of the Veneto Regional Center for Multiple Sclerosis, in an interview published in ‘Allies for Health‘), the portal dedicated to medical-scientific information created by Novartis.
The vision of multiple sclerosis has changed thanks to scientific research and the current availability of “new and more effective drugs, more and more incisive on the disease, which are capable – underlines Gallo – of slow down the course and, sometimes, even to determine arrests in the clinical evolution“. To arrive at these achievements, the research proceeds through experimentation and the careful study of the data coming from clinical practice relating to the therapies used and the results obtained, collected in the national registers. From the analysis of the registers, the role clearly emerged essential performed by an early start of therapies to improve outcomes with regard to the prevention of disability and, therefore, the quality of life of patients, which represents the main objective to be pursued.In this context, “multiple sclerosis no longer scares as in the past – says Gallo – it is a severe disease but the neurologist is busy with various pharmacological tools to ensure that this disease does not become serious”, succeeding more and more frequently.
In the last 10 years – reads the article – new highly effective drugs have been developed, which can be divided into two categories, with respect to their mode of action. Some of these are called ‘sequestrants’, meaning that cells of the immune system are sequestered in the lymph nodes or blood, thus preventing their access to the brain. Another group of drugs, the so-called ‘depletants’, instead manage to kill the cells of the immune system; these include monoclonal antibodies, which represent a real breakthrough in the autoimmune field in general and in particular for multiple sclerosis.
“Thanks to these drugs – underlines Gallo – today we are able to start long-term therapeutic pathways, we are able to choose increasingly appropriate therapies for that specific sick person, therefore we are able to make personalized therapies, and we are also able to intervene early when these therapies do not work”. In fact, having more than 15 different drugs available, it is possible to modify the treatment if it does not lead to good results or in case of poor tolerance on the part of the patient.
The full article is available at: https://www.alleatiperlasalute.it/salute-20/sclerosis-multipla-nuove-cure-e- impact-on-the-quality-of-life
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