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Disability Status Scale Predicts Progression in MS

Worsening of scale lasting six months or longer predicts clinically significant disability

THURSDAY, Nov. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A worsening of the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) lasting at least six months is effective in identifying disease progression in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Neurology.

In a retrospective analysis of the Multiple Sclerosis Collaborative Research Group study data, Richard A. Rudick, M.D., of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues evaluated patients with RRMS who received at least two years of treatment and completed an EDSS evaluation eight years post-randomization.

The investigators found that 45 patients had sustained six-month EDSS progression, while 115 patients did not. Eight years after randomization, progression was the strongest predictor of reaching EDSS milestones at the follow-up visit. The investigators also found that treatment arm assignment and baseline EDSS score were other independent predictors of reaching EDSS milestones at the follow-up visit.

"In this phase 3 clinical trial of intramuscular interferon beta-1a, compared with effects of treatment, baseline EDSS score, and number of relapses during the study, worsening of one point or more on EDSS from baseline lasting six months was the strongest predictor of clinically significant disability eight years after randomization into the clinical trial," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to various pharmaceutical companies.

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