Masuda, Mori, Hirano, Kojima, Uzawa, Uchida, Ohtani, Kuwabara (2019) Relapse numbers and earlier intervention by disease modifying drugs are related with progression of less brain atrophy in patients with multiple sclerosis Journal of the neurological sciences 403() 78-84


Long term effect between disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) treatment duration and brain atrophy rate has not been fully investigated in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). The aim of this study was to investigate whether DMDs could slow down the progression of brain atrophy in patients with RRMS by comparing DMDs-treated group with non-treated group during a certain period of time. This was a retrospective investigation. Forty-nine RRMS patients underwent two brain MRI scans more than one year apart. Between scans, patients were treated with fingolimod (n = 16), interferon-beta (n = 23) or not treated with DMD (n = 10). Correlations between clinical characteristics and brain volume were calculated by statistical parametric mapping-12. In all 49 patients, the total attack number before 1st MRI scan and the annualized rate of total lesion volume change between the two scans showed a positive correlation with annualized atrophy rate of grey matter volume (GMV) plus white matter volume (WMV). In patients with DMDs (n = 39), the period from drug initiation to 1st MRI scan was negatively correlated with the annualized atrophy rate of GMV + WMV and number of attacks between scans. The number of total previous attacks could be a predictor of subsequent MS progression. Early intervention by DMDs could prevent brain atrophy in patients with MS. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.