Closing Thoughts on Treatment Options


Concluding their conversation on treatments for multiple sclerosis, the panelists review several key points and look to the future for patients and health care professionals alike.

Patricia Coyle, MD, says the treatment options available are important but so is their usage.

“We now have 10 disease modifying therapies for relapsing MS,” she says. “I believe using them early is critical to change the natural history of the disease to prevent the development of disability. So the earlier we treat, the better for this disease.”

Andrew Goodman, MD, FAAN, agrees with Coyle’s assessment and adds his own thoughts on the matter.

“I think a big unmet need for MS remains the treatment and prevention of what we call the progressive phase, or progressive aspects of the disease,” he says. “I’m very hopeful based on the success that we’ve had in treating immune system that we will make progress in the coming years on the various things that we hope may impact on progressive disease.”

Stephen Krieger says the key for treatment with all the options available is being proactive in whatever course is chosen.

“I think the era of waiting for patients to get worse is over and we can be more proactive now and use our medicines in a wise way, all the while being cognizant of the risks that they bring, monitoring for them carefully, and just making sure that we don’t miss anything,” he says.

Looking at the history of the treatment of the condition, Clyde Markowitz, MD, says this is a good time to be a doctor in the field.

“Going back 20 years we really didn’t have any therapies for the treatment of MS, and these days we now have the ability to change the course of the disease and really make a very positive impact on patients’ lives, and it’s been tremendous to be able to do that,” he says.

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