The ECTRIMS congress is a great place for researchers, clinicians, neurologists, multiple sclerosis (MS) Societies, organizations to all meet up and discuss the progress of developments in the MS field. It is also an opportunity for the MS Society research team to catch up with some of the researchers that we directly or indirectly fund. The research team had the opportunity to connect with some of our fantastic researchers that are working on the Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease study, led by Dr. Brenda Banwell, Chief of the Division of Child Neurology and Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Introducing Dr. Robert Brown and Dr. Giulia Fadda:
What is the difference between clinical trial data and real-world evidence? Let’s look at a new drug being investigated for treatment of MS. Before a drug can be approved by a health authority such as Health Canada, the drug must go through the clinical trial process. If a drug has shown promise, it will likely reach a phase 3 trial involving at least 1,000 individuals. Clinical trials are highly controlled, where study participants take the medication being investigated (or mock drug) as prescribed under the watchful eye of a research team. Before the trial even begins, desired endpoints (such as annual relapse rate, lesion load, disability progression, and brain volume mass) are established and will be used to measure the efficacy and safety of the drug in humans. Data from phase 3 trials that meet the desired endpoints in a statistically significant way, along with safety data reported during the trial, will be assessed by Health Canada in order to make a regulatory decision, or approval.
Cognitive impairment is a common symptom experienced by people with multiple sclerosis (MS), affecting quality of life and ability to work. Treatment strategies to manage cognitive dysfunction are an unmet need and viable solutions are still required. An area of considerable interest at the #ECTRIMS2018 congress was cognition and the importance of finding solutions to improve cognitive difficulties. Researchers addressed some important questions on this topic
What can alter cognitive function in people with MS?