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Clinical and experimental studies of multiple sclerosis in Russia: experience of the leading national research centers

Authors Zavalishin I, Belogurov Jr A, Lomakin Y, Ponomarenko N, Morozova S, Suslina Z, Piradov M, Illarioshkin S, Gabibov A

Received 21 October 2014

Accepted for publication 21 May 2015

Published 6 August 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 83—90


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas Müller

Igor A Zavalishin,1 Alexey A Belogurov Jr,2–4 Yakov A Lomakin,2 Natalia A Ponomarenko,2 Sofia N Morozova,1 Zinaida A Suslina,1,† Michael A Piradov,1 Sergey N Illarioshkin,1 Alexander G Gabibov2–5

1Research Center of Neurology, 2Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 3Institute of Fundamental Medicine and Biology, Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, 4Institute of Gene Biology, RAS, 5Chemistry Department, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Dr Zinaida A Suslina passed away on June 22, 2014

Abstract: Mechanisms of axonal damage and adaptive capacity in multiple sclerosis (MS), including cortical reorganization, have been actively studied in recent years. The lack of regenerative capabilities and the irreversibility of neurodegeneration in MS are critical factors for the optimization of MS treatment. In this study, we present the results of clinical and basic studies in the field of MS by two leading Russian centers. Clinical and neuroimaging correlations show that spinal damage in MS is accompanied by functional reorganization of the cerebral cortex, which is determined not only by the efferent component but also by the afferent component. Comparative analysis of MS treatment with both interferon β1b (IFN-β1b) and IFN-β1a at a dosage of 22 µg for 3 years through subcutaneous administration and glatiramer acetate showed equally high efficiency in reducing the number of exacerbations in relapsing-remitting MS and secondary-progressive MS. We demonstrate a reduced risk of disability in relapsing-remitting MS and secondary-progressive MS patients in all groups treated with IFN-β1 and glatiramer acetate. MS appears to be a disease that would greatly benefit from the development of personalized therapy; thus, adequate molecular predictors of myelin degradation are greatly needed. Therefore, novel ideas related to the viral hypothesis of the etiology of MS and new targets for therapeutic intervention are currently being developed. In this manuscript, we discuss findings of both clinical practice and fundamental research reflecting challenges and future directions of MS treatment in the Russian Federation.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, functional MRI, cortical reorganization, disease-modifying therapy, Epstein–Barr virus, autoantibodies, immunoproteasome, personalized medicine

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