Optimizing therapeutics in the management of patients with multiple sclerosis: a review of drug efficacy, dosing, and mechanisms of action
Kavitha Damal, Emily Stoker, John F Foley
Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Research Group, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological disorder that affects nearly 2 million adults, mostly in their prime of youth. An environmental trigger, such as a viral infection, is hypothesized to initiate the abnormal behavior of host immune cells: to attack and damage the myelin sheath surrounding the neurons of the central nervous system. While several other pathways and disease triggers are still being investigated, it is nonetheless clear that MS is a heterogeneous disease with multifactorial etiologies that works independently or synergistically to initiate the aberrant immune responses to myelin. Although there are still no definitive markers to diagnose the disease or to cure the disease per se, research on management of MS has improved many fold over the past decade. New disease-modifying therapeutics are poised to decrease immune inflammatory responses and consequently decelerate the progression of MS disease activity, reduce the exacerbations of MS symptoms, and stabilize the physical and mental status of individuals. In this review, we describe the mechanism of action, optimal dosing, drug administration, safety, and efficacy of the disease-modifying therapeutics that are currently approved for MS therapy. We also briefly touch upon the new drugs currently under investigation, and discuss the future of MS therapeutics.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, immunomodulation, interferons, glatiramer acetate, monoclonal antibodies, dimethyl fumarate
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