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Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2021 Feb 23;50:102860. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2021.102860. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) has long been defined by progressive disability accrual in the absence of initial relapses. However, its underlying neurodegenerative process seems to be accompanied by central nervous system inflammation. A new classification defined multiple sclerosis courses according to clinical/radiological activity and progression. We provide further insight into PPMS activity according to this classification and other daily living aspects.
METHODS: This was a multicentre, prospective, cohort study including 55 adult patients with PPMS according to 2010 McDonald criteria, within ten years from neurologic symptom onset and not receiving disease-modifying therapies during the past six months, who were followed up for 12 months. The primary study endpoint was the percentage of patients with active disease based on clinical relapses and/or magnetic resonance activity. Disability progression, cognitive function, physical/psychological impact, depression symptoms, stigma and employment were secondary endpoints.
RESULTS: Eleven (25.6%) patients exhibited multiple sclerosis activity throughout the 12-month study follow-up. Fourteen showed non-active multiple sclerosis without progression, 11 non-active multiple sclerosis with progression, 6 active multiple sclerosis without progression and 4 active multiple sclerosis with progression; one patient with disease activity was not assessable for progression. Cognitive function scores remained unchanged or increased, disease physical impact was maintained and disease psychological impact significantly decreased. The proportion of patients with depression symptoms or stigma remained without significant changes as well as employment outcomes.
CONCLUSION: This study shows that one-fourth of PPMS patients may exhibit disease activity over one year, with disability progression in approximately one-third but without worsening of cognitive function, disease impact, depression, stigma or employment outcomes.