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Some MS disability may build progressively and not be tied to relapses

A new study has found that disability seems to accumulate in people with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) in a progressive way, rather than as a direct result of relapses. To get these findings, researchers analised data from people taking part in two ocrelizumab clinical trials. They said they found that in a typical population with relapsing remitting MS, as much as 80 to 90 per cent of overall disability was accumulated independently of relapses.  

Progressive MS and relapsing MS are regarded as separate clinical forms of the condition, and with people accumulating disability in different ways.

But increasing evidence supports relapsing MS patients also worsening over time, even when relapses are well under control. 

Researchers say that their findings support the theory that “MS may be a single disease continuum with an underlying progressive disease course and a highly variable superimposed accumulation of disability resulting from relapses with incomplete recovery.”

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