Saturday, February 03, 2007

Copaxone and neuroprotection

Kahn O. Axonal metabolic recovery and potential neuroprotective effect of glatiramer acetate in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis 2005; 11:646-651.

Two year study partly blinded with MR spectroscopy in treatment naive MS patients and controls. GA (Copaxone) reduced NAA, a surrogate of axonal injury. 18 patients who started GA were assessed, and four controls (subjects who elected not to begin therapy). The NAA/Cr increased in both groups. In the VOI (volume of interest) over two years, and the NAWM (normal appearing white matterO it increased by 10.7 and 7.1 in the treated group, and DECREASED by 8.9 and 8.2 % in the respective control groups.

Fred Lublin comments that while the number of patients is small, the study is ongoing (four more years) but warns that the attempts to correlate surrogate MRI markers for clinical disability have been "continually disappointing." Lublin wants to see proof that the marker NAA in MRS correlates with clinical measures, and also with other MRI measures such as balck holes and atrophy.

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