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MS trials: Do you SCUBA?*


[*seriously consider using bothersome acronyms]

Two decades ago, an alarm was sounded on the exploding use of acronyms in clinical trials. The worst offender at the time was cardiology, which boasted 16 separate trials called HEART (Fred et al. Tex Heart Inst J 2003;30:255-257). With acronyms on the radar, other specialties soon joined in. Within a few years, the estimated prevalence of trial acronyms was 15% (40% in cardiology) (Pottegard et al. Br Med J 2014;349:g7092). For some it filled a GAP (Greater Acceptance by Publishers): studies with good acronyms were more likely to be cited by other researchers (Stanbrook et al. N Engl J Med 2006;355:101-2). Read More


DMTs and vaccine response in MS: the evidence to date


An Israeli study recently reported a significantly impaired humoral response to COVID-19 vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis receiving certain disease-modifying therapies (DMT) (Achiron et al. Ther Adv Neurol Disord 2021;14:17562864211012835). In that study, protective humoral immunity following administration of the Pfizer vaccine was observed in 100% of patients treated with cladribine, but only 22.7% of those on ocrelizumab and 3.8% of those receiving fingolimod. (See also Few vaccine responders with fingolimod, ocrelizumab, NeuroSens, April 23, 2021.) Read More

New failed trials of intrathecal rituximab in PMS


The limited benefit of B cell-directed therapies in progressive MS has been attributed in part to poor penetration of the CNS by monoclonal antibodies. However, two new studies have reported that intrathecal administration of rituximab has little effect on CNS inflammation, suggesting that limited drug entry into the brain is not the main problem. Read More