[Diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Update, 2003]

S Jarius, R Hohlfeld, R Voltz
MMW Fortschritte der Medizin 2003 May 26, 145: 88-91, 93, 95
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. The etiology of MS is not yet fully understood. Besides of genetic predisposition and environmental factors autoimmune mechanisms seem to play a major role in the pathogenesis of MS. Therapy of MS therefore comprises mainly immunomodulatory and immuno-suppressive therapeutic concepts. Interferon beta (Avonex, Rebif, Betaferon/Betaseron) and Glatirameracetate (Copaxone) offer effective therapeutic options for the long-term treatment of relapsing-remitting MS. With Mitoxantron (Ralenova) being recently approved by the EMEA for the treatment of secondary-progressive and progressive-relapsing MS an effective therapeutic option is now available also for this group of patients. The standard treatment for acute MS continues to be the intravenous administration of high-dose methylprednisolone. Several promising new agents (Antegren, Statins) are currently under clinical examination and could expand the spectrum of available therapeutic strategies soon. Recent and ongoing trials as well as upcoming studies on MS therapy are summarized in this review.

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