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A new era in the treatment of multiple sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disorder of the central nervous system.1 Untreated MS results in significant disability during the prime of life for many with the disease.2 The aetiology of MS remains to be fully elucidated, but the Epstein-Barr virus,3 relative vitamin D deficiency4 and smoking5 have been identified as environmental risk factors that interact with the more than 100 genetic loci associated with susceptibility for the disease.6,7

The past 20 years has seen considerable progress in understanding the pathophysiology and advancing the treatment of MS.8 A number of moderately effective and, more recently, highly effective therapies have been licensed and funded in Australia and other parts of the world. We have recently reviewed in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience the practicalities of using these therapies and their place in the treatment of individual patients in the Australian and New Zealand context.911 The purpose of this article is to highlight some recent developments in MS treatment, with a particular emphasis on the wider implications…