Multiple sclerosis: new treatment trials and emerging therapeutic targets

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Abstract

Purpose of review

This review focuses on new therapeutic strategies in multiple sclerosis.

Recent findings

The past decade has marked the advent of various new therapeutic strategies in multiple sclerosis. Whereas the current armamentarium of immunomodulatory medications has demonstrated beneficial effects on the disease, more effective and tolerable therapies are needed. Several novel therapeutic strategies in testing include oral therapies, monoclonal antibodies, symptomatic treatments as well as insights into neuroprotection and repair. Ways to build upon existing therapies are also under investigation, including early initiation of treatment and various combination regimens.

Summary

New therapies, along with variations of currently available treatments, may prove more efficacious and tolerable than the available arsenal of treatments. Nevertheless, as the treatment horizon broadens, choosing first-line therapies will become more complicated, with greater influence of risk-to-benefit ratios in light of premature safety data. Patient's clinical, paraclinical and biomarker fingerprint profiles may help elucidate disease subtypes as well as response to therapy in an effort to individualize treatment choice. A complete discussion of all studies currently underway is beyond the scope of this review, which will highlight recent promising therapeutic strategies under investigation in the field of multiple sclerosis.

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