Conference ReCAP

Updates in multiple sclerosis symptom management from ACTRIMS 2021


Joseph Berger, MD, Associate Chief of the Multiple Sclerosis Division at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, presents highlights in multiple sclerosis (MS) symptom management from the ACTRIMS Forum 2021.


A follow-up of participants in the self-management program called Fatigue: Take Control found that while patients did not report any significant improvement in fatigue 5-6 years later, they also did not have greater fatigue than at baseline, suggesting that fatigue may not be a progressive symptom.


Next, a literature review of efficacy studies in MS rodent models found a complementary pharmacology of CBD and other constituents of nabiximols that may add additional benefit and mitigate THC tolerability.


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A small study looking at pain prevalence in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) found that 76% of patients had a pain syndrome, and 48% had neuropathic pain. The study also found that gabapentin 900 mg per day for 30 days was effective in decreasing pain intensity and frequency.


A multi-site study of 282 patients with MS reporting fatigue between 2013 and 2014 found that 21% of patients reported using prescription opiates, 76% of whom reported regular daily use.


Lastly, participants in Spasticity: Take Control—an education and lower extremity stretching program—reported significantly decreased pain severity and interference at 6 months, compared with range-of-motion exercises.


Professor and Associate Chief, Department of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis Division. Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Joseph R. Berger, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:

Received research grant from: Biogen; Roche/Genentech.

Received income in an amount ≥$250 from: Amgen; Biogen; Bristol Myers Squibb; Celgene; Encycle; Excision BioTherapeutics; Dr. Reddy; Genzyme; Inhibikase Therapeutics; Mapi-Pharma; Merck; Morphic Therapeutic; Novartis; Serono.

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