AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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New Understanding of Autoimmune Function in MS is Described as a Breakthrough

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A breakthrough in the understanding of how the body’s autoimmune system affects multiple sclerosis (MS) and information about a new, highly effective MS therapy. The discovery that depletion of B cells has an impact on MS enabled a paradigm shift in the understanding of how the inflammatory phase of MS develops, according to Stephen L. Hauser, MD, professor of neurology and director of the Weill Institute for Neurosciences at the University of California, San Francisco. Hauser will present his findings at the Kenneth P. Johnson Memorial Lecture on the opening day of the forum. The expected launch in early 2017 of ocrelizumab, the first B-cell therapy to be approved by regulatory agencies, will significantly alter the MS treatment landscape. “We now have therapy with an attractive profile that is extremely effective against relapsing forms of MS. This also is the first therapy to show clear benefits against primary progressive MS. It’s an exciting moment,” says Hauser. Hauser’s research exemplifies the collaboration between researchers and clinicians.

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