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ECTRIMS 2023 | Decoding the prodromal phase of MS

Helen Tremlett, PhD, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, discusses the historical dismissal of multiple sclerosis (MS) prodromal phase, a period characterized by early signs and symptoms preceding the classic onset of MS. Drawing parallels with recognized prodromal phases in other neurological diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Dr Tremlett emphasizes recent efforts to measure this prodromal phase. Findings presented at ECTRIMS in Milan indicate that disparities in healthcare use, such as physician visits and outpatient prescriptions, could be observed up to 15 years before the onset of MS. These patterns were consistent across two large cohorts from Sweden and Canada, encompassing over 46,000 MS cases and 190,000 matched general population controls. Differences in healthcare use patterns based on age and sex demographics were also observed. Future endeavors aim to phenotype this prodromal phase deeply, revealing the reasons behind increased healthcare interactions. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2023 in Milan, Italy.

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