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ECTRIMS 2023 | Shifting towards patient-driven research in MS progression

Paola Zaratin, PhD, Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society, Genoa, Italy, delves into the unmet needs in understanding the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), emphasizing that standard treatments for relapsing-remitting MS don’t effectively address progression. Dr Zaratin highlights the necessity for a paradigm shift, advocating for transitioning from a patient-centric approach to a model infused with patient input throughout the scientific process. Patient organizations serve as the bridge between science and society, facilitating comprehensive multi-stakeholder patient engagement strategies. Innovative research engagement models have been developed, notably one by the Italian Society. This model was conceived within a European project, aligning with the responsible research innovation principles of the European Commission. The International Progressive MS Alliance initiative is spotlighted as an example where collaboration converges different pieces of the puzzle. Recognizing changes in patients’ functions is paramount to gaining insights into disease progression. 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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