Should older MS patients stop taking certain treatments? CU Anschutz Medical Campus will expand its study

John Corboy will begin recruiting participants in 2017. (Courtesy of CU Anschutz)

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society awarded CU Anschutz Medical Campus a $326,000 grant on Wednesday. It will supplement $6.7 million in investment for multiple sclerosis research.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute contributed the original sum in 2015 to fund a multiple sclerosis study led by Dr. John Corboy, professor of neurology and co-director of the Rocky Mountain MS Center at CU Anschutz. The new funds will enable the study to expand to 15 sites, requiring fewer participants at each site, thus expediting research.

Corboy’s study seeks to determine whether it’s safe for aging MS patients to discontinue therapies that traditionally reduce the likelihood of MS relapse.

“It’s fairly clear that these medicines give the greatest benefit to people when they are younger,” Corboy said in a statement.

“Then the question becomes: As people age, is there a point when the risk of new inflammatory disease activity becomes so low that any benefit achieved by therapy is outweighed by the cost, risk, side effects and hassle involved with taking medication on a regular basis?”

Corboy’s study will collect data from 300 volunteers, 55-years or older, who are randomly chosen to continue or discontinue MS therapy. Scientists will monitor disease activity, quality of life and risk of relapse, compiling data that will help determine when stopping therapy is appropriate and whether it is safe.

Corboy and his fellow researchers will begin recruiting study participants in January 2017.

If you are interested in participating in the study, please contact Nicola Haakenson, Recruitment Specialist, Department of Neurology at University of Colorado at 303-724-4644 or nicola.haakonsen@ucdenver.edu.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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