The FDA has just approved a promising new MS drug (MS is multiple sclerosis). Called Tecfidera or BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate), the new MS drug is a twice-daily capsule that reduces relapses by 53 percent and slows the progression of disability. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans have shown that the new MS drug reduces the accumulation of brain-damaging lesions. Tecfidera is for early-stage MS.
MS is a chronic disorder that affects the central nervous system. First symptoms usually appear between the ages of 20 and 40. Early symptoms can include blurred or double vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, numbness, tingling, muscle spasms and weakness in an arm or leg. What is tricky about MS is that one person can experience a symptom and then go months–even years–without any others. For another person, symptoms can become worse quickly.
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, but several disease-modifying, FDA-approved medications–including the new MS drug–reduce the frequency and severity of MS-induced attacks, reduce the number of brain lesions and possibly slow down the progression of the disease. In addition, many therapies can treat such MS symptoms as spasticity, pain, bladder problems, fatigue, sexual dysfunction, weakness, and cognitive problems.
The Multiple Sclerosis Center provides comprehensive neurologic care that focuses on symptomatic management and the latest in treatments for multiple sclerosis. It is affiliated with the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which provides a link between clients at the center and community resources.