Therapeutic Effect of Interferon Beta for Multiple Sclerosis

Therapeutic Effect of Interferon Beta for Multiple Sclerosis
Author Affiliation: 
PBL Assay Science

Interferon Beta (IFN-β) was approved to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis in 1993, and there is now abundant evidence that treatment benefits many patients, with an extremely strong safety record. This development represents a solid victory, as IFN-β is the first medication, in the 150 years since multiple sclerosis was described, to modify the natural history of disease favorably. However, there are still unmet medical needs: studies show a broad spectrum of individual responses to IFN-β, from marked benefit to possible deleterious effects; no definite advancement toward combination therapy has been made; and no biomarkers for therapeutic effects have been identified, beyond neutralizing antibodies in a subset of patients. Elucidating molecular mechanisms of IFN-β action in multiple sclerosis would accelerate progress and lead to a new generation of treatment strategies. Recent findings suggest that IFN-β works on several levels to inhibit the multiple sclerosis disease process; proposed mechanisms include inhibiting cell trafficking to the inflamed CNS, inhibiting antigen presentation, and immunomodulation of the TH17 response.(Click download for a PDF of the image below)

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