Can better measurement lead to better outcomes? A look at NEDA4 in relapsing MS
Addressing four measures of disease progression in multiple sclerosis could help preserve physical and cognitive function.
May 17, 2015
There are approximately 2.3 million people worldwide living with MS, a chronic disorder of the central nervous system. Relapsing MS, the most common form of MS, is characterized by attacks (relapses) where there is a sudden appearance of previous and/or new symptoms of disease.
How to measure disease progression in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis
Until now, doctors have only been looking at three measures of disease progression: relapses, MRI lesions and disability progression. But there’s now a new measure that’s helping doctors and patients alike better assess if a treatment is working for them.
We’re also looking at brain shrinkage, or brain volume loss, to assess whether a patient is progressing in their disease. And when all four key measures of disease activity are effectively impacted, the patient is said to have reached a status of ’no evidence of disease activity (NEDA4)’.
Imagine you’re a person living with RMS, and you are finally able to hear those words – ’no evidence of disease activity’. It’s a great example of the impact of measurement in setting and delivering on effective treatments.
Measures of efficacy and why it matters
Measures of efficacy are evolving in relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) too, and if addressed, could have a tremendous impact on what matters most to patients: their physical and cognitive function.
Our job doesn’t stop when we manufacture medicines. In fact, it’s just the beginning. The impact of those medicines – their ability to positively change the course of disease in the people we treat – is critically important to how we assess the efficacy of treatments and the direction of our research and development moving forward. Most importantly, this impact is what matters to patients – after all, we all want treatments that make us feel better.
But the way we measure the efficacy of a treatment evolves over time, and it is important to keep advancing the way we look at a medicine’s ability to maintain a patient’s quality of life and slow disease progression.