Can better measurement lead to better outcomes? A look at NEDA4 in relapsing MS
Addressing four measures of disease progression in relapsing MS could help preserve physical and cognitive function.
May 17, 2015
Approximately 2.3 million people worldwide are living with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic disorder of the central nervous system. Relapsing MS – also known as RMS – is the most common form of the disease, characterized by attacks (relapses) where there is a sudden appearance of previous and/or new symptoms.
How to measure disease progression in RMS
Until now, doctors have only been looking at three measures of disease progression: relapses, MRI lesions and disability progression. But there’s 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 his or her 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 living with RMS and you finally hear those words – “no evidence of disease activity.” It’s a great example of how measurement can help us deliver effective treatments.
Measures of efficacy and why they matter
Measures of efficacy are evolving in RMS too, and if addressed, they could have a tremendous effect 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 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 how 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.