Authors of the Canadian study emphasize that further studies are needed to develop evidence-based guidelines for this special population. Information regarding the impact of DMTs in older MS patients is needed for a number of reasons:
- Older adults with MS are typically treated using therapeutic guidelines originally established for younger adults, without direct evidence to support this practice.
- Aging affects the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of drugs, as well as the immune system, thus immunomodulatory therapies might have a different effect in older MS patients.
- Follow-up time in clinical trials is typically 2-3 years, too short to capture the longer term progression profile of patients.
- Clinical trial settings differ from real-world settings, especially in respect to patient characteristics, such as comorbidities and the motivation or ability to adhere to medications.
- As the prevalence of older people living with MS continues to increase with an aging population, there is an important need to better understand the characteristics of older patients including their potential response to drug treatments for MS.
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Multiple Sclerosis in Older Adults