Robby: Drugs are given after the damage is done. I mean, is it the case where people should have the drugs before?
Professor Alan Thompson, Neurologist: Well, so that’s a really interesting question. I mean what you really would like to do, as you say, is prevent progression ever happening, and you would do that by treating relapsing remitting MS really effectively. Now, whether or not the current drugs we have for relapsing remitting MS are effective enough to stop people going into the progressive phase is a debateable point, because basically they reduce inflammation, but you probably want something in addition to reducing inflammation, you probably want something which is going to protect as well.
So actually, you might be looking at some kind of combination therapy for early relapsing remitting MS and then that would stop the development of progression. However, you know, we have how many, 1.5 million people in the world with progressive MS at the moment, they’re not going to go back to relapsing remitting, so we’ve got to have treatments that really have an effect on them, albeit a partial effect. So I think that’s what we’re looking at for these trials.
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