Marlo: What impact do Disease Modifying Treatments have on disease progression?
Dr David Baker, Researcher: Well, I think if you start early enough with some of our highly effective ones, maybe it stops progression occurring. So that obviously has got to be the hope that if you start early and aggressively enough, that maybe we can stop people ever becoming progressive. Now I think it’s also clear that we can see that for some people, certainly with the relapsing MS, that it stops the processes that will result in progressive disability in the future. And I also think there are certain people with progressive MS that will benefit from these type of drugs. However, I think progression is not all going to be answered by the current DMTs, so we need new therapies to probably add on top to try and do that, and that’s some of the ideas we’re having at the moment. So we’ve got some studies ongoing where we’re layering drugs on top of each other to try and get at what we think is driving MS and also to try and slow down the progression.
Marlo: Okay. Do you think times are changing in a way where clinicians are less reluctant to start someone early on a more aggressive treatment?
Dr David Baker: Hmm. I think that’s a difficult one. I think there are two different schools; I think there are kind of the early aggressive treater and I think there are the softly softly treater. Just like there are people with MS that are the more timid and more reluctant to try these more aggressive treatments and then there are other people who are more gung-ho and say, give me it. So I think it depends on the individuals and obviously the neurologist has to speak to the individual to find out who they are, whether they want the softly softly approach or not. But I think at the end of the day, what you need to do as a person with MS is get knowledge so then you can make the right decision for you, because each person’s different and I think some of these milder drugs can be very effective in certain people as well, so it’s not just one approach fits all, I think it’s each person has to be catered for.
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