"Many people assume that MS patients experience only disease progression and increasing disability," says Dr. Helen Tremlett, also an associate professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. "While we did observe that no change or a worsening in disability was most common, up to 30 per cent of patients did experience an improvement, and this was often sustained over one to two years."
While further research is needed to understand the biological mechanisms underlying these changes, researchers hope to uncover new drug targets that can prolong this natural, innate improvement - providing MS patients with better health outcomes. The team's research also provides additional, important context for interpreting findings of clinical trials - especially when studying drugs used to reduce relapses in MS patients.
Dr. Helen Tremlett is also a member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC and VCH Research Institute. For the full media release, click here.