If a neurologist could tell a person with MS, as soon as they are diagnosed, what their disease will look like after a few years, together they would be able to decide on treatment options earlier in the disease before disability occurs.

Australian researchers at the University of Melbourne looked at records from more than 2,000 people with relapsing-remitting onset MS, who they had followed over 10 years. They used information from the clinic and the MS drugs that these people had received to see whether they can predict future worsening of disability over a decade later.

They found that early treatment of MS can prevent future disability, and that more attacks earlier in MS disease course is associated with future disability.

They also found that pregnancy has strong long-term therapeutic effects. For example, people who were pregnant at least once during their first 10 years with MS, had less disability at the end of the decade.

Researchers can learn from hormonal changes during pregnancy to develop new drugs. This study also underlines the importance of early treatment in MS.

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