10th May 2022
Leaders of the International Progressive MS Alliance have published a paper calling for a globally coordinated, multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach to address the important and ongoing questions related to COVID-19 and progressive MS. The paper outlines key scientific priorities and corresponding actions where study is needed to better understand the effects of disease modifying therapies, COVID-19 and vaccinations on MS. It additionally calls for studies to fully gauge the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the physical, emotional and social well-being of people with progressive MS.
The call to action was initiated by an April 2021 meeting of the Alliance Scientific Steering Committee and the Alliance Industry Forum. The Forum is a group of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experts that serve in an advisory role to the Alliance Scientific Steering Committee. The event gathered stakeholders including scientists, health care professionals, MS patient advocacy organization leaders, pharmaceutical and biotechnology experts, and people affected by MS to discuss what has been learned about SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Covid-19 pandemic and progressive MS as well as identify needed action going forward.
“This paper outlines valuable opportunities for a more coordinated, global approach to understanding the relationship between COVID-19, progressive MS, and their respective treatments,” states Professor Robert Fox, Staff Neurologist at the Mellen Center for MS, Cleveland Clinic, and Chair of the Alliance Scientific Steering Committee. “Global collaboration and meaningful engagement with patients can help guide research to address the ongoing questions and challenges associated with COVID-19. These efforts will ensure we are better positioned to manage future transformational events that impact the lives of people with MS worldwide.”
“Researching COVID-19 in progressive MS requires a globally coordinated, multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach – perspectives from the International Progressive MS Alliance,” by Paola Zaratin, Brenda Banwell, Timothy Coetzee, Giancarlo Comi, Anthony Feinstein, Robert Hyde, Marco Salvetti and Kathryn Smith was published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal online on May 3, 2022. This is an open-access paper that can be read in full by anyone.