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Cira Fraser Ph.D., RN, ACNS-BC, associate professor and graduate faculty, Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies, presented interim data from a prospective study evaluating spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis who transitioned from interferon-beta treatment to glatiramer acetate [GA] injection. The findings were presented Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The prospective longitudinal survey research study is evaluating 110 participants utilizing the Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity Scale (MSSS-88), the Performance Scales, and a sociodemographic questionnaire completed when transitioning between treatments and at month six. Inclusion criteria require that participants had stopped interferon-beta treatment within 30 days; were about to start, or started glatiramer acetate injections within the previous 21 days; had spasticity; and able to ambulate with unilateral support or without. Of the 52 participants, 35 percent were taking medication for spasticity prior to enrollment and during the six month period.

Interim results for the first 52 of 110 participants revealed a significant reduction in muscle stiffness, pain and discomfort, and the effect of spasticity on the ability to walk, body movements and activities of daily living. Improvement was also found in reduction of total spasticity scores during the six month period.

These findings suggest that spasticity may be reduced for MS patients who discontinue IFN-β and transition to GA. The results of the study with the total sample are expected to be completed by October 2012.

For more information, contact Professor Fraser at 732-263-5294

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American Academy of Neurology Poster Session P07.074: A Prospective Study of Spasticity in Individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Transition from Interferon-Beta to Glatiramer Acetate

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Media contact: Petra Ludwig at 732-263-5507