Biomarkers in MS
There are no biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and response to therapy in MS. MRI imaging, visual evoked potentials, oligoclonal bands in the CSF add to the diagnosis of MS; however, clinical presentation and following disease course still remains the golden rule. Is it an achievable goal to identify biomarkers? How would one do that? Is EDSS a reliable measure to quantify disease burden and progression?
This topic is timely and important and in one sense the comment is correct. However, consider the following:
1. Enhanced lesions on MRI are predictive biomarkers for relapses.
2. Neutralizing antibodies to IFN-beta (sustained) or natalizumab are biomarkers for treatment failure.
3. Absence of JCV antibodies is a biomarker for reduced likelihood of developing PML during treatment with natalizumab and other immunomodulators or immunosuppressives.
As Dr. Han implies, it would be wonderful to have predictive biomarkers for other aspects of MS.