Intrathecal interferon reduces exacerbations of multiple sclerosis.
This paper focuses on the use of interferon as a treatment of multiple sclerosis, an intervention that, to a degree, suppresses disease activity in multiple sclerosis and, in Larry Jacobs, it introduces one pioneer of the DMTs (disease-modifying therapies). However, its premise, that viral infections are the remedial cause of multiple sclerosis, is probably incorrect; its analysis is flawed; and, rightly, it met with considerable controversy. The study group consisted of 20 patients. Half of them received natural interferon-beta by lumbar puncture, twice a week for 4 weeks and then monthly for 5 months, and 10 patients were used as unblinded controls. At the end of the yearlong study, two of the interferon-treated patients had experienced four relapses, compared to 10 relapses from six controls: for the first time, there was a hint that relapse rate in multiple sclerosis might be modified. This, of course, led the way to the first DMT in multiple sclerosis to be licensed, in 1993, interferon beta-1b.