This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
The objective of this review was to determine whether long term treatment of MS patients with corticosteroids:
1) prevents or significantly delays disability progression at long term follow-up;
2) reduces the risk of exacerbations, increasing the proportion of relapse-free patients during the follow-up;
3) is well tolerated and safe.
We selected progression of disease rather than the occurrence of exacerbations as primary outcome measure, both because exacerbations do not necessary correlate with clinical evidence of disease progression, a more meaningful parameter than the occurrence of symptoms and signs that can remit, and because we aim to consider also progressive forms of the disease.
We also wish to evaluate the effect of different doses, drugs, routes of administration, regimens (i.e. pulsed or continuous) and length of treatment and whether the effect of treatment is different according to types of disease (relapsing/remitting, relapsing/progressive [RP], secondary progressive or primary progressive [PP]).