12. Future Therapeutic Approaches

  1. Howard L. Weiner MD2,3,4 and
  2. James M. Stankiewicz MD2,3
  1. Howard L. Weiner MD2,3,4 and
  2. Laura Edwards PhD1,3

Published Online: 23 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119963714.ch12

Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis and Therapy

Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis and Therapy

How to Cite

Weiner, H. L. and Edwards, L. (2012) Future Therapeutic Approaches, in Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnosis and Therapy (eds H. L. Weiner and J. M. Stankiewicz), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119963714.ch12

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

  2. 3

    Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

  3. 4

    Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

  2. 2

    Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

  3. 3

    Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

  4. 4

    Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 6 APR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470654637

Online ISBN: 9781119963714

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Keywords:

  • Inflammation;
  • degeneration;
  • therapeutic targets;
  • biomarkers

Summary

Future therapeutic approaches for the treatment of multiple sclerosis will focus on a select number of inflammatory, degenerative, and restorative pathways. Inflammatory targets and early treatment of MS will remain the cornerstone of therapy with the development of biomarkers to help guide therapy and choose agents which are effective in individual patients. Most anti-inflammatory drugs will target a common final pathway that involves Th1/Th17 cells. A better understanding of the disease heterogeneity in individual patients will allow for therapy tailored to specific subtypes of MS. Treatment for progressive forms of the disease are likely to target the innate (microglia/monocytes) rather than the adaptive immune system. Drugs to promote remyelination and that affect atrophy are likely to impinge on the progressive forms of the disease. A better understanding of environmental risk factors will allow developing approaches to prevent the disease in people at risk and ultimately the general population.