Subcutaneous Interferon β-1a May Protect against Cognitive Impairment in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: 5-Year Follow-up of the COGIMUS Study

Francesco Patti, Vincenzo Brescia Morra, Maria Pia Amato, Maria Trojano, Stefano Bastianello, Maria Rosalia Tola, Salvatore Cottone, Andrea Plant, Orietta Picconi

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Abstract

Objective:To assess the effects of subcutaneous (sc) interferon (IFN) -1a on cognition over 5 years in mildly disabled patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).Methods:Patients aged 18-50 years with RRMS (Expanded Disability Status Scale score ≤4.0) who had completed the 3-year COGIMUS study underwent standardized magnetic resonance imaging, neurological examination, and neuropsychological testing at years 4 and 5. Predictors of cognitive impairment at year 5 were identified using multivariate analysis.Results:Of 331 patients who completed the 3-year COGIMUS study, 265 participated in the 2-year extension study, 201 of whom (75.8%; sc IFN β-1a three times weekly: 44 μg, n = 108; 22 μg, n = 93) completed 5 years' follow-up. The proportion of patients with cognitive impairment in the study population overall remained stable between baseline (18.0%) and year 5 (22.6%). The proportion of patients with cognitive impairment also remained stable in both treatment groups between baseline and year 5, and between year 3 and year 5. However, a significantly higher proportion of men than women had cognitive impairment at year 5 (26.5% vs 14.4%, p = 0.046). Treatment with the 22 versus 44 μg dose was predictive of cognitive impairment at year 5 (hazard ratio 0.68; 95% confidence interval 0.48-0.97).Conclusions:This study suggests that sc IFN β-1a dose-dependently stabilizes or delays cognitive impairment over a 5-year period in most patients with mild RRMS. Women seem to be more protected against developing cognitive impairment, which may indicate greater response to therapy or the inherently better prognosis associated with female sex in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere74111
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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