Treatment of early-onset multiple sclerosis with intramuscular interferonβ-1a: Long-term results

Angelo Ghezzi, M. P. Amato, M. Capobianco, P. Gallo, M. G. Marrosu, V. Martinelli, C. Milanese, L. Moiola, N. Milani, L. Mantia, F. Patti, C. Pozzilli, M. Trojano, G. Comi, I. L. Simone, A. Bellacosa, R. Ardito, S. Stecchi, C. Scandellari, G. SpinicciA. Cristaldi, E. Portaccio, S. Lori, G. F. Costantino, V. Pilato, M. Zaffaroni, A. Bellantonio, F. Fantozzi, E. Scarpini, M. De Riz, E. Merelli, A. Guerra, P. Perini, M. Atzori, R. Bergamaschi, P. Veggiotti, L. Prosperini, A. Bertolotto, S. Malucchi, P. Cavalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective was to evaluate the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of intramuscular (IM) interferon beta-1a (IFNβ-1a; Avonex, Biogen) 30 mg once a week in patients with onset of symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in childhood or adolescence. Patients with a diagnosis of definite MS according to McDonald's criteria, relapsing course according to Lublin's criteria, onset of symptoms of MS before 16 years of age, and who had received IM IFNβ1a therapy before 16 years of age were eligible for the study if they had a pretreatment and treatment duration of at least 6 months. Clinical and laboratory evaluations were performed every 3 months. A total of 52 patients were identified as receiving treatment with IM IFNβ-1a 30 mg once a week before 16 years of age. Mean age at onset of symptoms of MS was 11.7±2.7 years, mean disease duration was 25.9±30.3 months, mean annualised relapse rate was 1.9±1.1 and mean Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was 1.5±1.1. After a mean (±SD) treatment duration of 42.9±19.9 months, annualised relapse rate decreased to 0.4±0.5. Final EDSS score was 1.3±1.1. Adverse events were recorded for 35 (67%) patients (flulike syndrome, 33%; headache, 29%; myalgia, 21%; fever, 11%; fatigue, 6%; nausea and vomiting, 6%; and skin reaction, 4%); most were transient. IM IFNβ-1a was effective and well tolerated in these paediatric patients with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-132
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Adolescence
  • Childhood
  • Immunomodulators
  • Interferon beta-1a
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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