Almost 10,000 neurologists, researchers, and MS professionals attended the ECTRIMS 2018 in Berlin, to get updates on the new developments regarding diagnosis, treatment, pathology, and biomarker research. The revised 2017 McDonald diagnostic criteria continue to be validated, but their use in routine practice has several implications. Data on safety and efficacy of both novel and established biological agents are driving forward the treatment of both relapsing and progressive MS. Interesting data on head-to-head comparison of DMTs was also presented. In addition, knowing which patients to treat with which DMT, and when to discontinue or switch is of key importance and was investigated in several cohort studies. An important topic was the undertreatment of MS symptoms such as cognitive dysfunction, affecting quality of life. An observational study suggested a neuroprotective effect of vitamin D supplementation. Major advances are still being made in imaging technologies and it remains a hot research subject. However, the biomarker with the most attention was serum neurofilament light. The proposal of a specific cut-off value is another step forward towards its implementation as disease activity marker.
If you have not been able to experience ECTRIMS 2018 yourself, you can read about these and other highlights in this report.
Prof. Hartung has been Chair of the Department of Neurology at Heinrich-Heine-University in Düsseldorf since 2001. He is also Director of the Center of Neuropsychiatry and the Department of Conservative Medicine at University Hospital
Düsseldorf. He studied medicine at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Glasgow, Oxford, and London. After graduation he served an immunology fellowship at the University of Mainz. Prof. Hartung’s clinical and translational research interests
are in the field of basic and clinical neuroimmunology and in particular multiple sclerosis and immune neuropathies. He has been involved as steering committee member in multiple clinical trials of new drugs for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy.
Prof. Hartung is a former President of ECTRIMS.
Conflict of Interest Statement:
Hans-Peter Hartung has received fees for consulting, speaking, and serving on steering committees from Bayer Healthcare, Biogen, GeNeuro, MedImmune, Merck, Novartis, Opexa, Receptos Celgene, Roche, Sanofi Genzyme, CSL Behring, Octapharma, and Teva, with approval by the Rector of Heinrich-Heine-University