Disease-modifying therapy prescription patterns in people with multiple sclerosis by age

Yinan Zhang, Amber Salter, Shan Jin, William J. Culpepper, Gary R. Cutter, Mitchell Wallin, Olaf Stuve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for multiple sclerosis (MS) are approved for their ability to reduce disease activity, namely clinical relapses and signal changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Disease activity appears age dependent. Thus, the greatest benefit would be expected in younger people with MS (PwMS) whereas benefits in the elderly are uncertain. Methods: Real-world data were obtained from PwMS from the North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) registry and the US Department of Veterans Affairs Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry (MSSR). Results: 6948 PwMS were surveyed from NARCOMS, and the MSSR had 1719 participants. In younger adult PwMS 40-years old or less, 183 (61.4%) in NARCOMS and 179 (70.5%) in the MSSR were prescribed DMTs. Among PwMS over age 60, 1575 (40.1%) in NARCOMS and 239 (36.3%) in the MSSR were prescribed DMTs. More PwMS in the age group of 31–40 (p = 0.035) and 41–50 (p = 0.001) in the MSSR were using DMTs compared with PwMS of the same age groups in NARCOMS. Conclusion: These findings suggest that DMTs are under-utilized in the younger population and continue to be commonly prescribed in the elderly. Broader access may explain the higher prescription rate of DMTs in US veterans.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders
StatePublished - 2021


  • age
  • clinical practice
  • disease-modifying therapies
  • multiple sclerosis


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