A new era in the treatment of multiple sclerosis

Simon A Broadley, Michael H Barnett, Mike Boggild, Bruce J Brew, Helmut Butzkueven, Robert Heard, Suzanne Hodgkinson, Allan G Kermode, Jeannette Lechner-Scott, Richard AL Macdonell, Mark Marriott, Deborah F Mason, John Parratt, Stephen W Reddel, Cameron P Shaw, Mark Slee, Judith M Spies, Bruce V Taylor, William M Carroll, Trevor J Kilpatrick, John King, Pamela A McCombe, John D Pollard and Ernest Willoughby
Med J Aust 2015; 203 (3): 139-141. || doi: 10.5694/mja14.01218


  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with a multifactorial aetiology and highly variable natural history.
  • A growing understanding of the immunopathogenesis of the condition has led to an expanding array of therapies for this previously untreatable disease.
  • While a cure for MS remains elusive, the potential to reduce inflammatory disease activity by preventing relapses and minimising disease progression is achievable.
  • The importance of early treatment in minimising long-term disability is increasingly recognised.
  • Most of the newer, more effective therapies are associated with risks and practical problems that necessitate an active management strategy and continuous vigilance.
  • While the initiation of these therapies is likely to remain the responsibility of neurologists, other specialist physicians and general practitioners will be involved in the identification and management of adverse effects.

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  • Simon A Broadley1
  • Michael H Barnett3
  • Mike Boggild4
  • Bruce J Brew5
  • Helmut Butzkueven6
  • Robert Heard8
  • Suzanne Hodgkinson9
  • Allan G Kermode1
  • Jeannette Lechner-Scott1
  • Richard AL Macdonell1
  • Mark Marriott6
  • Deborah F Mason1
  • John Parratt1
  • Stephen W Reddel3
  • Cameron P Shaw1
  • Mark Slee1
  • Judith M Spies3
  • Bruce V Taylor1
  • William M Carroll1
  • Trevor J Kilpatrick2
  • John King6
  • Pamela A McCombe2
  • John D Pollard3
  • Ernest Willoughby2

  • 1 Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD
  • 2 Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast, QLD
  • 3 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 4 The Townsville Hospital, Townsville, QLD
  • 5 St Vincent’s Hospital/University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 6 Royal Melbourne Hospital/University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 7 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 8 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 9 University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 10 University of Western Australia, Perth, WA
  • 11 Murdoch University, Perth, WA
  • 12 The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW
  • 13 Austin Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 14 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 15 Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, NZ
  • 16 University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW
  • 17 Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 18 Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
  • 19 University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS
  • 20 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC
  • 21 University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, Brisbane, QLD
  • 22 Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, NZ


We are grateful to Dr Lisa Melton from for assistance in the preparation and review of this manuscript.

Competing interests:

A full statement is included in Appendix 3.

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