Age can modulate the relapse rate and phenotypic presentation of MS

A novel data set for multiple sclerosis (MS), the Novartis-Oxford data set for MS (NO.MS), was able to characterize multiple sclerosis (MS) phenotypes and, according to the study, showed that age increases the frequency of relapse and the phenotypic representation of MS modulates results published in Multiple Sclerosis.

The NO.MS cohort integrates unidentified data from 34 Novartis MS clinical trials conducted between 2003 and 2020. In total, these studies included approximately 35,000 patients with MS, including more than 31,000 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). The NO.MS dataset also contains over 200,000 brain images in digital imaging and medical communication format of around 10,000 MS patients with a follow-up period of over 10 years.

The study’s researchers set out to describe the NO.MS dataset and examine the relationship between age, disease activity, and disease progression among MS phenotypes. They assessed the key features of NO.MS cohort and MS lesion formation, the incidence of relapses, change in brain volume, and cross-sectional disability deterioration as a function of base age. They used Phase 3 study data, which consisted of approximately 8,000 patients with MS.

The total cohort included a total of 34,957 patients with MS, including 32,098 patients with RRMS, 1873 patients with secondary progressive MS, and 986 patients with primary progressive MS.

An analysis of the cohort found that focal disease activity was highest in adolescents with MS, but decreased with age. In addition, the NO.MS dataset shows that the change in brain volume in adult patients is comparable across phenotype groups and is largely independent of age.

The study results showed that the youngest patients with MS were less than 25% likely to have their disability worsening over a 2-year period, while those with elderly, disabled, or progressive MS were at a higher risk of disability worsening. Young patients appeared to get the most benefit from therapy.

Based on their analysis of the NO.MS cohort, the researchers concluded that the dataset is “a novel comprehensive dataset for clinical trials across all MS phenotypes” that appears to be “well suited for further development” [characterize] MS, examine individual patient histories and identify prognostic markers (or signatures) using advanced analytical methods. ”

Disclosure: Several authors of the study have stated that they are part of the pharmaceutical industry. For a full list of the authors’ information, see the original reference.


Dahlke F., Arnold DL, Aarden P. et al. Characterization of MS phenotypes across the entire age range using a new type of data set comprising 34 clinical studies (NO.MS cohort): Age makes a significant contribution to presentation. Mult Scler. Published online January 28, 2021. doi: 10.1177 / 1352458520988637

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