Sex as a determinant of relapse incidence and progressive course of multiple sclerosis

T. Kalincik, V. Vivek, V. Jokubaitis, J. Lechner-Scott, M. Trojano, G. Izquierdo, A. Lugaresi, F. Grand'Maison, R. Hupperts, C. Oreja-Guevara, R. Bergamaschi, G. Iuliano, R. Alroughani, V. Van Pesch, M. P. Amato, M. Slee, F. Verheul, R. Fernandez-Bolanos, M. Fiol, D. L. Spitaleri, E. Cristiano, O. Gray, J. A. Cabrera-Gomez, V. Shaygannejad, J. Herbert, S. Vucic, M. Needham, T. Petkovska-Boskova, C.-A. Sirbu, P. Duquette, M. Girard, P. Grammond, C. Boz, G. Giuliani, M. E. Rio, M. Barnett, S. Flechter, F. Moore, B. Singhal, E. A. Bacile, M. L. Saladino, C. Shaw, E. Skromne, D. Poehlau, N. Vella, T. Spelman, D. Liew, T. J. Kilpatrick, H. Butzkueven
  • Brain, October 2013, Oxford University Press (OUP)
  • DOI: 10.1093/brain/awt281

What is it about?

Attacks (i.e. relapses) of new symptoms represent a defining feature of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. They may result in irreversible disability and their prevention is the mainstay of the available immunomodulatory therapy. Relapses are more common in women and decrease with time, with age being more important determinant of their frequency than time from the multiple sclerosis onset.

Why is it important?

This trends in relapse frequency determined by sex and age improve our understanding of disease activity and may help us decipher the underlying pathophysiology. Also, the fact that the female-to-male ratios are discrete in the relapsing and primary progressive disease are distinct suggest that these two disease subtypes may be determined by distinct mechanisms.

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Tomas Kalincik