Top 5 Most-Read Multiple Sclerosis Articles of 2021

The top 5 most-read multiple sclerosis articles of 2021 focused on artificial intelligence, sunlight exposure, and COVID-19 risk factors, responses, and guidance for people with multiple sclerosis.

The top 5 most-read multiple sclerosis (MS) articles of 2021 focused on artificial intelligence (AI), sunlight exposure, and COVID-19 risk factors, responses, and guidance for people with multiple sclerosis.

Here are the 5 most-read multiple sclerosis articles of 2021.

5. Diagnose, Monitor, Treat: How AI’s 3-Pronged Approach Can Help to Propel Progress in MS

According to experts, using AI effectively may help to revolutionize the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of MS, as well as optimizing understanding of the immune-mediated disease, this August story reported. Having the potential to reverberate across the MS space, affecting not only drug developers and manufacturers, but also patients, caregivers, and medical teams, experts say AI needs to be both efficient and efficacious.

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4. Risk Factors Identified That Predispose Patients With MS, COVID-19 to Worse Outcomes

For patients with MS, having a higher degree of disability and a concomitant case of COVID-19 meant a greater likelihood of adverse mortality and morbidity outcomes, according to study findings presented in this March article. Researchers discovered increased risks of hospitalization among patients taking rituximab or ocrelizumab, and glucocorticoid use was associated with higher risks of both hospitalization and death if it occurred 2 months prior to a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Analyses also revealed elevated rates of COVID-19 symptoms in the study patients reporting fever as their chief symptom, but the authors noted some findings conflict with prior studies and should be monitored.

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3. B-Cell Depletion May Indicate Reduced COVID-19 Antibody Response Among Patients With MS

Previous research has shown that certain disease-modifying treatments can affect the immune system’s response to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, among patients with MS, but also that additional factors can influence patient outcomes, such as greater disability.

Research reported in May elucidates the immune system’s response among patients with MS who had asymptomatic COVID-19 infection, with B-cell depletion being a possible indicate of a less robust antibody response against SARS-CoV-2.

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2. Sunlight Exposure Linked to Reduced Disease Severity in MS

Sunlight exposure may reduce the severity of MS in certain patients, according to research covered in this February article. The study used vitamin D levels and latitude as measures of sunlight exposure, and researchers observed that some patients had improvements in their MS severity with increased sun exposure, whereas photosensitive individuals and those taking certain medications did not see the same effects.

However, the researchers noted that information regarding location of vacations, individual clothing habits, and use of sunscreen were not available and could be a limitation.

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1. MS Society Releases Guidance on DMT Dosing Modifications for COVID-19 Vaccination

AJMC.com's most-read MS article of 2021 was published in February and focused on COVID-19 vaccination. Earlier in the year, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society urged patients with MS to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and new guidance in February emphasized that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were safe for people with MS taking disease-modifying therapies.

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