A new test to monitor multiple sclerosis

Quebec software has been approved by Health Canada to help monitor multiple sclerosis. ETNA-MS uses eye movements to assess disease progression.

“There is typically a wait of eight to nine months for patients to see a neurologist specializing in multiple sclerosis,” explains Étienne de Villers-Sidani, neurologist at The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital). “The software can be used by a non-specialist neurologist and perhaps even eventually by a family doctor. Closer monitoring of the disease will make it possible to use the right medications for the different stages. »

ETNA-MS was validated in 350 patients from several Canadian and American hospitals by Innodem Neurosciences, the company founded by Dr.r from Villers-Sidani. The pharmaceutical company Novartis helped with the process.

“This approach should make it possible to take full advantage of advances in medications for multiple sclerosis,” said Diego Mena Martínez, Quebec director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Pilot project

Around ten Canadian multiple sclerosis clinics are currently participating in a pilot project to see the effects of closer monitoring of the disease with the software, in order to negotiate reimbursement for its use with governments and medical insurers. According to the Dr de Villers-Sidani, almost half of patients see their disease progress each year.

American approval will be sought in 2025, with a second version of ETNA-MS, which will also monitor the cognitive aspects of multiple sclerosis. “These cognitive aspects are less taken into account currently, even if there are significant impacts on quality of life. » These cognitive effects include difficulty concentrating.

Ultimately, the Dr de Villers-Sidani believes ETNA-MS could be used to diagnose multiple sclerosis. “To do this, we would need to be able to distinguish the impact on eye movement of multiple sclerosis and other causes, such as tumors or strokes. »

He also works on the links between eye movements and other neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Changes in eye movements caused by neurological diseases have been known since the 19th century.e century.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that affects 90,000 Canadians, with an average age at diagnosis of 43 years. The disease causes muscle weakness which can lead to difficulties with locomotion and fine motor skills, and vision and cognitive problems.

Learn more

  • Three more time
    Multiple sclerosis affects women three times more than men.

    Source: Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

    Eight years
    Canadians with multiple sclerosis die eight years younger than average.

    SOURCE : Neurology

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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