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Early relapses after the first dose of natalizumab in active multiple sclerosis patients.

Author(s): Centonze D, Furlan R, Gasperini C, Salvetti M, Battistini L

Affiliation(s): Department of Neuroscience, Neurologic Clinics, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy. centonze@uniroma2.it

Publication date & source: 2008-09, Mult Scler., 14(8):1137-8. Epub 2008 Aug 13.

BACKGROUND: Natalizumab is prescribed in Italy in patients who experienced at least two clinical relapses during a 12-month therapy with other approved immunomodulatory agents. RESULTS: In 7 of 35 patients selected on the basis of these recommendations, we have observed clinical relapses occurring within 24 h after the first dose of natalizumab. CONCLUSION: The mechanism by which a first injection of natalizumab may precipitate a clinical relapse in patients with MS is unknown. We speculate that natalizumab can promote the release of inflammatory mediators from lymphocytes present in the central nervous system at the time of the first infusion, thus favoring the clinical manifestation of a pre-existing active lesion.

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