Risk factors for disease activity in early multiple sclerosis


  • Presence of both abnormal serum neurofilament light (sNfL) and a thin ganglion cell and inner plexiform layer (GCIP) in a single patient was synergistically prognostic of future disease activity in early multiple sclerosis (MS). Abnormal sNfL alone was also a prognostic indicator, but with a smaller effect size.

Why this matters ?

  • MS has a highly variable clinical course that can be difficult to prognose in patients with early disease, including clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and early relapsing-remitting (RR)MS.

  • Biomarkers of disease progression are under investigation. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a technique for visualizing retinal features. Reduced GCIP thickness per OCT has been associated with future disease activity in people with CIS. sNfL is a biomarker of neuroaxonal damage associated with increased risk of disability worsening in early MS.

  • It is possible that GCIP thickness and sNfL could both help to predict future disease activity in patients with early MS, perhaps with an additive effect.