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.