Reaction to Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Differs Between Black and White Patients

Reaction to Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Differs Between Black and White Patients

Researchers gave 168 patients—134 with MS and 32 with (NMOSD)—infusions of rituximab or ocrelizumab, therapies used to treat autoimmune diseases. The therapies are meant to help destroy B cells in blood circulation as B cells play a role in abnormal autoimmune responses in people with MS and NMOSD. Scientists found that Black and white patients showed no difference in B-cell levels when measuring blood samples between four and six months after their infusions. But between six and 12 months after receiving the infusions, researchers learned that 76% of Black patients exhibited detectable levels of B cells, compared to about 33% of white patients. Researchers plan to conduct additional studies to determine whether a quicker resurgence of B cells in Black people may mean that this population is more likely to face increased disease activity.

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