Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic demyelinating disorder, is characterized by recurrent neurological deficits or progressive impairment with a high risk of permanent disability. Since the exact pathophysiology and etiology remain still unclear, no curing therapy is currently available. However, several treatments with beneficial effect on relapse rate such as the first line therapies interferon-beta and glatiramer acetate were approved for relapsing-remitting MS. One new important tool in the therapy of MS is the use of monoclonal antibodies. Natalizumab is the first and so far only monoclonal antibody that is approved for MS treatment by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. In addition to natalizumab other monoclonal antibodies previously used in cancer and other autoimmune disorders or even newly developed for MS are now being tested in clinical trials. With their high target specificity and efficacy monoclonal antibodies are a promising treatment approach in MS. This review summarizes the present knowledge on the use, effectiveness and safety of monoclonal antibodies in MS treatment.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, monoclonal antibodies, alemtuzumab, daclizumab, natalizumab, rituximab, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, therapy
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