More MS news articles for June 2001

The Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite a Reliable Measure, Study Shows

http://www.nationalmssociety.org/articles.asp?SMContentIndex=0&SMContentSet=0

FaxWatch Inc.- June 21, 2001

In a recent study, researchers sought to assess the practice effects, reliability and validity of the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) measure—a test that measures leg, arm and cognitive function.

The study included 436 patients who were participants of the International Multiple Sclerosis Secondary Progressive Avonex Controlled trial. These patients underwent three baseline MSFC testing sessions prior to randomization.

The study “confirmed the excellent reliability of the MSFC when standardized procedures are used to train examiners and to assess patients,” the authors wrote.

The investigators noted that compared with the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS),which is used by physicians to follow the progression of MS disability and to evaluate treatment results for similar groupings of patients,“the MSFC [assessed] aspects of neurologic function not measured by the EDSS.”

Therefore, the MSFC “will be more sensitive to detect change over time and better able to demonstrate a therapeutic effect when one exists,” they concluded.

The study appears in the June issue of Archives of Neurology.

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