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Why do we need clinical trials in NMO?

Published on April 2, 2010

Dean Wingerchuk, MD – Mayo Clinic:

We need clinical trials in NMO to be able to gather better evidence for existing and new therapies towards curing the disease. Currently, we have several therapies that we use to treat NMO, all of which are meant to try to reduce the likelihood of having relapses, and therefore accumulating disability from the disease.

Based on our experience, we think that these drugs work, but the evidence to support it is rather weak. With all of the new therapies that are being developed, we need more stringent mechanisms to be able to understand, does an individual drug work? How well does it work? What is the tolerability, and what are the safety issues associated with these drugs?

With that better evidence, we’ll be able to understand which drugs to move forward with NMO and to use routinely and which ones should be discarded either because they don’t work, they don’t work as well as others, or they have important side effects or safety issues.


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