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Interferon β-1a prevented the development of clinically definite multiple sclerosis after a first demyelinating event

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 QUESTION: In patients with a first confirmed demyelinating event, does interferon β-1a reduce the incidence of clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS)?


Randomised {allocation concealed*}, blinded (patients, clinicians, and outcome assessors),* placebo controlled trial with 3 years of follow up (Controlled High Risk Subject Avonex Multiple Sclerosis Prevention Study [CHAMPS]). An interim analysis was planned.


50 clinical centres in North America.


383 patients (mean age 33 y, 75% women, 86% white) who had a first acute clinical demyelinating event confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Inclusion criteria were age 18–50 years; involvement of optic nerve, spinal cord, brain stem, or cerebellum; ≥2 clinically silent brain lesions ≥3 mm in diameter; and symptom onset <14 days from corticosteroid treatment and <27 days from …

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  • Source of funding: Biogen.

  • For correspondence: Dr L D Jacobs, Department of Neurology, Buffalo General Hospital, 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA. Fax +1 716 859 2430.

  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.