The importance of clinical trials in unraveling the mysteries of multiple sclerosis

Henry McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite a number of new therapies that are effective in reducing the inflammatory component of multiple sclerosis, the underlying cause of the disease remains uncertain. One of the most powerful tools available to an investigator to help in unraveling the underlying disease mechanisms in MS is the incorporation of careful imaging and laboratory studies into clinical trials. Regardless of the outcome of the trial with respect to modification of clinical disease, probing the biological effects of the treatment in relationship to the clinical outcome can provide important insights into the disease. Unfortunately, careful proof-of-principle laboratory studies are often not supported by the sponsors of clinical trials and mechanisms for rapid funding of supporting laboratory studies is difficult. Consequently important opportunities to better understand the disease are missed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-6
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical trials
  • Immunology
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Neurology


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