b'MS Focus Activities2021 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers MeetingBy Cherie BinnsDuring the final week of October, thesuppressed. These drugs include Ocrevus, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis CentersRituxan,andKesimpta.Personsreceiving held its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., andthis category of medication may not develop virtually to the wider MS treatment community.antibodies to COVID-19 after receiving the This particular week offered classes andvaccine but studies do strongly suggest they seminars on a wide variety of topics relatedare mounting a strong T cell response when to MS. I will focus on those topics related to theexposedtothevirusthatappearstooffer current COVID-19 pandemic and its effect onsome protection against severe disease. the MS population; the nancial burden thatThe vaccine has not been shown to worsen people with MS and their families face; andthe course of MS in anyone, but individuals the progress in the research arena for trackingmay have a day or two of elevated temperature and treating disease progression.as the immune system responds to the vaccine MS in the time of COVID and that elevation may make it seem, to some, COVID-19 has affected the MS populationas if the vaccine is worsening their MS. This in ways that were not anticipated when wepasses generally within a day or two with no rst began seeing the virus or even when we rstlasting effect on disease course or MRI ndings.started vaccinating people. It is recommendedThere are currently about 40 tests commercially that all persons with MS, regardless of age oravailable to see whether an individual has type of MS, receive a vaccine to prevent severedeveloped antibodies after receiving the vaccine infection. Those who are not on a disease- or having an infection, but only one of them modifying therapy are not consideredhas been approved by the FDA as a reliable immunocompromised, nor are those on anymeans to track vaccine effectiveness. That is of the injectable medications (with theQuest Diagnostics Semiqualitative Spike exception of Kesimpta, which will be addressedProtein test and it can be administered later). Aubagio and Tecdera do not causeapproximately four weeks after receiving the immunosuppression but the S1P modulators,vaccine or booster to assess levels of protection. such as Gilenya and Mayzent, may in someSeveral speakers throughout the week noted individuals or those who have taken thesethat their patients on Ocrevus and Rituxan medicationsforlongerthana year. Thosewere not mounting any antibodies and those people with MS who are receiving a class ofon Kesimpta did not seem to mount them medication that depletes B cells in an effort toafter a year or more on that medication. It minimize inammation and damage in thewas stressed that prior to starting a patient on central nervous system do become immuno- one of these drugs that the complete two-dose 39 msfocusmagazine.org'