Project details


    Multiple Sclerosis disease activity and SARS-COV2 pandemic: a population based study from the Italian MS Registry


  • Data start Data end
    2021-08-25 2022-12-31



    Introduction and aims
    Environmental factors, in particular infections, are risk factors for multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity. Aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of the SARS-COV2 pandemic on disease activity in the MS population from the Italian MS Registry (RISM).
    We compare the incidence of clinical/radiological disease activity occurring during the pandemic phase (Jan 2020-Jul 2021) and the pre-pandemic period (Jan 2018-Jul 2019) in the MS population followed during boths periods, according to different regions of residence. We investigated potential differences in the neurological functional system affected.

    18669 out of 72959 patients had visits registered in the pre-pandemic and pandemic periods and were analysed. 4312 relapses were registered in 3306 patients (17.7%, relapse rate (RR)=0.23) in the pre-pandemic period, while 1206 relapses were reported for 1054 patients (5.6%, RR=0.06) in the pandemic period (chi-square test, p<0.0001). The exploration of potential differences in functional system involved was limited by the different number of missing data between the two preiods. A total of 38182 MR data were reported for 14382 patients in the pre-pandemic period while 20329 MR data were reported for 9849 patients in the pandemic: 2194 (5.7%) and 912 (4.5%) gadolinium-positive scans were respectively recorded in the 2 period (chi-square, p<0.0001).

    A reduced disease activity was observed during the pandemic period compared to the pre-pandemic: this may be ascribedto an overall decrease in the risk of infectios as results of lockdown, social distancing, isolation strategies and hygiene measures, supporting the role ofviral infections as triggers of inflammation in MS.

    Pubblicazioni e Comunicazioni a Congressi/ Publications and Congress Presentations
    poster presentation at the next EAN Congress (Budapest July, 1-4)



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Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla – FISM – Ente del Terzo Settore/ETS e, in forma abbreviata, FISM ETS.
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