There are several tools and resources available to help manage your patients with SPMS and further your understanding of the disease itself, including:
MS Progression Discussion Tool is owned by Novartis Pharma AG and designed for use by healthcare professionals in clinical practice to facilitate patient interactions and support your understanding of progression. This tool does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, prediction, prognosis, or treatment.
A questionnaire developed by Novartis Pharma AG that can be used to help monitor changes in your patients MS symptoms and any impact this is having on their activities in the six months prior to their consultation.
(Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioural and Energy effectiveness Techniques to lifeStyle) – A self-management course provided by MS services (i.e. MS Society) aimed to help patients find methods to manage MS fatigue and explain it to other people.
Unmute MS Podcast Series
Unmute MS Podcast Series – an educational podcast series developed and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd. Developed for UK healthcare professionals to listen on-demand, this series unpicks the latest insights and current thinking around questions you most want unmuted in MS.
The MS Trust’s Advanced MS Champions programme
This was set up to help support those who need it most. An ‘Advanced MS Champion’ is a specialist health professional (either a specialist nurse or therapist), working as a member of the MS Team whose focus is care for people with advanced MS. The programme offers a package of support to ensure the professional development of the Champion, providing mentorship, education and access to resources. To learn more and see how you can get involved, visit their website.
My Story animation
My Story animation was developed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd and puts you in the shoes of a fictional character named Lucie, a 40-year-old woman diagnosed with RRMS five years ago. At some point during the next twenty years, Lucie will most likely transition to SPMS. Developed from the insights of real patients and a Steering Committee of MS experts, My Story aims to explore current clinical practice around SPMS and raise awareness about how it impacts on patients’ lives.
Tips and tools to identify the early signs of MS progression webinar
An interactive, conversation-based webinar, where the faculty discuss how to recognise the subtle signs and symptoms of progression to SPMS through the evaluation of the My Story interactive patient case study and a live remote patient consultation supported by Novartis.
Signals of Change
Recognising the early signs of progression to SPMS report – an article sponsored and written by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd in collaboration with expert contributors. The report explores four diverse perspectives from across the multidisciplinary team, as well as a person with MS, to discuss the landscape and challenges in SPMS diagnosis within the clinical and community setting.
talkMS is an MS hub available for your newly diagnosed MS patients, and includes a range of information including a comprehensive support programme, useful articles and a supportive online community. talkMS is hosted by talkhealth Partnership, a patient-centric online health community.
Living like you
Living like you is an online platform which aims to empower and support people impacted by MS to live full lives through sharing stories, top tips, and the latest research. This website is developed and funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.
Ready to Talk campaign
The Ready to Talk MS campaign aims to help people living with MS prepare for upcoming consultations and equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure they optimise the time they have with their healthcare team and seek more from their care.
SPMS is a stage of disease that occurs after RRMS, and is defined as progressive accumulated disability with or without occasional relapses, minor remissions, and plateaus1
The progression of MS from RRMS to SPMS in patients is very gradual, and typical pathophysiology associated with SPMS is thought to include peripheral and trapped inflammation2–4
SPMS is characterised by multiple symptoms, but an overall worsening of symptoms is typically described (including loss of cognitive function, worsening ambulation, muscle weakness, impaired vision, fatigue, and bladder symptoms)5,6
There are no established diagnostic methods or criteria to clearly assess the progression to SPMS; however, symptoms of cognitive and physical impairment allow for assessment of disease progression.7 Such methods include walking tests, MRI scans and EDSS, as well as clinical interviews and interventions8,9
As the disease progresses into the non-relapsing stage, the reversal of disability in patients becomes highly unlikely and the available treatment options also diminish. Hence, early intervention through pharmacological and non-pharmacological measures is important10
Whilst pharmacological methods are crucial for the management of disease progression and symptoms, SPMS affects all aspects of people’s lives – including work, family, and social life – which warrants a holistic approach to care, to meet the needs of people living with the condition11
EDSS, Expanded Disability Status Scale; GP, general practitioner; LV, lesion volume; MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; MS, multiple sclerosis; NHS, National Health Service; RRMS, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis; SPMS, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
- Lublin FD, Reingold SC. Neurology. 1996;46(4):907–911.
- Drendou CA, et al. Nat Rev Immunol. 2015;15(9):545–548.
- Kutzelnigg A, et al. Brain. 2005;128(Pt 11):2705–2712.
- Lassman H, et al. Nat Rev Neurol. 2012;8(11):647–656.
- Gross HJ, Watson C. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat.. 2017;13:1349–1357.
- Ziemssen T, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020;38:101861.
- Lublin FD, et al. Neurology. 2014;83(3):278–286.
- Tur C, et al. Nat Rev Neurol. 2018;14(2):75–93.
- Oh J, et al. Neurodegener Dis Manag. 2019;9(6):301–317.
- Giovannoni G, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2016 Sep;9 Suppl 1:S5–S48.
- Roberts M. Nursing Times. 2017;113(1):19–23.