Quantifying disability in multiple sclerosis (MS) is important in clinical trials as a measurement of drug effect. However, the current rating scales are thought to be insensitive to the changes that occur over time in MS. We are using quantitative measures of strength and sensation to determine if this approach may be better than the usual clinical rating scales called Expanded Status Disability Scale (EDSS) and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC).
We have been able to demonstrate that quantitative assessments of spinal cord function, in MS patients, such as vibration perception thresholds, can give us more specific neurological information. This information may be vital to evaluate the efficacy of future therapies or rehabilitation programs. Collaborators include Drs. Kathy Zackowski, Scott Newsome and Peter Calabresi.