Podcast on B Cell-Targeting Therapies and Other Multiple Sclerosis Concerns During COVID-19

Neurol Ther. 2022 Jun;11(2):515-524. doi: 10.1007/s40120-021-00321-9. Epub 2022 Jan 23.


The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to raise questions for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their healthcare providers. Common questions have included whether people living with MS are at higher risk of COVID-19 or of severe disease, whether certain disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS heighten COVID-19 risk, and if/how COVID-19 vaccinations should be administered in relation to MS treatments. Anti-CD20 therapies, which target B cells, have been of particular interest given the role B cells play in the response to both the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and vaccines. As more data surfaces and the pandemic evolves, additional questions have emerged regarding the administration of booster shots and differences between B cell-targeting therapies and other DMTs in terms of their immunomodulatory effects. In this podcast article, MS specialists discuss these challenges to MS care during the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent data which are currently informing their clinical decision-making. As the pandemic evolves, providers should continually partner with people living with MS to achieve MS treatment goals informed by the latest developments in COVID-19. Video: Podcast Video (MP4 388175 KB).

Keywords: B-cell-targeting therapy; Boosters; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Disease modifying therapy; Multiple sclerosis; SARS-CoV-2; Vaccines.