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Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation

Dr Florian Rakers

florian_rakers

 

Effects of an MS relapse therapy with methylprednisolone during pregnancy on offspring cognitive function, brain development, stress sensitivity, and behavior

 

Florian Rakers is a neurologist and researcher at Jena University Hospital. He and his research team will investigate the effects of an MS relapse therapy with methylprednisolone during pregnancy on offspring cognitive function, brain development, stress sensitivity and behavior.

 

Most disease-modifying drugs for MS are not approved for use during pregnancy and are therefore discontinued. Hence, MS relapses are common during pregnancy. Guidelines generally recommend treating MS relapses during pregnancy with the synthetic glucocorticoid methylprednisolone, which is able to pass the placental barrier. Even though glucocorticoids are essential for fetal development, supraphysiological concentrations may interfere with the development of the fetal brain.

 

Dr Florian Rakers will investigate if fetal exposure to methylprednisolone due to treatment for MS relapse during pregnancy has deleterious effects on brain development and, consequently, neurocognition in later life in a retrospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study in children and adolescents aged 8 to 18 years.

 

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