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Protocol Details

The Effect of Corticosteroids on Inflammation at the Edge of Acute Multiple Sclerosis Plaques: An Investigator-Blinded Study

This study is currently recruiting participants.

Summary | Eligibility | Citations | Contacts




Sponsoring Institute

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Recruitment Detail

Type: Participants currently recruited/enrolled
Gender: Male & Female
Min Age: 18 Years
Max Age: N/A

Referral Letter Required


Population Exclusion(s)

Adults who are or may become unable to consent;
Pregnant Women;

Special Instructions

Currently Not Provided


Centripetal Enhancement;
7 Tesla;

Recruitment Keyword(s)



Multiple Sclerosis

Investigational Drug(s)


Investigational Device(s)



Drug: Methylprednisolone
Drug: Prednisone

Supporting Site

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke


Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. MS lesions can appear on the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans in many ways. Sometimes they light up from the outer edge and fill inward. This is called ring enhancement. Researchers think this type of lesion may not heal as well as others. Corticosteroids are the standard treatment to reduce symptoms of MS relapse. But there is no standard treatment for people with enhancing MS lesions without signs of MS relapse. Researchers want to see if a short-term high-dose course of corticosteroids helps heal those lesions.


To study the effects of short-term high-dose corticosteroids on ring-enhancing MS.


Adults ages 25 and older who:

-Have MS and a rim-enhancing lesion on a prior brain MRI

-Are enrolled in another NINDS protocol


Participants will be screened under another protocol

Participants will be randomly assigned to get either no treatment or 3 days of treatment with a corticosteroid.

Participants will have:

-1 baseline visit

-3 days of high-dose steroids, intravenous or oral. If IV, participants will receive methylprednisolone by IV each day. Participants will also be prescribed medicine to protect their stomach.

-Follow-up visits will be at week 13 and week 25 after randomization to treatment or no treatment.

Visits include medical history and physical exam. Participants will have blood and urine tests. Participants will also have neurological exams and MRIs. Participants lie on a table that slides into a cylinder. They are in the scanner 1.5-2 hours. They get a dye through a catheter: A needle guides a thin plastic tube into an arm vein.

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-Multiple sclerosis, as defined by the 2017 Revised McDonald Criteria;

-Age 25 or older;

-Ability to provide informed consent;

-Able to participate in study procedures and provide high-quality clinical research and imaging data, based on limited artifacts on prior MRI scans and, when possible to determine;

-Presence of a gadolinium enhancing lesion on the screening (3T or 7T) brain MRI that demonstrates either centripetal/rim enhancement or a phase rim, or both;

-Simultaneously participates in another screening or natural history protocol within the NINDS Neuroimmunology Clinic at the time of study entry.

-Willing to use birth control if able to conceive a child


-Medical contraindications for MRI (e.g., any non organic implant or other device such as a cardiac pacemaker or infusion pump or other metallic implants, objects, or body piercings that are not MRIcompatible or cannot be removed);

-Psychological contraindications for MRI (e.g., claustrophobia), to be assessed at the time the medical history is collected;

-Treatment with systemic steroids in previous 30 days (non-systemic administration of steroids, such as topical or local injection, is acceptable);

-Experiencing new neurological symptoms, with onset in previous 2 weeks, attributable to MS relapse;

-Pregnancy or current breastfeeding;

-Screening labs demonstrating estimated glomerular filtration rate <60 mL/min;

-Known hypersensitivity to gadolinium-based contrast agents;

-Medical contraindications to corticosteroid administration (e.g., diabetes, gastric ulcer)

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Not Provided

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Principal Investigator

Referral Contact

For more information:

Daniel S. Reich, M.D.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Joan M. Ohayon, C.R.N.P.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
BG 10 RM 5C442
(301) 496-3825

Office of Patient Recruitment
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Building 61, 10 Cloister Court
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Toll Free: 1-800-411-1222
Local Phone: 301-451-4383
TTY: 1-866-411-1010

Clinical Trials Number:


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