|A key question was whether the finding of differences in DMT use was caused by discrepancy in the availability of DMTs, or if they are less efficacious in some populations. “It’s very complex. I think it’s a combination of factors, because there’s no question that socioeconomic and cultural factors play a very important role in access to therapies in these particular groups,” said Victor Rivera, MD, during a Q&A session. Dr. Rivera, a distinguished professor emeritus at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, presented the study at the 2021 annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.
A lack of granularity in racial dataDr. Rivera noted that another presentation at AAN 2021 found that that Blacks may not respond as well to B-cell depletion agents, with B-cell counts repopulating more quickly. “That diminishes tremendously the efficacy of the therapy. I think it’s a combination of factors, not just the [socioeconomic and cultural] ones we discussed, but also biological, said Dr. Rivera.
“Their study reinforces current data from other studies, that there is a greater burden of disability in non-White groups,” said Daniel José Correa, MD, deputy chief of neurology at Montefiore and assistant professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, both in New York. who comoderated the session along with Payal Patel, MD, a pediatric neurologist from the University of Washington, Seattle. He noted similar limitations to other studies, namely that patients get lumped into categories of White, Black/African American, and Hispanic or non-Hispanic. Sometimes a Black Hispanic group can be analyzed, but there frequently isn’t enough data to include it. And there are many other populations that don’t get individual recognition, such as Caribbean Black; Native Americans from Central and South America; Persians; the Desi people of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; and subgroups of Whites.
Dr. Victor Rivera
Dr. Daniel José Correa