Mission of the Foundation
We are dedicated to people with Multiple Sclerosis with empathy, resourcefulness, and responsibility.
Our goal is to provide funds and other assistance to people with Multiple Sclerosis of qualified need to assist with their quality of life. We are devoted to advocacy and to provide resources and current information for obtaining additional benefits. Funds will be secured through endowments and charitable events to meet this mission.
(From Ochsner letter)
Being immunosuppressed on certain disease modifying therapies (DMT) may put individuals at increased risk of serious illness from a COVID-19 infection. Both patients and providers have wondered in recent weeks whether we should make changes in patients' DMTs. The truth is there is no sound evidence available currently to guide us with confidence as to whether such changes are advisable, or whether they would do more harm than good. This is a rapidly evolving situation, however, and our recommendations may change as we learn more.
Currently at the Ochsner MS Center, we are NOT recommending any blanket changes to DMT regimens that we provide to our patients. Decisions regarding DMT should always be individualized, and we continue to believe individualized decisions are the best course of action during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you'd like to consider making a change to your DMT, please reach out to us to make an appointment.
The National MS Society released new guidelines this week regarding COVID-19. We agree with these new guidelines. The link is here: https://www.nationalmssociety.org/About-the-Society/News/What-You-Need-to-Know-about-Coronavirus General Considerations https://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-you-need-to-know-about-Coronavirus-(COVID-19)
- All people living with MS and related disorders should follow CDC guidelines to limit exposure to COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fprevention-treatment.html
- People on the following DMTs are not immunosuppressed: Avonex, Betaseron, Rebif, Plegridy, Extavia, Copaxone, Glatopa, Glatiramer
- People on the following DMTs have low to intermediate immunosuppression: Aubagio, Gilenya, Tecfidera, Vumerity, Ocrevus, Rituxan, Tysabri, Mavenclad, Mayzent, Cellcept, Imuran, Remicade. We recommend patients on these medications follow additional CDC guidelines for those thought to be at higher risk for serious illness for COVID-19 to limit exposure to the virus : https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html
- People who have received Lemtrada within the past year are significantly immunosuppressed. We will reach out to you with individual recommendations.
- People who are immunosuppressed and who are also at high occupational risk of being exposed to COVID-19 (including certain jobs in healthcare, deathcare, waste management, and airline operations), may consider a change in job duty in the short-term to limit occupational exposure to the virus. Please send your MS Center provider a portal message if you feel you are at high occupational risk for COVID-19 exposure.
- All people over the age of 70 are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill from a COVID-19 infection. People over the age of 70 who also are immunosuppressed on a DMT should be even more careful about limiting exposure to the virus.