Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BackgroundThe Oxford Big Data Institute, multiple sclerosis (MS) physicians and Novartis aim to address unresolved questions in MS with a novel comprehensive clinical trial data set.ObjectiveThe objective of this study is to describe the Novartis-Oxford MS (NO.MS) data set and to explore the relationships between age, disease activity and disease worsening across MS phenotypes.MethodsWe report key characteristics of NO.MS. We modelled MS lesion formation, relapse frequency, brain volume change and disability worsening cross-sectionally, as a function of patients' baseline age, using phase III study data (≈8000 patients).ResultsNO.MS contains data of ≈35,000 patients (>200,000 brain images from ≈10,000 patients), with >10 years follow-up. (1) Focal disease activity is highest in paediatric patients and decreases with age, (2) brain volume loss is similar across age and phenotypes and (3) the youngest patients have the lowest likelihood (<25%) of disability worsening over 2 years while risk is higher (25%-75%) in older, disabled or progressive MS patients. Young patients benefit most from treatment.ConclusionNO.MS will illuminate questions related to MS characterisation, progression and prognosis. Age modulates relapse frequency and, thus, the phenotypic presentation of MS. Disease worsening across all phenotypes is mediated by age and appears to some extent be independent from new focal inflammatory activity.

Original publication




Journal article


Multiple sclerosis (Houndmills, Basingstoke, England)

Publication Date





2062 - 2076


Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland.


Brain, Humans, Multiple Sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive, Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting, Disease Progression, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cohort Studies, Phenotype, Aged, Child, Child, Preschool