Press releases

Publication of a multicentre observational study, in the journal JAMA Neurology, to identify risk factors for the severity of COVID-19 in patients with multiple sclerosis in France

Multiple sclerosis (MS), red cells are dying (cell death). Astrocytes exposed to glycotoxic factor. ©Inserm/RIEGER F.

A study, aimed at identifying the risk factors for the severity of COVID-19 in patients with multiple sclerosis in France, was carried out by teams from the neurology department of the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital AP -HP, from the Brain Institute (Inserm / CNRS / Sorbonne University) at the Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital AP-HP, from Sorbonne University and the neurology service of the Strasbourg CHU. This work was carried out with the participation of all the centers and neurologists involved in the management of multiple sclerosis, thanks to the national networks FCRIN4MS, the French Observatory of MS (OFSEP) and the Société Francophone of the SEP (SFSEP).

The results of this study, which were published on June 26, 2020 in the journal JAMA Neurology, led to the publication of the first registry on multiple sclerosis and COVID-19. This register made it possible to provide concrete information in real time to guide the management of patients during the epidemic.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, which mainly affects young adults, and which can be responsible for a neurological handicap. In recent years, several immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory treatments have enabled major advances in the care of patients.

From the start of the COVID-19 epidemic, neurologists and patients have had many questions regarding the risk of COVID in patients with multiple sclerosis, particularly in relation to their basic therapy. We therefore set up a multicentre observational study whose objective is to identify the risk factors for COVID-19 severity in patients with multiple sclerosis in France.

More than 350 patients were included in the registry, and the teams identified as main factor of COVID-19 severity neurological handicap (measured by the EDSS score), followed by age and obesity, these 2 factors have also been identified in the general population. Conversely, long-term MS treatments are not associated with a higher risk of severe COVID. The mortality rate was 3.5%, slightly higher than the expected rate in this population with an average age of 44 years.

This is the first registry published on multiple sclerosis and COVID-19. It provided concrete, real-time information to guide the management of patients during the epidemic.

Press Contact

AP-HP Eléonore Duveau & Anne-Cécile Bard 01 40 27 30 00 rf.phpa@esserp.ecivres Inserm rf.mresni@esserp


Céline Louapre, MD; Nicolas Collongues, MD; Bruno Stankoff, MD; Claire Giannesini, MD; Caroline Papeix, MD; Caroline Bensa, MD; Romain Deschamps, MD; Alain Créange, MD; Abir Wahab, MD; Jean Pelletier, MD; Olivier Heinzlef, MD; Pierre Labauge, MD; Laurent Guilloton, MD; Guido Ahle, MD; Mathilde Goudot, MD; Kevin Bigaut, MD; David-Axel Laplaud, MD; Sandra Vukusic, MD; Catherine Lubetzki, MD; Jérôme De Sèze, MD; for the Covisep investigators Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes in Patients With Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Multiple Sclerosis JAMA Neurol. Published online June 26, 2020.