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Columbus Man First in Nation To Receive New Multiple Sclerosis Treatment at OhioHealth

Neuroscience+Center+Exterior_FinalImageOn Feb. 1st, 2023, Dante Crumbley was the first person in the United Sates to receive the hour long, twice-a-year infusion of a new medication for Multiple Sclerosis called Briumvi. His first out of two treatments took place at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital. 

For the past decade, 32-year old, Dante Crumbley, has battled with multiple sclerosis. When diagnosed, he received a phone call the same day for the results of a recent MRI. He recalls not feeling scared, but he wanted to know more about what this meant for his life moving forward. 

Crumbley tells Nathaniel Shuda with Columbus Dispatch, “It was like, ‘Yeah, I need my life; I need to be able to enjoy my life.’ I was having issues with my legs and with walking and with running, so I was like ‘We need to get this under control’.” 

Multiple Sclerosis is a potentially disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. Currently, there are many personalized treatment plans to suppress the symptoms of neurological issues, and brain and spinal cord damage. There is currently no known cure for the disease. 

Jacqueline Nicholas, MD, is the chief of neuroimmunology and multiple sclerosis, and director of MS research at the OhioHealth Multiple Sclerosis Center. Dr. Nicholas tells the Columbus Dispatch, “Researchers continue to look for new ways of suppressing its symptoms, which include neurological issues and can result in brain or spinal cord damage,” 

Dr. Nicholas has treated Crumbley since 2015. “We’re really excited about it. Now to be able to come in and receive that medicine in an hour, twice a year is quite a move forward.” she says. “The earliest treatments for the disease came out in the 1990s, and involved self-administered, at-home injections that not everyone could tolerate and weren’t quite as effective for some patients.” 

OhioHealth was also involved in the multisite, multinational trial that led to the FDA approving Briumvi in Dec. 2022. Chief of general neurology and principal trial investigator, Geoffrey Eubank, MD, says “We love doing the research because we know that we need to keep getting better with this disease. We haven’t mastered it, but we’re getting better every year that goes by. It’s really exciting to have patients willing to be part of the process.” 

Dr. Eubank says, “We’ve been doing clinical research here for over a quarter of a century on MS specifically, and we've been involved in many of the major trials with the drugs that are coming to fruition." 

“It is still too soon to tell how Crumbley is responding to the new treatment,” explains Dr. Nicholas, “Clinical trials showed it reduced relapse rates by over 50% and shut down active inflammation by 97 percent compared to pills. It’s a highly effective therapy and an excellent option for a patient who has newly diagnosed MS or very active MS.” 

Crumbley has his first MRI in six months to ensure the therapy is working, and MS is not progressing. He is staying optimistic and feels fortune that the new treatment will allow him to live his life as he has since he was first diagnosed. 

To learn more about Multiple Sclerosis care at OhioHealth, click here

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