The authors received no funding for the study.
Conflicts of interest
Philipp Albrecht received research grants from Novartis, Biogen Idec, Teva, Merz Pharmaceuticals and travel/accommodation/meeting expenses from Novartis, Teva, Biogen Idec, Merz Pharmaceuticals, Ipsen, Esai and GlaxoSmithKline. Christine Blasberg declares no conflicts of interest. Marius Ringelstein received speaker honoraria from Novartis and Bayer Vital GmbH and travel reimbursement from Bayer Schering and Biogen Idec. Ann-Kristin Müller received travel grants from Novartis. Ella-Maria Kadas declares nothing to disclose. David Finis received speaker honoraria and travel grants from Thea-Pharma, TearScience and Oculus. David Finis is now an employee of Bayer Pharma AG, Wuppertal, Germany. Rainer Guthoff received speaker honoraria and travel/accommodation/meeting expenses from Novartis and Bayer Schering. Orhan Aktas received grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG), Eugène Devic European Network (EU-FP7), German Ministry of Education and Research, Schaufler Foundation, honoraria for lectures from Almirall, Novartis, Bayer, Genzyme, Teva, Merck Serono, Biogen, Roche and Medimmune, and received travel/accommodation/meeting expenses from Novartis, Bayer Schering and Merck Serono. Hans-Peter Hartung received grants from the Walter and Ilse Rose Foundation, the Eugène Devic European Network (EU-FP7) and the German Ministry of Education and Research, received honoraria for consultancy from Bayer Health Care, Biogen Idec, Geneuro, Genzyme, Medimmune, Novartis, Opexa, Receptos, Teva, Sanofi Aventis, and Hoffman La Roche and holds patents. Friedemann Paul received research support, travel grants and personal compensation for activities with Bayer, Teva, Sanofi Genzyme, Merck Serono, Biogen and Novartis. He is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG Exc 257), the Germany Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF Competence Network Multiple Sclerosis), the European Framework Program (EU-FP7, http://www.combims.eu) and the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation. Alexander U. Brandt has received consulting fees and speaker honoraria from Novartis, Biogen, Bayer, Teva, Motognosis and Heidelberg Engineering. He is named as co-inventor on a patent application encompassing the optic nerve head volume algorithm. Axel Methner received research and travel grants from Biogen Idec, Novartis and TEVA Pharma.
The local ethics committee of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf approved this prospective observational study. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.