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Funding This work was supported by grants-in-aid for scientific research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (22229008), and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan.
Competing interests Dr Fujihara has received honoraria for speaking or consulting and research support from Bayer Schering Pharma, a manufacturer of interferon-β-1b.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.