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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Eating Fish Might Guard Against MS

HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, March 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat fish regularly seem to have a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis, researchers report.
How much fish makes a difference? In this study, people who ate fish at least once a week -- or who ate fish one to three times a month and took daily fish oil supplements -- had a 45 percent lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to folks who ate fish less than once a month and who didn't take fish oil supplements.
"Our study showed one more potential benefit of a seafood diet," said study author Dr. Annette Langer-Gould, who noted that eating fish regularly has already been linked to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. She's the regional lead for clinical and translation neuroscience for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.


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Continue to Show Appreciation for Your Support Partners

MS Awareness Month is off to a great start! We want to thank those who have joined us — along with Biogen and other MS organizations — to help recognize all the support partners who help us rise above MS by participating in #MySupportHero! We encourage you to continue sharing your personal messages of thanks.

Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

·       Recognize someone on social media using the #MySupportHero hashtag, and consider posting a photo or short video honoring this special person in your life

·       Update your social media profile photo with our official #MySupportHero virtual flower symbolizing your support partner appreciation — download here

·       Share #MySupportHero posts from Above MS, @BiogenMS and MS Views & News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Visit to learn how the MS community is participating in #MySupportHero, and find resources for caregivers who support people living with MS in different aspects of their lives.

Note: Biogen does not have any involvement with content unrelated to #MySupportHero on MS Views & News’ website and social media pages.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Merck’s MS Therapy Evobrutinib Significantly Reduces Brain Lesions, Phase 2 Trial Shows

Merck KGaA’s evobrutinib led to significant reductions in relapsing multiple sclerosis patients’ brain and spinal cord lesions, compared with a placebo, a Phase 2b clinical trial showed.
Researchers measured the number of lesions at weeks 12, 16, 20 and 24.
Evobrutinib, also known as M2951, is an oral inhibitor of a protein called Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK), which is vital for the development and functioning of several immune cells. These include antibody-producing B-cells and macrophages.
By inhibiting BTK, evobrutinib suppresses autoantibody-producing cells. Preclinical-trial studies have suggested it could be an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases such as MS.
The ongoing Phase 2b trial (NCT02975349) is taking place at the EMD Serono Research & Development Institute in the United States. It enrolled 267 patients with relapsing MS.



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Monday, March 12, 2018

Learning to Advocate for yourself

Learning to Advocate for Yourself with MS: A Guide

When you speak up or act on behalf of your rights and well-being, you’re self-advocating. If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), self-advocacy enables you to have more control over how your condition affects your life.
Self-advocacy is important in all aspects of your life. Your family, friends, healthcare team, and co-workers all need to know how they can support you and help you minimize the impact of your MS. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you need to.

At home

Your family is an important support network in your MS journey. Be clear about the support you need, but also about the ways in which you’re still independent and capable. If your MS symptoms are creating new limitations, adjust your household roles accordingly. For example, you may no longer be able to carry a basketful of laundry up the stairs, but you could take over someone else’s job of folding.
Remind family members about the invisible cognitive problems that can develop with MS. This may include problems with high-level brain functions such as memory, focus, language, or problem-solving. The next time you’re forgetful or unable to focus, your family won’t misinterpret it as a lack of caring. When you’re tired, tell them — don’t assume they already know. Make sure that you communicate clearly and regularly.
Recognize and respect that each person in your household has their own coping mechanism when faced with a challenging situation


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MS Altered sensations

In multiple sclerosis, it is common to experience uncomfortable, altered sensations, such as pins and needles, burning or crawling feelings, numbness or tightness. Although the feelings seem to be in the skin, they are actually due to damage caused by MS which disrupts messages passing along nerves in the central nervous system.
These feelings are a type of nerve (neuropathic) pain and may be classified as dysaesthesia, paraesthesia or allodynia by health professionals.

What are altered sensations?

Altered sensations can occur in any part of the body, most commonly in the face, body, arms or legs, but may also include the genital area in both men and women. It may occur on just one side of the body or on both sides.
There are many ways that people with multiple sclerosis describe altered sensations including:
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Crawling
  • Numbness
  • Prickling
  • Sensitive skin
  • Wetness
  • Stabbing
  • Electric shock
  • Itching
  • Trickling

Although altered sensations in MS may feel itchy, there is no rash or sign of skin irritation unless you’ve been tempted to scratch the itchiness.
Health professionals may ask you whether:
  • there is a lack of sensation, as in numbness, or a gain of new sensation, for example a burning feeling
  • the altered sensation is painful or not
  • the feeling is set off by touch, heat or other triggers or just happens for no obvious reason.
Your altered sensations may be classed as:
  • Allodynia where something, like a light touch, feels painful even though it shouldn’t cause pain
  • Paraesthesia which is an annoying unusual sensations, like tingling or numbness, which may be triggered or just happen spontaneously
  • Dysaesthesia, which is a more intense, sometimes painful, feeling which happens spontaneously
  • Sensory symptoms, a more general term for altered sensations.

What causes altered sensations?

Although it feels like something is going on in the skin, the sensations are really due to damage caused by MS to the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This damage interferes with the normal transmission of messages to the brain. The brain can’t interpret the signals it is receiving as it is outside its experience. To deal with this, it tries to relate it to something the body has experienced before such as itching or burning. Alternatively, the brain may relate it to some other sensation that it can imagine like having insects crawling all over you.


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Sunday, March 11, 2018

GREAT Point to share: 4 Things to Consider Before Getting a Service Dog


Having a service dog can greatly enhance the life of someone living with a chronic disease. They allow patients to regain some of their independence by helping with small everyday tasks like opening and closing doors, fetching meds, acting as a prop or support as their owner stands, switching on lights and attracting attention in cases of emergency. As well as the help they give people with disabilities or illnesses, service dogs make great companions.
However, not every home is suitable for a service dog. According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, prospective owners need to consider a few things before deciding whether or not a service dog is right for them.

Assess your accommodations. 
You need to live in a place big enough for a service dog. Other things to take into consideration are whether or not you have a yard and if it’s secure.
Do you have any other pets?
Most service dog providers recommend that the dog is the only pet in the household, so if you already have a dog or a cat, it may be a problem.
Can you take care of the dog?
Having a service dog is a two-way street. You will need to be able to feed, groom, and clean up after your dog or have someone else who can.
Can you afford a service dog?
In addition to the initial cost of the animal, it costs an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 a year to look after a service dog, including food and healthcare. The average service dog stays with an individual or family for around eight years.


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Video: What is a Multiple Sclerosis Relapse?

What is an MS relapse? This video takes a deep look into answering the question "What is an MS relapse?" See relapse notations showing below the video banner

By: Aaron Boster, MD RELAPSE DEFINITIONS Attack, relapse, flare up, exacerbations - they all means same thing. Both formal and informal definitions of MS attacks are reviewed. Formal: something like "an acute or subacute onset of neurologic symptoms, occurs in absence of a fever, lasts longer than 24 hours, occurs in absence of a fever. The person with MS may recover either completely or partially from this. If recovery is incomplete, then the person may accrue neurologic deficit and disability." Sorry I know that's dense. It's worth considering each element but that's outside the scope of this video. An informal definition might be "something bad happens (new neurological symptoms) and it won't go away after 24-48 hours!" PSEUDO-RELAPSE We also discuss the concept of a "pseudo-attack" or "pseudo-relapse". This is the recurrence or worsening of old symptoms under certain circumstances such as overheating, overexertion, fevers, infections. WORKING UP AN MS RELAPSE For educational purposes, we then talk about important steps to take when working up a relapse. These include being seen and examined by you provider and ruling out infections (most commonly UTI). HOW TO TREAT AN MS RELAPSE We discuss the use of 1st line therapy for treating MS attacks: high dose IV or oral steroids and discuss the differences. We discuss 2nd line options for severe attacks that are refractory to 1st line steroids. This includes IVIg, ACTH, and total plasma exchange (plasmapheresis). COMMENTS? QUESTIONS? How was your last attack treated? What was your last pseudo-attack triggered by? I'd love to hear your comments and questions below! NB: this video was for educational purposes only. Does not replace talking to your provider. We intend to EDUCATE, ENERGIZE & EMPOWER those impacted by Multiple Sclerosis. #WeHaveMS


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Fingolimod switch from an injectable linked to improved outcomes in relapsing MS

 – People with relapsing multiple sclerosis who switched from an injectable disease-modifying therapy to fingolimod after the randomized phase of the PREFERMS trial experienced improved annualized relapse rates, exposure-adjusted percentage brain volume loss, and satisfaction, compared with study participants who did not switch.
Of the 875 patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis, 254 or 58% of those initially randomized to an injectable disease-modifying therapy (iDMT) switched to fingolimod (Gilenya) during the 12-month study. Participants in the trial were permitted to switch therapy once after at least 3 months, or sooner if warranted for safety or efficacy reasons.
Dr. Samuel F. Hunter, a neurologist at Advanced Neurosciences Institute in Franklin, Tenn.Damian McNamara/Frontline Medical News
Dr. Samuel F. Hunter

“The majority of people switched therapy during the trial, and it was very disproportionate from injectable therapies to fingolimod,” said Samuel F. Hunter, MD, PhD, a neurologist at the Advanced Neurosciences Institute in Franklin, Tenn. 

Of those randomized to fingolimod at baseline, 90% remained on fingolimod; in contrast, only 35% of those who started on an injectable chose to remain on the same therapy. About 75% were on fingolimod therapy by the end of the study, he added.

Continue Reading


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High dose of novel compound for relapsing-remitting MS shows promise

– Early results of the novel human endogenous retrovirus-W antagonist GNbAC1 in a phase 2 trial of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis demonstrated evidence of remyelination at week 24 among high-dose users, but it did not meet its primary endpoint of active lesions seen on MRI.
In an interview at ACTRIMS Forum 2018, held by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, study author Robert Glanzman, MD, said that GNbAC1 is a monoclonal antibody that targets and blocks the envelope protein pHER-W ENV, a potent agonist of Toll-like receptor 4. It thereby inhibits TLR4-mediated pathogenicity, which includes activation of macrophages and microglia into proinflammatory phenotypes and direct inhibition of remyelination via TLR4.
Dr. Robert Glanzman, chief medical officer for Switzerland-based GeNeuroDoug Brunk/Frontline Medical News
Dr. Robert Glanzman
“Because we’re not directly suppressing the immune system, what we think we’re doing is taking away a driver of autoimmunity,” explained Dr. Glanzman, chief medical officer for Switzerland-based GeNeuro, which is developing GNbAC1.

In a study known as CHANGE-MS, 270 patients with relapsing-remitting MS were randomized to one of three doses of the GNbAC1 (6, 12, or 18 mg/kg), or placebo via monthly IV infusion over 6 months. The study was conducted at 70 centers in 13 European countries over the past 3 years. It had a 24-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled period, followed by a 24-week, dose-blind, active-only treatment period, with placebo patients randomized to the three different doses of GNbA1C. Brain MRI scans were performed at weeks 12, 16, 20, 24, and 48, to look for evidence of remyelination.
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