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WELCOME to Stu's Views & MS News, a product of MS Views and News, a Not-for-Profit 501(c3) organization. Founded in 2008. Providing Educational, Information and Resources to those affected by Multiple Sclerosis via live seminars and via the internet.

Key-Note: Our live MS educational seminars average approx 65 people per educational program and SINCE our first program in February 2010, we have hosted more than 90 educational programs in Florida. In 2013 we expanded to Georgia and in 2014 we have expanded further, into Alabama and North Carolina.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Show MUST Go On - a look at what MS feels like, for many

This was recorded years ago, and has been available on this blog almost since then... Click to watch this video and tell us how it makes you feel...


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

What Causes MS?

What causes MS?

In multiple sclerosis, damage to the myelin in the central nervous system (CNS) — and to the nerve fibers themselves — interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body.

CLICK this link to read this information





FINDING an MS Care Provider

The National MS Society's Partners in MS Care program recognizes and supports quality MS care. The program involves healthcare professionals in the areas of:
  • Center for Comprehensive MS Care: Additionally shown the ability to offer a multi-disciplinary model of care to address the often complex needs of many people with MS. They offer access to a full array of medical, psycho-social and rehabilitation services delivered in a coordinated fashion where providers share common goals for patient outcomes.
  • Neurologic Care: Neurologists with current knowledge and experience treating MS.
  • Rehabilitation: Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists with demonstrated knowledge in evaluating and treating people with MS.
  • Mental Health:  Psychologists, social workers, counselors, and marriage and family counselors.
All Partners are expected to communicate with all other healthcare providers who are involved in each individual's care. 

To find your Partner in MS Care, use the search tools on the left. New Partners in MS Care are regularly added. If you do not find what you are searching for, want personal assistance, or seek additional names of healthcare providers, please contact an MS Navigator.
Finding the right provider and learning to advocate for the care you need is important. Learn more about developing your healthcare team.

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Multiple Sclerosis Caregiving: Advice for Spouses and Partners

Medically Reviewed By Niya Jones, MD, MPH

All successful relationships require understanding, flexibility, and compromise, but these traits are even more important when multiple sclerosis affects both you and your loved ones.

When Multiple Sclerosis is Part of Your Relationship

Although the emotional impact of living with multiple sclerosis is obviously difficult for people with the disease, it can be tough on those closest to them, too. Besides supporting a loved one with multiple sclerosis, you must take care of yourself to stay healthy and be the kind of caregiver you want to be. It's important to find a balance and not get caught up in the what-ifs or fear of the unknown in your relationship. Instead, try to stay in the present and remember to look for the positives that come your way each day. "Multiple sclerosis affects the whole family, but not always in bad ways," notes Benjamin Greenberg, MD, deputy director of the multiple sclerosis program at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "People learn to overcome challenges together, and this can strengthen bonds among loved ones."

Click here to continue reading

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Aggravated By Genetic Alterations in Patients

genetic alteration in MSWhile the majority of scientists dedicated to multiple sclerosis research focus on genetic regulators of conditions such as autoimmunity, demyelination, inflammation, and neurodegeneration, a team from the University of Lubeck in Germany, led by Saleh M. Ibrahim, MD, PhD, focuses on genetic regulators of conduction velocity. The team is uncovering how certain genetic alterations aggravate disease in multiple sclerosis patients and mice with multiple sclerosis-like experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).
“Impairment of nerve conduction is a common feature in neurodegenerative and neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis,” stated Dr. Ibrahim, as reported by a press release from the publishing organization Elsevier. “Measurement of evoked potentials (whether visual, motor, or sensory) is widely used for diagnosis and recently also as a prognostic marker for multiple sclerosis.”
The gene culprit identified by Dr. Ibrahim’s group is the inositol polyphosphate-4-phosphatase, type II (INPP4b) gene. As detailed in the team’s article published in The American Journal of Pathology, “Nerve Conduction Velocity is Regulated by the Inositol Polyphosphate-4-Phosphatase II Gene,” polymorphisms, or two variants of the same gene, of Inpp4b produce different speeds of nerve conduction in multiple sclerosis patients and mice with EAE.
Dr. Ibrahim and colleagues made their discovery through several genomic approaches, including quantitative trait mapping, congenic mapping, in silico haplotype analyses, comparative genomics, and transgenic mice. After identifying Inpp4b as the gene behind the genetic locus EAE31, which was previously shown to control motor evoked potential latency and clinical onset of mouse EAE, the team analyzed the region in 8 mice strains.
Interestingly, the strains of mice could be placed into two categories based on the resultant amino acid sequence of INPP4B. One groups had the longer-latency SJL/J allele and the two amino acids arginine and proline, while the other group had the shorter-latency C57BL/10S allele and the two amino acids serine and histidine. “These data suggest that INPP4b structural polymorphism is associated with the speed of neuronal conduction,” stated Dr. Ibrahim. What’s more, mice with mutant Inpp4b had slower nerve conduction than control mice without the mutation.
Applying their findings to humans, the team investigated INPP4B polymorphisms in multiple sclerosis patients from Spain and Germany. Each group had over 300 cases of the mutation and controls (349 cases and 362 controls in Spain and 562 cases and 3,314 controls in Germany). When the cohorts were pooled, there was a statistical significance in the risk for aggravated multiple sclerosis symptoms due to a INPP4B polymorphism. However, looking at the cohorts individually, the Spanish cohort showed a significant association, while the German cohort did not. “The exact reason for the diverging effect across these populations remains unresolved,” commented Dr. Ibrahim.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

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Mallinckrodt Completes Acquisition Of Questcor Pharmaceuticals (maker of Acthar(R) Gel

-Creates a diversified, high-growth therapeutic portfolio, capable of delivering substantial, sustainable value for shareholders

- Significantly increases Mallinckrodt's scale, revenues, profitability and cash flow
- Expected to be immediately accretive to Mallinckrodt's fiscal 2014 adjusted diluted earnings per share; significantly accretive to adjusted diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2015

PR Newswire
DUBLIN, Aug. 14, 2014

DUBLIN, Aug. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mallinckrodt plc , a leading global specialty pharmaceutical company, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $5.8 billion. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Mallinckrodt's fiscal 2014 adjusted diluted earnings per share and significantly accretive to its adjusted diluted earnings per share in fiscal 2015.

The merger follows strong approval by both Mallinckrodt and Questcor shareholders at separate special meetings held today. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Questcor shareholders will receive $30.00 in cash and 0.897 of a Mallinckrodt ordinary share for each Questcor share.

"We are pleased to complete this transformative transaction and believe it will provide a strong, durable, well-diversified and sustainable platform, capable of generating significant future revenue and earnings growth for Mallinckrodt shareholders," said Mark Trudeau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mallinckrodt. "HP Acthar(R) Gel has demonstrated success in treating patients suffering from a variety of devastating and difficult-to-treat autoimmune and inflammatory illnesses. We are confident that Acthar will be a strong complement to Mallinckrodt's broadening portfolio of leading specialty pharmaceutical brands, and we look forward to leveraging our extensive manufacturing and scientific expertise, as well as our experience with advocacy and payer communities, to capitalize on the many opportunities it presents."
Mr. Trudeau added, "We are very pleased to welcome the Questcor team to Mallinckrodt. We are excited about our future prospects and the benefits that our collective efforts will have for patients, our investors and the communities that we serve."

As previously disclosed, commercial operations supporting HP Acthar Gel will function as a separate business within Mallinckrodt's Specialty Pharmaceuticals segment reporting to Mr. Trudeau. It will be known as the Autoimmune and Rare Diseases business within Mallinckrodt.

Mallinckrodt's financial advisor for the transaction was Barclays, and its legal advisors were Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Arthur Cox in Ireland.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals' financial advisor for the transaction was Centerview Partners and its legal advisors were Latham & Watkins LLP and Matheson in Ireland.

About H.P. Acthar(R) Gel

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Biogen Idec’s PLEGRIDYTM (peginterferon beta-1a) Approved for Relapsing Forms of MS - detailed information is found here

Below is a brief on the FDA approval of PLEGRIDY™ (peginterferon beta-1a), which can be used as background to educate your staff and internal team on the approval of PLEGRIDY, a treatment for relapsing forms of MS that is dosed once every 14 days, along with a link to the U.S. Prescribing Information and Medication Guide. Please let me know if you have specific questions.


Biogen Idec’s PLEGRIDYTM (peginterferon beta-1a) Approved for Relapsing Forms of MS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Biogen Idec’s PLEGRIDY™ (peginterferon beta-1a) as a new treatment for people living with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). The approval of PLEGRIDY, the pegylated interferon beta approved for use in relapsing MS, is based off of pivotal Phase 3 data that demonstrated the safety and efficacy of PLEGRIDY complimented by an every two week dosing schedule.

PLEGRIDY is administered subcutaneously just under the skin once every two weeks. It is available via PLEGRIDY PEN, a single-dose autoinjector, or prefilled syringe. Detailed instructions on how to use PLEGRIDY will be available at PLEGRIDY.com.

The FDA approval of PLEGRIDY is based on one year results from ADVANCE, a placebo-controlled clinical trial which involved more than 1,500 people living with MS.  In the study, PLEGRIDY was shown to significantly reduce important clinical and imaging measures, including slowing the progression of disability and decreasing the number of relapses and brain lesions.

Biogen Idec plans to make PLEGRIDY available through U.S. specialty pharmacies in the coming weeks. The company is committed to providing access to PLEGRIDY and provides a variety of support services for patients and caregivers, including financial assistance programs, through MS ActiveSource®.

For more information on PLEGRIDY, including prescribing information and medication guide, go to PLEGRIDY.com.


PLEGRIDYTM (peginterferon beta-1a) is a prescription medicine used to treat people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Important Safety Information

Before beginning treatment, you should discuss with your healthcare provider the potential benefits and risks associated with PLEGRIDY.

PLEGRIDY can cause serious side effects. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the symptoms listed below.

·         Liver problems, or worsening of liver problems including liver failure and death. Symptoms may include yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eye, nausea, loss of appetite, tiredness, bleeding more easily than normal, confusion, sleepiness, dark colored urine, and pale stools. During your treatment with PLEGRIDY you will need to see your healthcare provider regularly. You will have regular blood tests to check for these possible side effects
·         Depression or suicidal thoughts. Symptoms may include new or worsening depression (feeling hopeless or bad about yourself), thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide, irritability (getting upset easily), nervousness, or new or worsening anxiety

Do not take PLEGRIDY if you are allergic to interferon beta or peginterferon beta-1a, or any of the other ingredients in PLEGRIDY.

Before taking PLEGRIDY, tell your healthcare provider if you:

·         Are being treated for a mental illness or had treatment in the past for any mental illness, including depression and suicidal behavior
·         Have or had liver problems, low blood cell counts, bleeding problems, heart problems, seizures (epilepsy), thyroid problems, or any kind of autoimmune disease
·         Take prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements
·         Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if PLEGRIDY will harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant during your treatment with PLEGRIDY.
·         Are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. It is not known if PLEGRIDY passes into your breast milk. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best way to feed your baby if you use PLEGRIDY

PLEGRIDY can cause additional serious side effects including:
·         Serious allergic reactions. Serious allergic reactions can happen quickly. Symptoms may include itching, swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat, trouble breathing, feeling faint, anxiousness, skin rash, hives, or skin bumps
·         Injection site reactions. PLEGRIDY may commonly cause redness, pain or swelling at the place where the injection was given. Call your healthcare provider right away if an injection site becomes swollen and painful or the area looks infected and it does not heal within a few days. You may have a skin infection or an area of severe skin damage (necrosis) requiring treatment by a healthcare provider
·         Heart problems, including congestive heart failure. While PLEGRIDY is not known to have any direct effects on the heart, some people who did not have a history of heart problems developed heart muscle problems or congestive heart failure after taking interferon beta. If you already have heart failure, PLEGRIDY may cause your heart failure to get worse. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have worsening symptoms of heart failure such as shortness of breath or swelling of your lower legs or feet while using PLEGRIDY
o   Some people using PLEGRIDY may have other heart problems, including low blood pressure, fast or abnormal heart beat, chest pain, heart attack, or a heart muscle problem (cardiomyopathy)
·         Autoimmune diseases. Problems with easy bleeding or bruising (idiopathic thrombocytopenia), thyroid gland problems (hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism), and autoimmune hepatitis have happened in some people who use interferon beta
·         Blood problems and changes in your blood tests. PLEGRIDY can decrease your white blood cells or platelets, which can cause an increased risk of infection, bleeding or anemia, and can cause changes in your liver function tests. Your healthcare provider should do blood tests while you use PLEGRIDY to check for side effects
·         Seizures. Some people have had seizures while taking PLEGRIDY, including people who have never had seizures before

The most common side effects of PLEGRIDY include:
·         Flu-like symptoms. Many people who take PLEGRIDY have flu-like symptoms early in the course of therapy. These symptoms are not really the flu. You cannot pass it on to anyone else. Symptoms may include headache, muscle and joint aches, fever, chills or tiredness
o   You may be able to manage these flu-like symptoms by taking over-the-counter pain and fever reducers and drinking plenty of water. For many people, these symptoms lessen or go away over time

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see full Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for additional important safety information. This information is not intended to replace discussions with your healthcare provider.

©2014 Biogen Idec Inc. 225 Binney Street, Cambridge, MA 02142. All rights reserved.


BIOGEN ADDING another MS Medication to it's fleet 
Friday, August 15, 2014 6:32 pm EDT
− Reduces Relapses, Disability Progression and Brain Lesions with a Favorable Safety Profile −
− Only Pegylated Interferon in MS, Dosed Once Every Two Weeks –
− Complements Biogen Idec’s Industry-Leading Portfolio of MS Products –
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Today Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved PLEGRIDYTM (peginterferon beta-1a), a new treatment for people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). PLEGRIDY, the only pegylated beta interferon approved for use in RMS, is dosed once every two weeks and can be administered subcutaneously with the PLEGRIDY PEN, a new, ready-to-use autoinjector, or a prefilled syringe.
“PLEGRIDY offers people with MS robust efficacy, a safety profile consistent with the established interferon class, and significantly fewer injections than other beta interferon treatments,” said George A. Scangos, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Biogen Idec. “PLEGRIDY represents the most significant innovation in the interferon class in over a decade, and is the result of our deep commitment to improving the lives of people with MS and those who care for them.”
The FDA approval of PLEGRIDY is based on results from one of the largest pivotal studies of beta interferon conducted, ADVANCE, which involved more than 1,500 MS patients. ADVANCE was a two-year, Phase 3, placebo-controlled (in year one) study that evaluated the efficacy and safety of PLEGRIDY administered subcutaneously. The analysis for all primary and secondary efficacy endpoints occurred at the end of year one. After the first year, patients on placebo received PLEGRIDY for the duration of the study.
In the first year of the ADVANCE clinical trial, PLEGRIDY dosed once every two weeks significantly reduced annualized relapse rate (ARR) at one year by 36 percent compared to placebo (p=0.0007). PLEGRIDY reduced the risk of 12-week confirmed disability progression, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale, by 38 percent (p=0.0383) compared to placebo. PLEGRIDY also significantly reduced the number of new gadolinium-enhancing [Gd+] lesions by 86 percent (p<0.0001) and reduced new or newly enlarging T2-hyperintense lesions by 67 percent (p<0.0001) compared to placebo.
The most common adverse reactions were injection site reaction, flu-like illness, fever, headache, muscle pain, chills, injection site pain, weakness, injection site itching and joint pain. The ADVANCE two-year safety data were consistent with safety results observed in year one.
“PLEGRIDY is a compelling new treatment option for people living with MS that offers a proven safety profile, strong efficacy and an every two week dosing schedule administered by an innovative delivery system,” said Peter Wade, M.D., medical director for neurology at the Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research in Hartford, CT. “As a treating neurologist, I believe these attributes will appeal to MS patients who look for less frequent dosing with proven effectiveness.”
PLEGRIDY has been recently approved by the European Commission.
“It is always encouraging to have additional treatment options that may help people with MS manage their disease as we move towards our ultimate goal of ending MS forever,” said Dr. Timothy Coetzee, chief advocacy, services and research officer at the National MS Society.
For more information on PLEGRIDY, prescribing information and financial assistance programs visit PLEGRIDY.com or biogenidec.com.

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Revolutionary device can save choking victims

Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Choking is the third leading cause of accidental death in the over 65 population and the forth leading cause of accidental death in the United States.
For those with Multiple Sclerosis in particular, including early on in the course of the disease, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), pulmonary dysfunction and muscle weakness arise. When these impairments occur early on most are unaware that there is a problem.

Dysphagia may cause the individual to cough after drinking liquids or choke when eating certain foods, especially those with a crumbly texture.
Whether you live with MS or are a caregiver for someone living with it, you can empathize with the array of swallowing challenges and the subsequent psychological toll that it creates for all.
Unfortunately, if the swallowing challenges turn into a choking episode, there is a chance the individual may aspirate, or inhale fluid or solids into the upper respiratory tract, resulting in aspiration pneumonia.
Finally, there is a device to help with this life-threatening issue: LifeVac; a revolutionary new product designed to remove an object from an obstructed airway.
The LifeVac is a non-powered single patient portable suction apparatus developed for resuscitating a choking victim when standard ACLS protocol has failed. The negative pressure generated by the force of the suction is 3 times greater than the highest recorded choke pressure. The duration of suction is minimal so LifeVac is safe and effective.
Also you can watch a YouTube video on this found here

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