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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, September 1, 2014

Results Published from First Human Clinical Trials of “Anti-LINGO” Myelin Repair Strategy..

August 27, 2014
Results from two phase I human safety trials of an exploratory treatment aimed at repairing myelin damaged by multiple sclerosis have now been published. One to two treatments with Biogen Idec’s BIIB033 (anti-LINGO monoclonal antibody) were given by injection under the skin or into the vein of healthy volunteers and people with relapsing-remitting or secondary-progressive MS. No serious adverse safety events were reported, and although these studies were not designed to evaluate effectiveness, the results were considered positive and have led to a phase II trial, now underway in relapsing MS. The results were published on August 27, 2014 in the online journal Neurology® Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.
“It’s encouraging to see an entirely new treatment strategy aimed at repairing MS myelin damage moving forward in clinical trials,” noted Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Advocacy, Services and Research Officer at the National MS Society. “Repairing myelin may be the best way to protect the nervous system from MS damage, and it holds potential for restoring function that has been lost in people living with this disease,” he added.
Background: In MS, immune attacks lead to the loss of myelin that coats and protects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Repairing the nervous system was just a dream a few years ago. Today it holds significant promise as a strategy to restore the function that MS has taken from people; and reducing or stopping MS progression. This remarkable progress is due in large part to the National MS Society’s comprehensive efforts and multi-million dollar research investments. Today the Society is supporting 87 research projects in nervous system repair, with multi-year commitments totaling over $35 million.
The first human trials of anti-LINGO leverage research aimed at stimulating the body's natural healing abilities. LINGO is a protein seen in neurons and myelin-producing cells (oligodendrocytes), and blockading this protein with a monoclonal antibody called anti-LINGO has been shown to promote remyelination in animal models.
Details: In these first tests of anti-LINGO in humans, 72 healthy people and 47 people with relapsing-remitting MS or secondary-progressive MS were given anti-LINGO or inactive placebo by injection under the skin or into the vein. The participants with MS were given two treatments, two weeks apart.
All participants were monitored extensively for any signs of adverse reactions. There were no serious adverse safety events noted. The most common side effects included headache, upper respiratory tract infection, stuffy nose, GI symptoms and urinary tract infection, and these were experienced by participants who were on placebo as well as those who received doses of anti-LINGO.
Generally phase I studies are not designed to detect benefit, but largely to evaluate the safety and tolerability of exploratory therapies, to refine appropriate dosing, and to determine whether they reach their targets – in this case, the central nervous system. That is true of these trials, and there was no evidence from MRI or other tests that showed clear evidence that existing brain lesions healed from this short exposure to anti-LINGO. However, the safety, dosing and pharmacology results were considered positive and have led to the design and launch of a phase II trial by Biogen Idec, now underway in relapsing MS.
Read more about research into nervous system repair in MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

Source: NMSS



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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vision and Neurological Disorders



Q: What is a neuro-ophthalmologist?
A:
People know about ophthalmologists treating the eye and visual problems and people know about neurologists treating issues with the brain. A neuro-ophthalmologist is right in the middle, they treat brain issues that affect vision.
There are a lot of different disorders that affect vision. Some of the common things are stroke, aneurysms and brain tumors. They can all present with visual problems. There are also other disorders like thyroid eye disease, myasthenia gravis and multiple sclerosis.


Q: What is Multiple Sclerosis?
A:
It's an immune system disorder. The immune system is designed to protect us from infection, but sometimes it's confused and can attack our bodies. In multiple sclerosis, our systems attack our brain, spine and optic nerves. There are many different symptoms with anything that the brain or spinal cord is responsible for. That includes weakness, sensation such as numbness or burning pain, trouble with walking or balance and of course, visual problems.


Q: Is it true that MS strikes mainly young adults and women more commonly than men?
A:
That's exactly true. We don't know why, but MS affects people in a younger age group. The average age of diagnosis is between 20 and 40 years of age. In addition, it does affect women more than men. There are a lot of men who have MS, but two to three times as many women are affected.


Q: Are visual symptoms prevalent in people with MS?
A:
For a significant number of patients, the first inkling that they have MS is a visual problem. Easily a quarter up to half of MS patients might actually present for the first time with some type of visual problem. Almost all MS patients have some type of visual disturbance in their lifetime.

It's not uncommon for patients to have double vision. The reason you're seeing more than one image is because the eyes aren't working together. Patients may also have shaking vision where patients have trouble reading or watching television because the image is shaking due to the MS. One of the most common vision problems people with MS present with is losing vision in one eye and that is called optic neuritis.
One of the hallmarks of multiple sclerosis, even the name multiple sclerosis itself, is presenting with different events, multiple times, during the course of their disease. We call that attack, relapse, and exacerbation. Any individual system may get better within weeks to months, but the issue is that sometimes other symptoms come as well. They can be short lived, but the issue is that you may have many different symptoms.


Q: What is optic neuritis and how does it affect patients with MS?
A:
Our eyes are like cameras. The eyes are in the front, seeing the world, but they have to transmit that information back to the brain which allows us to see things. So if we have a camera capturing the image, the optic nerve is the cable that connects the eye to the brain. If the optic nerve becomes inflamed due to multiple sclerosis, we refer to that as optic neuritis.

Optic neuritis is a specific description of inflammation of the optic nerve. If it happens, that can be one of the multiple things that characterizes multiple sclerosis. However, it is possible to have optic neuritis by itself. You don't necessarily treat optic neuritis because it usually gets better on its own. However, we frequently use steroids because they offer instant relief.


Q: How would you determine if optic neuritis is due to MS or another cause?
A:
If you have optic neuritis, there's a chance you could have multiple sclerosis, but really the hallmark of multiple sclerosis is multiple episodes over time. By definition, if you had a single event, you can say that technically, you don't have multiple anything at that point. But the question is will you go on to have other issues, that's where the challenge is in diagnosing.
We often use MRI, which is a non-invasive way to image the brain. It seems counter intuitive that if you come to my office with optic neuritis that we want to take a picture of the brain, but the reason for this is that we've learned that if you have optic neuritis with lesions or white spots that look like plaque, then you're risk of developing MS is much higher than if you had optic neuritis and a normal MRI.


Q: How effective are medications in preventing visual symptoms for patients with MS? Is there an oral medication in development?
A:
They're good and getting better. When I was in training there was no treatment for MS at all. In the past 10 or 15 years, we've made tremendous strides in treating multiple sclerosis and there are more and more treatments and they are getting more and more effective. As far as treating the vision specifically, the MS medications unfortunately cannot undo damage that has already been done. MS medications are designed to prevent additional attacks.
If you've had an optic neuritis, you're probably going to do pretty well. They key is to consider MS medications to prevent you from having additional MS related symptoms such as weakness, numbness, imbalance, or other visual symptoms.

There is actually an oral medication on the horizon. A first we had no treatment of any kind, then we got better at treating it, but they were all injectible therapies. It's very exciting because we're seeing more and more pills for MS being developed and they may be even more effective than the first generation treatments.


Q: If someone is having a sudden onset of vision problems, is it an urgent situation requiring treatment from a specialist?
A:
Absolutely. Most patients will see an eye doctor first, but it's important to see a neurologist if it looks like you have optic neuritis. Sometimes, optic neuritis signals MS and the earlier you're treated for MS, the better. If you are experiencing visual symptoms that could be optic neuritis, you should see a physician because we really want to do our best to prevent future problems.


Q: How do the eyes and brain work together to enable us to see?
A:
Humans are visual animals. We like to explore the environment visually. We have two eyes that work like cameras, but there's a lot of neurologic machinery processing the images.
Vision leaves the eyes and travels through the optic nerves and radiates through most of the lobes of the brain. We start with the front, obviously with the eyes, but the pathway travels through the entire brain all the way to the visual center, the occipital lobe, located at the back of the head. There's a lot involved in vision. Imagine if you had two different cameras, you have to make sure they're pointing at the same thing or you see more than one image. There's also a lot of coordination of the eyes in terms of improvement and integration of taking the two slightly different images and putting them together so when we look around, we see only one image.


Q: Why do headaches and migraine headaches sometimes cause visual disturbances?
A:
A migraine is an interesting phenomenon. I think a lot of people think of migraines as being synonymous with headaches and that's not exactly correct. A migraine is really a neurologic brain phenomenon and is often associated with visual disturbances. Some people will have an aural warning. They may notice blurring, sparkles, flashes or zigzags in their vision and that's a signal that a headache is coming on. That's a classic migraine, when you're headache is preceded by visual symptoms.

Some people can have just the visual symptoms without the pain and it's counter intuitive because most people think migraine means headache. Some patients come to my office with migraine phenomenon, but no headache. They just have visual symptoms like blurring, seeing gray dots or the sparkle of vision. We call this an acephalgic migraine, or a migraine with no headache.
In general migraines hurt and they're uncomfortable. Thankfully, they are limited and treatable and don't usually leave behind any significant neurologic symptoms.


Q: What are some other neurological conditions that can lead to vision changes?
A:
The common one would be stroke. Sometimes aneurysms or brain tumors can cause it and even a brain infection, if it affects the right part of the brain, can result in visual problems.
In general I would say if anyone is having a visual problem, the first stop needs to be with an eye doctor. My focus is on visual problems due to brain issues, but there are visual problems due to eye issues such as cataracts, glaucoma or astigmatism. The first step is to see an eye doctor. If the eye doctor examines the eye carefully and sees that everything in the eye itself appears to be fine, then you should consider the possibility that the visual problem is a due to a neurologic cause.


Q: Are there new or upcoming treatments for visual problems caused by neurological conditions?
A:
A lot depends on what the visual problem is. For example with optic neuritis, there are treatments that help and treatments that prevent future attacks. On the other hand, sometimes MS, strokes or aneurysms can cause double vision or misalignment of the eye. In that case the treatment is geared toward getting the images back together. That can be done by using special prisms in the glasses to realign the images and occasionally asking a surgeon to help straighten out the eyes.

Sometimes we'll use the quick trick of covering one eye because if you cover one eye, you can't have double vision anymore. You can take advantage of the phenomenon, especially if someone developed blurred or double vision because there are only two possibile causes.

One possibility is that the images are blurred or doubled because the eyes are not aligned well and if that's the case, then it's a neurologic problem. The other possibility is that the blurring or double vision is due to a problem in the eye like a cataract or a retinal detachment. One trick we use is to ask the patient to cover one eye or the other to see if that helps the symptoms. If someone's eyes are misaligned and they have double vision, when you take away the other eye, you only see one image. If I had a cataract in the left eye that made things look blurry and doubled, then covered the right eye and things are still blurry and doubled, then there's a problem in that eye.
There are also some forms of vision therapy. If you have loss from a stroke and have a field of vision problem, there are some strategies to try to help your brain retrain and regain some of the lost visual function.


Q: Many people experience trouble with their vision as they get older, is this part of normal aging?
A:
It's called presbyopia. With a camera, I can take the lenses and move them. Our eyes don't have the ability for the lens to move, but what our eyes do have is a muscle that changes the shape of the eye. The lens is made of a clear and flexible material. When we're younger, let's say less than the age of 40, our eyes are able to change the shape of the lens. Once you hit 40, the lens doesn't want to change shape as much. For most people, they have more and more trouble focusing on things up close and this is the phenomenon where we hold things far away until eventually, you can't hold them far enough away. That's when people start wearing reading glasses which are really just magnifiers. If you're nearsighted and lived your life wearing glasses, you may discover that you can take your glasses off and see things up close.

http://umm.edu/programs/ms/health/vision-and-neurological-disorders#ixzz3C0IxbTE8
University of Maryland Medical Center 







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An A to Z of MS

I wanted to find this kind of A-Z listing as we also provide at many of our educational programs, an A-Z of MS education.


The information showing below is courtesy of the Multiple Sclerosis TRUST in the UK

USE the LINKS of the Alphabet to find what you seek to know about MS



A to Z of MS

Click on the relevant link for more information on a topic.
We thank MS Trust for this information



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Uhthoff's phenomenon (Heat Intolerance)

Many people with MS experience is a marked sensitivity to increased body temperature. Demyelinated fibers in the central nervous system can be very sensitive to even small elevations of core body temperature resulting in conduction delays or even conduction block. This sensitivity can be brought out by sunbathing, exercise, hot baths, emotion, fatigue, fever, or any other factor associated with an increase in body core temperature. Any MS symptom can present this way, and one of the most common presentations is the blurring of vision after physical activity.

Because these symptoms disappear with rest and cooling, they can be confusing to health care professionals unfamiliar with this phenomenon. Heat induced weakness presents safety concerns for people with MS because the impact of the weakness can be quick and dramatic, and they may find themselves too weak to extricate themselves from the hot conditions causing the problem. Avoidance is the best defense, and when unavoidable, minimum exposure followed by cooling strategies should be sought. Generally the effects of heat exposure are reversed with rest and cooling and do not carry a long term consequence.

Fluctuating Visual Impairment (Changes with Exercise, Stress, Fatigue, or Raised Body Temperature)
Many patients may experience a dimming or obscuring of vision associated with exercise and heat. This is relieved by rest and cooling. This symptom was first described by Uhthoff.

Key Healthcare Professionals:
Neurologist

Symptom Management:
Cooling, management of fever, if present. Symptoms may be motor or sensory, and are reversible with cooling and rest. Any MS symptom can present this way, in the presence of heat and humidity.

Source: MS Society Canada



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“Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will work.”

Written by Jon Chandonnet


The One Reason Why . . .


Aug 30, 2014 10:30 pm

“Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will work.”

You might have come across this statement before. 
DSC_0179

Maybe while scrolling through your Facebook feed or at work walking past an inspiring photograph inscribed with the statement. The combination of words and image may have caught your attention and given you a jolt of excitement—energized by the sense of possibility. The moment probably faded as you walked into your meeting or changed focus to email. It was time to get things done. I get it. This bold, out of the box, thinking has a time and place, but where is that? It’s probably not in the midst of practical every day living—when watching the kids at a ball game, in the midst of preparing dinner, or during a status meeting at work—when you need to be present and get things done.

But when can it be applied?

Maybe the statement doesn’t have a place in today’s world? Maybe it belongs in an idealized day dreamy world where it’s cool to read and consider the possibly, but that’s the extent of its usefulness. Maybe its day has come? Let’s not talk about the “right” time to consider. Instead, let’s focus on the statement as the starting point for out of the box thinking. What if you took this statement to heart, as a spark of inspiration, and applied it? What could you make happen? “Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will work.” The essence of these words is the potential for where they can lead which won’t be completely understood before they’re asked and then more importantly experienced.

The One Reason Why

I asked myself this question at a cross road in my health. My body was spiraling toward paralysis, and I was desperate to find a way to improve my condition. I had exhausted traditional allopathic ways. I needed a way to re-ignite hope and searched for a way to stop the progression. I began to open my mind by asking this question and found a number of stories about people who had improved their MS through dietary and lifestyle change combined with determination and mindfulness.

The Result

It wasn’t the easy path or a quick fix. It seemed impossible at the start. It hadn’t been researched nor had it received a seal of approval by the FDA. There were a number of reasons not to do it, but it had the one thing I needed—the potential to lead to an improved state. There was no harm in making these changes; they weren’t a medication that had the potential to cause unwanted side effects. The only downside is that the changes wouldn’t work. In that case, I would be in the same place I was before I started– spiraling toward paralysis, desperate to find a way to improve my condition. It took a number of years and a lot of work and determination. It involved repeated changes in thought, habit, action, and desire, but I found improved health and a more VIBRANT life.
It all started by asking, “Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will work.” I didn’t just ask the question once, nine years ago to begin my journey. I asked this same question when I decided to write a book; then again when I decided to self-publish; then when I decided to launch a new company. I have asked the question a number of times in the past ten years. There have been road blocks, and I have stumbled, but the act of asking the question has brought about shifts that have brought me closer to my goal.
Do you take time to consider the possibilities? Maybe you do, have you come across anything that you feel strongly enough to suspend judgments about the reasons it won’t work? Do you have something in mind? What is keeping you from making it happen?

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Android LDN Health Tracker App released


Exciting news!

The FREE  LDN Health Tracker App is now available for Androids,


(APP versions for iPhone, Window Phones, Kindles, PC's/Notepads etc will be available soon)

When using the LDN Health Tracker App you can take part in the worlds largest anonymously LDN Survey ever!. The race is on to find out how many people around the world are using LDN before the LDN 2014 Conference.

We are happy for LDN prescribing doctors, pharmacists and medical professional to give the download link to their patients, we have many medical professionals on board, we are keeping a list if you would like to be added please LDN Research Trust

Please share this email with anyone taking LDN and if you could post in Groups, Blogs, Website etc it would be appreciated. 

Thank you so much.
   
                                     



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Women's Health and MS - The Impact of MS on Employment and the Family



Second speaker of this program that was video recorded on August 14, 2014

The Impact of MS on Employment and the Family

Presented by:
Jennifer Falk, MSW, CPHM of Neuroscience Centers of Florida Foundation (NSCFF) 



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Women's Health and MS - Self Aspects, Nutrition and discussion on Symptoms




First speaker of this program that was video recorded on August 14, 2014

 Listen to Patricia (Tricia) Pagnotta,  MSN, ARNP-C -
The Clinical Director at the MS Center in Greater Orlando

Tricia discusses:
•        Nutrition and Self Aspects

•        Symptom Management including treatment therapies for the symptoms               





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Friday, August 29, 2014

Overactive bladder is a problem with bladder-storage function that causes a sudden urge to urinate.

If you have OAB, you’re not alone. As many as 46 million Americans are affected by OAB, which is an estimated 1 in 3 adults 40 years of age or older who report symptoms of OAB, at least sometimes.

Overactive bladder is a problem with bladder-storage function that causes a sudden urge to urinate. The urge may be difficult to stop, and overactive bladder may lead to the involuntary loss of urine (incontinence).
If you have an overactive bladder, you may feel embarrassed, isolate yourself, or limit your work and social life. The good news is that a brief evaluation can determine whether there's a cause for your overactive bladder symptoms. Available treatments may greatly reduce or eliminate the symptoms and help you manage their effect on your daily life.
Signs and symptoms of overactive bladder may mean you:
  • Feel a sudden urge to urinate that's difficult to control
  • Experience urge incontinence — the involuntary loss of urine immediately following an urgent need to urinate
  • Urinate frequently, usually eight or more times in 24 hours
  • Awaken two or more times in the night to urinate (nocturia)
Although you may be able to get to the toilet in time when you sense an urge to urinate, unexpected frequent and nighttime urination can disrupt your life.

When to see a doctor

Overactive bladder isn't a normal part of aging. Treatments are available that might help you. It can be difficult to discuss such a private matter with your doctor, but it's important that you do — especially if your symptoms disrupt your work schedule, social interactions and everyday activities.









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Multiple Sclerosis and Evoked Potential Tests

Evoked potential tests measure electrical activity in certain areas of the brain in response to sensory input. These tests are often used to assist in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, because they can indicate problems along the pathways of certain nerves that are too subtle to be noticed or found on a doctor's exam. Problems along the nerve pathways are a direct result of the disease. The demyelination causes the nerve impulses to be slowed, garbled, or halted altogether.
There are three main types of evoked potential tests:
  • Visual Evoked Potentials (VEP): You sit in front of a screen on which an alternating checkerboard pattern is displayed.
  • Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potentials (BAEP): You hear a series of clicks in each ear.
  • Sensory Evoked Potentials (SEP):Short electrical impulses are administered to an arm or leg.
A fourth type of test -- motor evoked potentials -- can detect lesions along motor pathways (those that produce movement) of the central nervous system. This test is not commonly used to diagnose MS.
While evoked potentials are used to help diagnose MS, other conditions can also produce abnormal test results, so the tests are not specific for MS. To accurately diagnose MS, the information the tests provide needs to be considered along with other lab tests and symptoms.

How Are the Evoked Potential Tests Performed?

Evoked potential tests are recorded by placing wires on the scalp over the areas of the brain that  record the effects of stimulation on various parts of the body.
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How Long Do Evoked Potential Tests Take?

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