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Thursday, April 28, 2016

At-Home ‘Brain Training’ Program for MS Patients Reported to Improve Cognitive Skills by 29%


                                                                  

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Multiple sclerosis patients using a cognitive remediation computer training program, part of a controlled trial by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center, had greater improvements in cognitive function than those who used a placebo-training program, according to a presentation at the recent American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Problems in attention, memory, verbal fluency, and information processing can be common […]

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Promising Phase 1 Trial Results of Stem Cell Therapy in Progressive MS Patients Being Presented at AAN Meeting

                                                                  

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Potentially groundbreaking research by the Tisch Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York (MSRCNY) will be presented on April 19 at the 68th American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting taking place in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Saud A. Sadiq, director and chief research scientist at the Tisch center, will present results of a Phase 1 clinical trial of a […]

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Sanofi Genzyme Presenting New Data on Lemtrada’s Beneficial Effects, Drawn from RRMS Extension Study, at AAN 2016

                                                                  

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Sanofi Genzyme is presenting promising data regarding brain volume and retinal nerve fibers in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients — drawn from an ongoing extension study into the disease-modifying drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) — at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting  taking place in Vancouver, Canada, through April 21.
The data is derived from an extension study (NCT00930553) that enrolled relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients, previously treated with either alemtuzumabor the comparison agent, interferon beta-1a (Rebif), in the CARE-MS I Phase 3 clinical trial (NCT00530348) and the CARE-MS II Phase 3 trial (NCT00548405).
Findings indicated that trial participants who had received interferon beta-1a and switched to Lemtrada in the extension study experienced a reduced rate of brain volume loss over its three years of treatment. Previous findings in both CARE-MS studies had shown that median yearly brain volume loss was, in year two, -0.50% for CARE-MS I and -0.33% for CARE-MS II. In the extension study, the median brain volume loss was reduced in year one (CARE-MS I: -0.07%, and CARE-MS II: 0.02%), year two (CARE-MS I: -0.13% and CARE-MS II: -0.05%), and year three (CARE-MS I: -0.09% and CARE-MS II: -0.14%).
Moreover, researchers reported an improvement in retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in 26 Lemtrada-treated RRMS patients. Over the two years of treatment, the change in average RNFL thickness for all eyes was +1.5 micrometers, which might indicate a protection of retinal axons in these patients.
Lemtrada was previously shown to be significantly more effective than interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates and slowing accumulation of disability, and is an approved treatment for RRMS.  However, it has been associated with serious side effects in clinical trials, including autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease and nephropathies, infections and pneumonitis, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that its use be reserved for patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more MS drugs.

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Biogen Releases New Data Showing Effectiveness of Tecfidera in Newly Diagnosed MS Patients at AAN 2016

                                                                  

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Biogen reported new data describing the effectiveness of Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) in newly diagnosed relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients in a recent presentation at the 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). The conference, taking place in Vancouver, Canada, runs through April 21. Tecfidera is an oral medication taken twice daily. Although the biological activity of […]

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Lymphoma Drug, Rituximab, Highly Effective in Treating Relapsing MS, Study from Sweden Reports

                                                                  

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MS drug studyMabthera (rituximab), a widely approved drug for treating lymphoma and/or rheumatoid arthritis, is highly effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers reported in an observational study in Sweden, where Mabthera is increasingly being used outside of its approved indications to treat relapsing-remitting MS patients. The study, published in the journal Annals of Neurology, is titled “Rituximab […]

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Biogen and AbbVie Present New Data Showing Zinbryta, an RRMS Drug Candidate, Aids Cognition Without Immune Depletion

                                                                  

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MS drug candidateNew data presented by Biogen and AbbVie at the recent 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) showed that Zinbryta (daclizumab high-yield process) improved cognitive outcome measures in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). Additional results — from post-hoc analyses of clinical trials — also offer a better understanding of Zinbryta’s targeted mechanism of action, showing the drug […]

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Gut Bacteria Affects Myelin Content and Induces MS-Like Depression in Mice, Study Reports

                                                                  

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Researchers at the Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair, a part of Mount Sinai, reported that gut bacteria produce compounds that were seen to affect the myelin content in mice and cause social avoidance behaviors. Study results indicated that targeting gut bacteria, or the gut metabolites, might help in treating neuropsychiatric disorders or complications, such as those caused by diseases like multiple sclerosis […]

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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Cognitive Difficulties Known to MS Traced to Problems in Nerve Cell Activity in Hippocampus

                                                                  

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Cognitive Difficulties Known to MS Traced to Problems in Nerve Cell Activity in Hippocampus
 APRIL 28, 2016 Magdalena Kegel


In a study published in the International Neurology Journalresearchers showed that cognitive deficits, such as memory problems, in a rat model of multiple sclerosis (MS) are mirrored by changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain region crucial for memory processing. The findings advance the understanding of disease mechanisms affecting cognition in MS patients.
Cognitive deficits such as learning and memory dysfunction are common in MS, affecting 40 percent to 60 percent of patients. While earlier studies reported that brain inflammation might alter the generation of neuroplasticity, particularly at the synaptic level, not much is known about the mechanisms leading to such changes.
Studies also show that the hippocampus is affected by nerve cell death in MS patients. Using the well-characterized experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) animal model of MS, researchers at Arak University of Medical Sciences, Iran, used recordings of nerve cell activity in live rats to study the impact of disease on memory processes.
Using behavioral tests to study memory processes in EAE animals can be challenging, since these mice often have motor symptoms that might impact the outcome of such tests. Instead, information of how signals are transmitted at neuronal connections, synapses, as well as long-term potentiation — the mechanism underlying changes in synaptic strength, and hence neuronal plasticity — can be used to understand the mechanisms behind changes in memory function.
The study, Changes in Synaptic Transmission and Long-term Potentiation Induction as a Possible Mechanism for Learning Disability in an Animal Model of Multiple Sclerosis, showed that the EAE mice had deficits in synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation in the hippo­campus.


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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Moon resident battling multiple sclerosis uses long-distance running as avenue for advocacy

                                                                  

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John Platt's running career started with a glance at the television.
It was June 2013, and Platt had just lost a friend to multiple sclerosis, the same disease with which he had been diagnosed less than eight years earlier. The summer heat wasn't helping.
One of the symptoms of Platt's MS is known as Uhthoff's phenomenon, meaning as his core temperature rises, he starts to lose his vision. This was beginning to take effect as a weight-loss program glowed on his television and struck a nerve.
“I'm starting to become (a) prisoner back in my air-conditioned house,” Platt remembered thinking. “I was just really unhappy.”
Platt thought of the unused treadmill in his basement, a gift from his brother, and decided to do something about the layer of dust that had accumulated on the machine.
He had used a cane for the past seven years and needed assistance from the arm rails, but he walked a mile in a half-hour.
The next day, he repeated the feat. One mile turned into several miles. He progressed to taking extended walks outside during a cool August near a family member's house in the Chicago area.
An estimated 3,500 miles later, Platt, 41, of Moon recounts the story of how he changed his life through running, dressed in his teal Boston Marathon zip-up jacket. He smiles.
“Sitting here today, I consider myself an athlete. I took an easy-A course in college called ‘walk/jog,' and I got a C,” Platt said recently. “Three world marathon majors later, maybe I can go back to Slippery Rock and see if I can get my transcript changed.”
On Sunday, less than two weeks after adding a Boston medal to his Chicago 2014 and New York 2015 hardware, he is set to run his third Pittsburgh half-marathon.
Platt is one of 2.3 million people worldwide living with MS. He said 10 years of spreading awareness and advocating on behalf of the Multiple Sclerosis Society have given him perspective, but reorganizing his life to achieve his goals has taken sacrifice.
During the summer, Platt often wakes before 3 a.m., logging miles before the sun rises. When the sun is out, he fills a skullcap and sleeves with ice before heading out. They are details Platt has perfected through trial and error, but often that error requires him to push to and beyond his limits.
On a warm Boston Marathon race day, for example, he knew his MS would flare up after 13 miles. As he coasted into an aid station at Mile 14, he already could sense his vision disappearing. A physician's assistant checked his vitals while he asked for a towel to clean off his glasses.
click to continue reading this person's story


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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
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TOP 10 TIPS FOR FINDING ACCESSIBLE CRUISES

                                                                  

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1. We suggest that you seek out the newest Ships: While some oceangoing lines have nicely retrofitted older vessels with accessible features, generally, the newer the ship, the more likely that accessibility for all guests was built into the design. These ships typically will have everything from ramps to all areas, doors that open with a touch button, accessible cabins with wider doors to accommodate wheelchairs, "roll-in" showers and a pool or whirlpool lift to assist those who want to enjoy a cool dip. We will help you choose the right cruise line along with the perfect itinerary!

2. We will provide you with a Special Needs Brochure: Cruise lines typically publish special needs brochures and many are online. They spell out what services are available and what staff will or will not do (some cruise lines require an able-bodied person to travel with a guest needing assistance). For example, Norwegian Cruise Line's information says it has accessibility coordinators, accepts children with special needs, and assists vision-impaired or blind guests with Braille /tactile signage and much more.

3. If needed we will arrange an Alert Kit: for those travelers with hearing impairments (a visual/tactile alert kit, designed to keep you safe) If a general alarm or smoke detector siren sounds. It can also indicate a steward knocking at the door. Some lines have a teletypewriter that can be hooked up to the ship's phone system.

4. We are happy to organize your equipment rental in Advance: Some ships may have a limited number of wheelchairs or other equipment available for loan or rental to guests; however, if you absolutely must be assured of having a wheelchair, oxygen concentrator, scooter or other equipment during your cruise, please advise and we will make everything as seamless as possible.
5. Consider the Distances on Big Ships: Mega-ships can require covering long distances to get to the different dining and entertainment option onboard. We can arrange for equipment to meet you when you arrive in your stateroom! Pricing is based on the equipment chosen, the cruise home port and the cruise length; this will allow you the freedom to tour the ship in your own.

6. We can Check Service Dog Requirements for those with vision problems. We suggest that you book early and we will assure the cruise line is informed that you are traveling with a service dog; some may limit the number on any one cruise. We will confirm what documentation is required, such as proof of service dog certification or vaccination papers. We will check whether foreign authorities will allow your service dog to go ashore in ports so that you aren't stuck without the assistance you need.

7. We suggest that you consider the ship and if you are booked on Intensive Itineraries; the ship being accessible, doesn't necessarily mean the ports are, or that getting ashore in the port will occur. Look for itineraries in which the ship will "dock" at a pier, providing easier access for wheelchair guests than if the ship must "tender" guests ashore — essentially taking them in small lifeboats. Does the cruise line permit a motorized wheelchair or scooter in a tender? If so, are there any weight restrictions? For expedition cruises using tiny Zodiacs, guests typically need to be able to climb in and out on their own.

8. Evaluate Shore Excursions: Does the cruise line offer any shore trips on wheelchair-accessible motor coaches? Are attractions in a destination wheelchair friendly? For certain itineraries, we may set up a private day tour with a great guide and wheelchair-friendly transportation. To enjoy touring ashore, pick the right itinerary. Not all foreign destinations have accessibility type requirements. While some cities like Stockholm, Sweden, are highly accessible, others aren't. Ancient or medieval destinations often have uneven pavements, cobblestones, no ramps and ancient staircases or small hills to climb. The world is becoming much more accessible; The Roman Coliseum has a modern elevator for access to its upper level!

9. Book Early: Cruise lines set aside a selection of accessible staterooms and, at times, suites. Booking very early will provide the best choice of accommodations.

10. Discuss any concerns or requirements regarding accessible cruising with us: we want to ensure your accessible vacation is seamless. Cruise lines are increasingly designing or upgrading their ships to add accessibility features. Crew members are typically eager to serve and assist..



10% Discount with Travel for All
          --- MS Views & News Readers…

           * applicable on new vacation bookings only--------



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MS Views and News
Provides educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS
We Believe YOU (the MS Patients and Caregivers) should Be Empowered with Multiple Sclerosis information
.===================================