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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.

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CHAMPIONS TACKLING MS - AWARDS Dinner, Honoring Aaron Boster, MD and Jon e. Glaser, DDS - now open for registration. Visit www.events.msvn.org

Friday, October 24, 2008

Other Juices—Not Just Grapefruit—Don’t Mix Well With Meds

Aarp News

It’s long been known that grapefruit can dangerously boost the level of certain medications in the bloodstream. Now researchers have found that certain juices—including grapefruit—can do the opposite by lowering the body’s ability to absorb some drugs, sharply limiting their benefit.

Orange, apple and grapefruit juice all can interfere with medicines, according to a team of scientists led by David G. Bailey, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Western Ontario. He’s the researcher who first identified the “grapefruit effect” nearly 20 years ago.

Presenting the new evidence at the American Chemical Society’s national meeting on Aug. 19, Bailey said healthy volunteers took a test drug, the antihistamine Allegra, with water and with juice. Taking the medication with juice cut its effectiveness by half.

Other research has also shown that fruit juices can reduce the performance of several medicines, including some antibiotics, certain types of beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, certain cancer drugs, and medications used to prevent rejection after an organ transplant.

So is kicking an otherwise healthy juice habit the only way to go if you take multiple meds?

Not necessarily, says Sam Shimomura, a specialist in geriatric pharmacy and associate dean at Western University College of Pharmacy in Pomona, Calif. “If you have a fruit juice that you really like, consult your doctor or pharmacist to find out if it’s OK with a particular drug,” he says. Depending on the medicine and the juice, you may be able to time your pill-taking to avoid an interaction, or switch to another medicine that’s not affected.

According to Bailey, the drug-blocking potential of juices identified in the latest research lasts no longer than four hours.

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Walk away from Memory Loss

. Aarp News features
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New MS Therapies (BG-12) and (Campath) Show Promise

Healthday - Yahoo News
Thu Oct 23, 7:03 pm ET

THURSDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Two medications may prove to be advances in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, researchers say.

In one study, an experimental drug called oral fumarate (BG00012) substantially reduced symptoms in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a phase II clinical trial by European and North American researchers.

And in a second trial, researchers found that the leukemia drug alemtuzumab (Campath) was about 70 percent more effective than another drug already widely used to treat MS. However, alemtuzumab also had significant side effects, including bleeding disorders, a greater risk of thyroid disease, and infections. This prompted experts to say that much more research is needed before alemtuzumab can be prescribed to treat multiple sclerosis.

» Read More


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Expert Neurology Panel Discusses Advances in Multiple Sclerosis Therapies

obtained from Yahoo Finance
Press Release Initial Source: MedPredict

Friday October 24, 10:55 am ET
New MedPredict Report Highlights Research Presented at WCTRIMS 2008

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- MedPredict, a global provider of pharmaceutical competitive intelligence and market research, has published a new report providing critical strategic insight for pharma and biotech companies with a stake in the market for multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies.

"There was a great deal of promising new data coming out of WCTRIMS," according to Dr. Jeff Berk, MedPredict's president. "Following the conference, we were able to interview some of the leading neurologists in MS research and gain their perspectives on the more promising new therapies. This report combines their opinions with the research data presented at WCTRIMS to provide MS drug developers with strategic insight for planning going forward."

» Read More


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MSHH DONOR CLOSET ASSISTS THOSE IN NEED


The MS Helping Hands - MSHH Donor Closet recycles durable medical equipment (DME) & mobility equipment (ME) for minimum suggested donations to people suffering from various physical conditions, on low income and/or who have fallen through the cracks of the social services system. MSHH is an all volunteer (501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation licensed and registered in the State of Washington. MSHH has no administration costs, only operational expenses. After the monthly operational expenses are paid, the remaining donations are used to provide financial assistance grants to people with Multiple Sclerosis who reside in the State of Washington. Since MSHH was founded in October 1999, over 65,000 items have been recycled; over $120,000 has been awarded in financial assistance grants; over $650,000 in value of DME/ME & other collected items have been distributed to hurricane & tornado survivors, local children’s organizations, churches and other local & national charities for worldwide distribution.


There is no other resource like the MSHH Donor Closet in the country. The MSHH Donor Closet has received local and national recognition from several civic and social services organizations including a “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community” presented by Jay Inslee, member of Congress.


The MSHH Donor Closet is located at 409 Howell Way, Edmonds, WA 98020 and is open from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm Mondays thru Saturdays. (425) 712-1807

Submitted by:

William L. “Bill” Brayer, President

MS Helping Hands-MSHH

(206) 718-0894

Director of the MSHH Donor Closet



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Thursday, October 23, 2008

MS Learn Online

October 23, 2008
This is a Program from
The
National MS Society

Today's new Feature Presentations are:
Managing Your Symptoms: Spasticity
and
Managing Your Symptoms: Tremors, Seizures, and Loss of Balance
featuring Dr. Michael Kaufman
Click here to view the webcasts, or copy into your browser:
If you have a pop-up blocker, you will need to disable it prior to participating in a MS Learn Online webcast.

Stem Cell Breakthrough: Mass-Production Of 'Embryonic' Stem Cells

Information obtained from the Accelerated Cure Project


Stem Cell Breakthrough: Mass-Production Of 'Embryonic' Stem Cells From A Human Hair Published


The first reports [268] of the successful reprogramming of adult human cells back into so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which by all appearances looked and acted like embryonic stem cells, created a media stir. But the process was woefully inefficient: Only one out of 10,000 cells could be persuaded to turn back the clock.

Now, a team of researchers led by Juan Carlos Izpis├║a Belmonte at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, succeeded in boosting the reprogramming efficiency more than 100-fold, while cutting the time it takes in half. In fact, they repeatedly generated iPS cells from the tiny number of keratinocytes attached to a single hair plucked from a human scalp. "Having a very efficient and practical way of generating patient-specific stem cells, which unlike human embryonic stem cells, wouldn't be rejected by the patient's immune system after transplantation brings us a step closer to the clinical application of stem cell therapy," says Belmonte, PhD., a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory and director of the Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona, Spain.

[268] http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-10/si-srs101708.php

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Tips to Bring You and Your Partner Closer

Personal Relationships

Tips to Bring You and Your Partner Closer

Information found here is in the October edition of the MS LifeLines® eNewsletter
Physical relationships play a huge role in life, but all too often they're put on back burner by people with relapsing MS says Patricia Kennedy, nurse practitioner and patient education specialist for The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. Patricia says that while relapsing MS can interfere with the way you express closeness, it certainly doesn't mean you can't have a satisfying, physical relationship with your partner.
Patricia offers several strategies for balancing your MS with your personal relationships: First and foremost is communication. "Talking to your partner is key." If you are open and honest about your feelings, you can address concerns, clear up misperceptions and ultimately become closer. If you have trouble expressing yourself, Patricia suggests writing letters to each other, which can be a "safer way" to get the conversation started.
Learn 4 more strategies that Patricia recommends to help you and partner. You can also view a webevent that she participated in about MS and Personal Relationships. The webevent features an in-depth discussion of the topic and real-life advice and insight from MS LifeLines® Ambassadors.

Connect with Your Peers
To talk directly with other MS LifeLines Ambassadors about relationships, taking Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) therapy, or other issues related to living with relapsing MS, discover our new Peer Connection Program. This unique program lets you speak one-on-one with an Ambassador who will listen to your concerns and share his or her experience.
Keeping in Balance
Find out more ways that can help you live well and keep your MS in balance.
Support Every Step of the Way
MS LifeLines, is a free support service designed to help you start and stay on Rebif therapy today, and every step of the way. Our mission is to offer connections, understanding, and support to people on or considering Rebif, and the family and friends who care for them. We can help answer your questions about relapsing MS and make treatment with Rebif as easy as possible. Call us at a 1-877-447-3243 or visit MS LifeLines.
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Leukemia Drug May Reverse MS Brain Damage

October 23, '08:

Follow these two links Posted earlier today to our Library of MS Archives:

Multiple Sclerosis Related: Leukemia Drug May Reverse Brain Damage

Multiple Sclerosis Related: Leukemia Drug Shows Great Results

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

“Kneading” to Feel Better Through Massage Therapy

Shmoozin' with Susan

written October 21, 2008
by Susan Dorne, OT


Oooh, Ahhhh……. No, this isn’t the start of a mattress commercial or any special phone call, they are expressions often uttered during and after a massage. As an occupational therapist I have provided massage as an integral part of treatment but there’s nothing like being the recipient of a full body massage. As an individual with MS, massage therapy is one of the best ways for me to help manage many of my MS symptoms including pain, spasticity, decreased flexibility and vertigo. Although there are several types of massage therapy available, I am only going to focus on Swedish Massage and Deep Tissue Massage.

>> Read complete article ( then come back here to leave your comments)


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Should I Get the Flu Shot if I Have MS?

GREAT information from Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D. of ms.about.com

Time for Your Flu Shot
I'll make this short - if you have MS, it's a really good idea to get a flu shot.

Think of it this way: Have you ever had the flu? Now, have you ever had the flu since you had MS?

  • If not, try to imagine those achy, feverish, disoriented days with the extra bonus of a simultaneous visit from many MS symptoms - even those you thought were in the past. Infections, especially those that come with fevers, bring on MS symptoms. They get the immune system inflamed, but more importantly for symptoms, a rise in body temperature caused by fever (even one degree) is enough to slow down nerve impulses in places that had mostly healed or adapted.
  • If you have had the flu with MS in the past, you probably already got your flu shot months ago...
Important note: As tempting as it is to avoid another injection in your life, it is recommended that people with MS NOT get FluMist, the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine. It is a live virus vaccine that could get our immune systems going a little too much, especially if you are on immunosuppressant drugs of any sort.

Read the full article: Should I Get the Flu Shot if I Have MS?

Stuart suggests that you speak with your Neurologist and Primary Physician, to weigh your situation carefully and individually -

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Avigen's lead drug fails mid-stage trial, shares sink

Reuters
Tue Oct 21, 2008 12:31pm EDT

By Suzannah Benjamin

BANGALORE, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Avigen Inc., said its lead drug for the treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis failed to meet the main goal of a mid-stage trial, sending its shares plunging 84 percent to an all-time low.

Two analysts said Avigen may discontinue development of the drug AV650, or tolperisone, which was the most important value driver for the biopharmaceutical company that investors focused on.

"We are somewhat surprised with the outcome of the multiple sclerosis trial, given the prior clinical data and the fact that AV650 is already a marketed product in Europe as an antispasticity agent," Oppenheimer & Co analyst Brian Abrahams said.

» Read More



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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hikers find 'abominable snowman' footprints

Yeti Project Japan explorers claim proof of hairy Himalayan man-beast
By Gopal Sharma
updated 9:54 a.m. ET, Tues., Oct. 21, 2008

KATHMANDU - Japanese climbers returning from a mountain in western Nepal said on Tuesday they had found footprints they think belonged to the abominable snowman or Yeti.

"We saw three footprints which looked like that of human beings," Kuniaki Yagihara, a member of the Yeti Project Japan, said in Kathmandu, after returning from the mountain with photographs of the footprints.

The climbers, equipped with long-lens cameras, video cameras and telescopes, said, however that they did not see or take any photographs of the creature.

Story continues

The Yeti Project Japan / AP -- click to continue reading to see photo



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FTY720 therapy, exerts differential effects on T cell subsets

Source:PubMed
2008 Oct 14;71(16):1261-7

Department of Biomedicine and Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland.

In this study the authors found changes in the T cells in the blood, a type of cell involved in the immune response, in people who received a new tablet medication called FTY720 which is under investigation in MS.

authors: Mehling M, Brinkmann V, Antel J, Bar-Or A, Goebels N, Vedrine C, Kristofic C, Kuhle J, Lindberg RL, Kappos L

BACKGROUND: The oral immunomodulator FTY720 has shown efficacy in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). FTY720 functionally antagonizes sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1P1) on T cells and consequently inhibits S1P/S1P1-dependent lymphocyte egress from secondary lymphoid organs. Little is known about the phenotype and function of T cells remaining in peripheral blood during long-term FTY720 treatment.

» Read More

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Glatiramer acetate after mitoxantrone induction improves MRI markers

Glatiramer acetate after mitoxantrone induction improves MRI markers of lesion volume and permanent tissue injury in MS


In this randomised single-blind study, the authors demonstrated that mitoxantrone followed by glatiramer was more effective in suppressing inflammation on MRI than glatiramer on its own.

authors: Arnold DL, Campagnolo D, Panitch H, Bar-Or A, Dunn J, Freedman MS, Gazda SK, Vollmer T

source: J Neurol. 2008 Oct 7
NeuroRx Research, 3605 University Street, Suite 4, Montreal, Quebec Canada, H3A, 2B3, doug@neurorx.com.

BACKGROUND : Glatiramer acetate (GA) therapy following brief, low-dose induction with mitoxantrone was safe and more effective than GA alone in suppressing inflammatory disease activity, as determined by a significant reduction in gadolinium (Gd)- enhancing MRI lesions, in a 15- month, randomized, single-blind study of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients.

» Read More

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Stem Cell Treatment (Patient) Update

written October 19, 2008

Hello everyone!!


I was given the opportunity to update everyone on my progress since the umbilical cord stem cell treatment. I need to say that I am very satisfied with the treatment but I can't say this is a cure, no one can at this point. Local doctors want more data before they will "officially" mention the treatment. I received treatment in Costa Rica. The doctors there are also hesitant to say the "c" word without more data.

Here is my experience: My MS caused depression, fatigue, a cognitive "cloud", an occasional dragging on my left foot and heat intolerance.

>> Read More

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