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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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Friday, February 27, 2009

Information for Patients Newly Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis

To view information banners and MS resources
Click here to review the MS Views and News Website
Bookmark the blog that you are reading from

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Then review all shown below:

Have you just been told that you have multiple sclerosis (MS) or suspect that you may have it? Learn what some of your first steps might be to take charge and manage your MS. While it may be difficult at first to get used to the idea of living with MS, you can do it - you can have the life you want.


Tips to Optimize Your MRI Experience
An MRI can be a scary, loud and hot experience. Use these tips to minimize your discomfort and have a better time in the MRI tube.


Why Isn’t Everyone With MS on Treatment?
Despite strong recommendations from the Multiple Sclerosis Society and most MS advocates, many people with MS are not on disease-modifying therapies. Learn some of the reasons why people might not be on therapy – and why these reasons aren’t good enough.


Talk About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a complicated disease that people easily misunderstand or have misconceptions about. Taking the time to think through what you will say to people can help avoid an awkward conversation.


What to Expect During an MRI Scan
Knowing what to expect during an MRI scan is helpful. MRI scans do not hurt, but are unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Know what to expect and you’ll breeze through your MRI scan.


Find an MS Neurologist
Finding a neurologist for multiple sclerosis can be an intimidating and confusing process. By following these simple steps, you can find the right MS neurologist for you.

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Have a Question, Comment or information for others? If so, please use the post comment link found below. Your name and email address would be appreciated but is not necessary unless you want a response from others. Thank You
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A READER's Comment of MS Views and News

February 27, 2009
It is always a pleasure for me to get nice comments and praise from those reading the weekly e-newsletter or this blog and occasionally I like to share the comment.


Here is one that I received this morning (NOT edited):

Man where do i begin? first of all i don't know IF you have ms or a loved one of your's has it -
but the service,compation you have all you do for people with this ms thing
i've been diagnosed 2 years now watched my walking my articulate speach my vision falter and see a angel like yourself
let me know there are still good people in this world
thank god for you
you even took the time out to put the type in big bold letters
thank you and may god bless you sincerly STEVEN G
PS. i believe you were sent to do this

Well Steven, in a way I have always felt that I was "GIVEN" MS for a reason... So that I can help others and become a voice for many.

If anybody would like to comment to this posting, I am sure that Steven would be happy to know he is not alone.

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Experimental Drug for MS helps to improve walking ability for some

AFP

PARIS (AFP) An experimental drug called fampridine improves walking ability in some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the nervous system that crimps mobility, a study published on Friday in The Lancet says.

Doctors recruited 301 adults with MS in the United States and Canada, and gave the drug to 229 of the recruits and a dummy lookalike pill, also called a placebo, to 72 others.

Of those who received the drug, just over a third experienced an increase in the speed at which they could walk 25 feet (7.69 metres). The boost in speed was around 25 percent.

Of those who took the placebo, around eight percent had an increase in speed.

The drug was apparently well tolerated. Only 11 people, or less than five percent, of those in fampridine group dropped out of the 14-week trial because of side effects.

"This study indicates that fampridine could represent an important new way to treat multiple sclerosis and perhaps become the first drug to improve certain symptoms of the disease," lead researcher Andrew Goodman, a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said in a press release.

"The data suggest that, for a sub-set of MS patients, nervous system function is partially restored while taking the drug."

Around a million people around the world are affected by MS, a degenerative disease in which the immune system attacks myeline, the fatty sheath that protects nerve fibres.

As a result, signals between nerve cells are delayed, disrupted or even blocked, rather like a poor connection in an electrical wire, and this causes worsening problems in coordination and balance, as well as blurred vision and slurred speech.

Current drugs for MS suppress the immune system. They can be useful for slowing progression of the disease, but cannot improve impaired function.

Fampridine does not address the problem of myeline loss. Instead, it is believed to work by blocking channels for potassium ions on the surface of nerve cells.

These channels act rather like gates, and help to regulate electrical impulses.

The study was the final stage in a three-phase process of clinical trials to assess new drugs for safety and effectively.

Fampridine's developer, Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., this month submitted a licence application to the the US watchdog, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the press release said

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Merck and Ambrx expand collaboration to develop multiple sclerosis drug

Pharmaceutical Business Review

Published:27-February-2009

By Datamonitor staff writer

Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Ambrx, a biopharmaceutical company, have announced a global strategic collaboration to develop and commercialize Ambrx's ARX424 preclinical product candidate for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

ARX424 was created by Ambrx through the application of its proprietary protein optimization technology, ReCODE. This second collaboration between the two companies follows a previous agreement announced in 2007 to develop ARX201, Ambrx's long-acting growth hormone product, currently in Phase II of clinical development.

» Read More

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Enhancing the mental well-being of people with multiple sclerosis

  • Published: 26 February 2009 16:38 - Last Updated: 26 February 2009 17:57

A mental health nurse-led multidisciplinary team has set up a project to meet the emotional and mental health needs of patients who have multiple sclerosis

This project provides a unique service that aims to enhance the mental and emotional well-being of people who have multiple sclerosis (MS).

In collaboration with King's College Hospital MS service, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the Institute of Psychiatry and the MS Society, this service provides assessment and treatment using medication, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychosocial interventions.

Patients also receive education that helps to empower them to take control over their lives.

Click here to continue reading from original source


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CARE-MS seeking Volunteer Research study subjects

Volunteers - U.S. Only

Thank you for your interest in the CARE-MSSM I and II global multiple sclerosis clinical research studies. Both studies are enrolling patients and are designed to determine the safety and the effectiveness of the investigational drug alemtuzumab as compared to the FDA-approved therapy Rebif® (which has a scientific or generic name of interferon beta-1a), in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (sometimes called RRMS).

Click here to learn and read more
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Acorda Therapeutics Submits New Drug Application for Fampridine-SR for Improvement of Walking Ability in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Drugs.com

New Drug Application (NDA) Submitted for Fampridine-SR ( 4-aminopyridine [4AP] )

HAWTHORNE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 2, 2009 - Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOR) today announced the submission of a New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on January 30, 2009 for Fampridine-SR, a novel therapy being developed to improve walking ability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The Company expects that the NDA filing, if accepted, will be subject to standard review, which would provide a target for the FDA to complete its review within ten months from receipt of the submission.

» Read More






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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Basic Multiple Sclerosis Information

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease. Learn more about basic information, including types, causes, risk factors, prevalence, prognosis and relapses or exacerbations.

This link will re-direct you to the MS.about.com website... With detailed information available to your fingertips.



RETURN to this page if you want to leave comments. - Thank You


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Researchers have developed a technique that counteracts an unusual but serious side effect from natalizumab (Tysabri), a drug that fights MS

MSTRust.org
Info provided by Sheryl in Miami - today February 26, 2009

Discovery of way to fight rare, but deadly,
side effect from drug


18 February 2009

Researchers at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center have developed a technique that counteracts an unusual, but serious, side effect from natalizumab (Tysabri), a drug that fights multiple sclerosis (MS).

The side effect is a brain virus called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

"This virus looks like a multiple sclerosis relapse," Dr Bhupendra Khatri says. "It rapidly destroys the white matter of the brain. Now we know exactly how to respond if this virus emerges."

» Read More


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Breastfeeding Helps New Moms with Multiple Sclerosis

Did we catch your eye to read this article?

From ms.about.com:

Breastfeeding Helps New Moms with Multiple Sclerosis
Okay, this is really interesting. Turns out if you have MS and you breastfeed your baby, your risk for having a relapse within the first 2 months after giving birth is cut by more than half. However, I have to warn, this is not a guarantee that you won't have a relapse by any means - I dutifully (painfully, fumbling, swearing, crying until I got the hang of it) struggled to breastfeed and still got slammed with a terrible relapse 3 weeks after giving birth. Don't get me wrong - I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding - I continued on after having to "pump and dump" during my Solu-Medrol treatment.

What I will say is that breastfeeding can be a challenge, it can be rewarding, but it is a very individual decision. Read the full blog: Breastfeeding Helps New Moms with Multiple Sclerosis

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Understanding Fatigue - Knowledge for those affected by Multiple Sclerosis

by: Susan Dorne, OT

Understanding Fatigue

Fatigue is a normal response that occurs as a result of dealing with the countless responsibilities we have each and every day. Fatigue is a lack of energy and is not the same as feeling sleepy or drowsy. However, MS fatigue is different and is often one of the most challenging symptoms.



Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, affecting 80% to 95% of all people. It is a result of a lack of physical energy, mental energy or both. Fatigue can vary from just needing a little rest to significantly impacting everything you want and need to do. It is also one major reason for unemployment among people with MS. Fatigue is one of the ‘invisible’ disabilities which make it difficult for family, friends, employers, and even some doctors to understand the impact.

» Read More


RETURN to this page to leave comments and/or suggestions for others
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An MS Patients' Questions of PML and Stem Cell Therapy

Questions:
Have you heard anything about why PML is more common outside the US? I know they have a different monitoring program than we do here… ours is the TOUCH program, and I can’t remember what theirs is. I can see there being a difference in how FAST they catch the PML, but you wouldn’t think that one group would be more susceptible to it, you know? I’m interested to hear what the expert says…

BTW, how much do you know about the stem cell transplant issue? I am going to ask my neuro about it when I go next week for my 6th infusion. From what little bit I have read, it’s mostly for people in the early stages of MS, isn’t it? So I doubt if it would even be something I would qualify for, even if I was brave enough to give it a whirl.. But since there’s no telling what’s down the road with Tysabri, I try to keep up on other options, just in case. I have heard there are several centers now looking to enroll people for a much larger scale study. Hope you have a good one, -Rita

Opinionated Replies:

I am not an expert. But being that they (outside the USA) do not have a program like the Touch program found in the USA, I would think that the way they monitor or first test a patient is not as effective as what is found here in the USA. This info is also derived from sources that I have chatted with.

Adult Stem Cell therapy is more acceptable and only partially successful. Most that I have heard thru medical sources and thru others who have had the therapy, have informed me that the solution is great at first, but then after a year, symptoms seem to re-arise.


My thought to this, is that each person actually became victim (so to speak) , of the placebo effect... Being the same principal of someone in pain, being told they are being given a pain suppressant medication, when only a sugar pill is being administered, and yet, the pain seems to disappear.... Remember though, that this is only my thought, my opinion... Is the stem cell therapy really working or is it the Placebo effect?
And so, I advise for most to stay away from the stem cell therapies until more research evolves and keep the $30,000 grand in your pocket.
It is a very expensive procedure...


Tysabri having only had (5) PML cases in over 40,000 who are using the medication, demonstrates that the risk from the use of this medication is considerably small. And I for one, if I were not having success with my own medication (Rebif), would opt to then use Tysabri as a second line of defense.

AGAIN to remember, that I am not an expert NOR a medical physician, nor hold any medical degrees or have any initials behind my name.. The above response was ONLY my opinion and so, if you seek expert advice or a valid medical reply, speak with a Professional, with degrees and abbreviations behind his/her name.

Regards,
Stuart Schlossman
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IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING you want to add to this posting, or have something else to offer,
PLEASE DO NOT hesitate to respond
Please comment

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For BuZZ Members -

A message to all members of the BuZZ

Hello members of the BuZZ!

CHAT is a feature at the BuZZ that is available at any time, but twice per month we hold a general CHAT with an open topic. Today is the 2nd general CHAT for February!

Open Topic CHAT Schedule:
2nd & 4th Thursday, from 2-3pm Eastern Time.

We hope you can stop in to say hello!

Visit the BuZZ at: http://ohgreeting.ning.com

If not yet a member, join today
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To control which emails you receive on the BuZZ, go to:
http://ohgreeting.ning.com/profiles/profile/emailSettings


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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stress and MS ? - from InforMS - Rocky Mountain MS Ctr.





Biogen Idec talking with MS pill maker

Bloomberg News / February 25, 2009

NEW YORK - Biogen Idec Inc. of Cambridge is in talks to buy Acorda Therapeutics Inc. to gain an experimental pill for patients with multiple sclerosis, people familiar with the discussions said.

Acorda shares surged 19 percent when the company said its lead experimental drug, Fampridine, helped MS patients walk. Biogen, the world's largest maker of medicines for multiple sclerosis, is also talking about buying rights to market Fampridine, the people said. The pill may be cleared for US sale this year.

Biogen Idec is racing Merck KGaA and Novartis AG to market the first pill for multiple sclerosis, a disease currently managed by injected medicines that generate $6 billion a year worldwide. Acorda, based in Hawthorne, N.Y., said its 2008 net loss doubled from the previous year and the company is trying to sell marketing rights to Fampridine to fund operations beyond 2010.

"The next rational step is exploratory discussions with potential partners," Acorda chief executive Ron Cohen said yesterday. "That does not in any way preclude us from exploring other options."

Acorda spokesman Jeff Macdonald and Biogen spokeswoman Naomi Aoki declined to comment.

Biogen's top-selling MS medication, Avonex, generated $2.2 billion last year. Its fastest growing product is the MS drug Tysabri, which had 2008 sales of $589 million. The company's oral MS drug, BG-12, is in final human tests. Biogen is also developing at least three other experimental treatments, daclizumab, CDP323, and Lingo, for MS.
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Investigators worldwide are recruiting subjects for a study of alemtuzumab (Genzyme Corporation) for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS.

Source: Nat'l MS Society

Feb 24, 2009

Investigators worldwide are recruiting subjects for a study of alemtuzumab (Genzyme Corporation) for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS. In the CARE-MSSM II study, approximately 1200 subjects at over 250 study sites will be randomly assigned to receive one of two alemtuzumab treatment regimens, or Rebif® (interferon beta-1a, EMD Serono and Pfizer). This study is funded by Genzyme Corporation and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.

Rationale: Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed at CD52 (a protein on the surface of immune cells) that is currently approved by the U.S. FDA as a single agent for treatment of patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Its ability to target immune cells has led investigators to test its potential as a treatment for relapsing-remitting MS.

» Read More



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Coping with Multiple Sclerosis is challenging enough without having to worry about the cost of your MS therapy

Because MS is challenging, getting on therapy shouldn't be.

Coping with MS is challenging enough without having to worry about the cost of your MS therapy. That's why we're offering MS LifeLines® Access Made Simple, a new program that can help you get affordable access to the therapy you need... regardless of your financial status (subject to meeting eligibility requirements).

Through the MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program, you may be eligible to get Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) at no cost, or for no more than $50 per month, for up to one year of treatment. Best of all, MS LifeLines takes care of all the paperwork

How do I know if I'm eligible for the program?

You may be eligible for MS LifeLines Access Made Simple if:

  • You are a US resident with a relapsing form of MS, and
  • You have been newly prescribed Rebif therapy, or are restarting therapy after having previously discontinued Rebif for at least 90 days

Some limitations required by law: People residing in certain states, as well as those covered by federal and state programs, may not be eligible for assistance.

Program eligibility requirements and benefits subject to change and discontinuation at any time.

You may apply to the MS LifeLines Patient Assistance Program the following year; enrollees will undergo periodic insurance reviews.

How do I apply to the MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program?

There is no application or extra paperwork for you or your doctor. You will be automatically enrolled in the program when your doctor faxes your prescription to MS LifeLines (subject to meeting eligibility requirements).

Will I receive Rebif at no cost or will I have to pay up to $50 per month?

If you are eligible, you will receive Rebif at no cost if you are currently uninsured, insured with no drug benefit, or have exhausted your drug coverage. You'll be responsible for a co-pay up to $50 per month if you have high co-pay/co-insurance.*

My doctor told me that I will probably need to be on Rebif for more than one year. What happens after I have completed the MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program?

If you have no insurance or limited coverage, our Reimbursement Specialists will research options to help cover the cost of your treatment once the year is over. They will be doing this during your last 3 months in the program to try to help avoid any lapse in coverage. Our specialists are trained and experienced in understanding the many state, federal and pharmacy assistance programs that offer funding for people living with MS. The goal is to help you stay on Rebif to help delay the progression of your relapsing MS.

If you are not adequately covered, the Reimbursement Specialist will help you apply to the Rebif Patient Assistance Program.

MS LifeLines cannot guarantee that you will receive insurance coverage or reimbursement for your therapy. But the Reimbursement Specialists will do their very best to help you.

What if I do not qualify for the MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program?

MS LifeLines specialists can answer questions on topics including enrollment, benefits, cost, and prior authorization requirements. They will also help you navigate the Medicare Prescription Drug Assistance Program. If you are still having financial difficulties, Reimbursement Specialists will help you apply to the Rebif Patient Assistance Program. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

MS LifeLines Access Made Simple. Helping you focus on a successful start to your relapsing MS therapy—instead of how you're going to pay for it.

To find out if you qualify for the MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program, call MS LifeLines at 1-(877)-447-3243, Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 10 PM ET.

* MS LifeLines will subsidize your co-insurance exceeding this amount.


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Chooosing an MS Therapy that's right for you

Information found here was provided by Joe, in Miami:


On February 25th, MS In BalanceSM will release a new online video:
In just 30 minutes, you can gather important information that can help you and your healthcare team consider which therapy for relapsing MS may be right for you.
This Talk MS program will feature special guests, including:
Randall Schapiro, MD
MS LifeLines® Ambassador Missy
Don't miss your opportunity to talk MS!
Join Talk MS on February 25th for your chance to submit a question to Dr. Schapiro, who may answer it in a future event!
register today
When you register, you will receive an email notification when this video is ready for viewing!
P.S. Do you want to learn more about MS LifeLines® Access Made Simple?
Join Talk MS for Choosing a Therapy That's Right For You to learn more!









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Stem Cells in Costa Rica

Found and posted this today only because many have been asking me for more information on Stem Cell therapy. I ( Stuart Schlossman) do not suggest the use of this therapy without first speaking with and agreeing to this form of treatment, "with"your medical providers. It IS expensive and Not Guaranteed.
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This journey is a big leap of faith. It was for me and for anyone seeking the treatment. I can't say it is a cure but I feel a million times better than the day I left for Costa Rica in May 2008.
My symptoms included a cognitive "cloud," fatigue, depression and a staggered walk. The fatigue and the depression was bad enough I didn't want to get out of bed and "live" every day. I had too. I have a wife and children counting on Dad. So I continued to push.... like everyone else has to do. I was just determined that MS had chosen the wrong victim if "it" wanted someone willing to let the disease rob him of a decent quality of life.

I chose Costa Rica after a lot of time researching other facilities and talking with past patients. I chose Costa Rica for several reasons. The CEO of the clinic is Dr. Neill Riordan. He was educated in Kansas and has published several articles. I believe some of them are posted through the National Institute of Health. For the CEO of the clinic that was enough of credibility for him. I spoke wtih a Dr. Brenes at the clinic. He was a very compassionate man and obviously wanted to help. He dropped the price a few thousand dollars and said "Our biggest concern is your health." That was absolutely the only time I have ever heard that from any physician!!
Continue reading this story from it's original source: Click HERE


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Clinical Trial information from the NIH for Multiple Sclerosis

Information provided by Grace in Miami


A reminder to all, of the National Institute of Health's (NIH) website, to find the information for recent Clinical Trials (studies) on Multiple Sclerosis Research.

Currently this site is showing data on 440 studies.

Click this link: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=Multiple+Sclerosis - then save it to your favorites or bookmarks, so that you can have for future reference.

Or, you can check back at this blog and simply search: Clinical Trials

If you have information to share with others, please send to me: stuartschlossman@bellsouth.net , to post for the benefit of all affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

To be affected by MS, does not only relate to the patients. Caregivers, Family and friends are also AFFECTED...

Please Help MS views and News to Share to all Affected by MS.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

Posted by: Stuart Schlossman - February 24, 2009

Some symptoms of MS are much more common than others.

Click here, then scroll down the page to find the the article titled: MS Symptoms
> Most Common Symptoms and Lesser Common <


Return to this page to post any comments or questions you may have
Thank You
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The prognostic significance of cerebrospinal fluid in multiple sclerosis

Pubmed- J Neurol Sci. 2009 Jan 30. [Epub ahead of print] -

Siritho S, Freedman MS.

The Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, 4th Floor, Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, 501 Smyth Rd, Box 606, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H8L6.

BACKGROUND: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients lacking CSF oligoclonal bands are purported to have a milder course of disease. We reviewed the natural history of oligoclonal band (OCB) - negative (OCB-) compared to OCB positive (OCB+) patients.

METHOD: A retrospective study of 451 MS patients.

» Read More

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Demyelinating events in early multiple sclerosis have inherent severity and recovery

MSIF News

In this longitudinal study the authors looked at the factors involved in the more severe course of the disease after a first event suggestive of MS. They found that patients with a more severe presentation and poorer recovery tended to have the same pattern of severity for the following relapses, suggesting an intra-patient homogeneity of the disease.

Mowry EM, Pesic M, Grimes B, Deen S, Bacchetti P, Waubant E.

Department of Neurology, Multiple Sclerosis Center, University of California, San Francisco, 350 Parnassus Avenue, Suite 908, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA. ellen.mowry@ucsf.edu

» Read More

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Disconnection as a mechanism for cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis

MSIF news

summary: The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether the disruption of specific white matter tracts could be involved in cognitive dysfunction in patients with MS. The authors found that cognitive dysfunction was strongly correlated with not only the presence of lesions in certain brain regions, but also with damage in some other areas with no lesions but with a high disorganization, suggesting disruption of the underlying anatomical connections within the brain.

authors: Dineen RA, Vilisaar J, Hlinka J, Bradshaw CM, Morgan PS, Constantinescu CS, Auer DP
source: Brain. 2009 Jan;132(Pt 1):239-49

Department of Academic Radiology, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK . robert.dineen@nhs.net

Disconnection of cognitively important processing regions by injury to the interconnecting white matter provides a potential mechanism for cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. The contribution of tract-specific white matter injury to dysfunction in different cognitive domains in patients with multiple sclerosis has not previously been studied.

» Read More

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Multiple Sclerosis Facts

There are many who register to receive Stu's Views and MS Related news, each week. For those new to this site and who have not had time to view all of our categories, at least take the time to view our archives for the title "Facts on MS"

Click this link to take you to our library of MS archives

Take some time to scan and view the articles that you "want-to" read.

Use the Search box found at this Library of MS archives to enter a keyword. Then Click enter and all the articles pertaining to that keyword, will then open for your review. This library houses over 1400 MS articles...

Or Click here to review the homepage for the Library, to scroll thru the other Link titles found there.

If you are receiving this posting thru a source other than Stuart, consider registering at his website, so that you can receive the postings more expeditiously.

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Wheelchair Kamikaze: Upper West Side of Manhattan

An MS patients' adventure in Manhattan. Click the link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAupl7GLleA

This is a video he made of a wheelchair excursion through the upper West side of Manhattan.

It seems to be getting a very nice response, and fellow MSer's are telling him that it's not only entertaining but has helped them in their own struggles to come to grips with the increasing disabilities they face.

If the response continues to be good, he hopes to be posting more of these videos in the future...

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Can Breast Feeding Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Relapses

Women who have multiple sclerosis may reduce their risk of relapses after pregnancy if they breastfeed their babies, according to a study released at the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, researchers followed 32 pregnant women with MS and 29 pregnant women without MS during each trimester and up to a year after they gave birth. The women were interviewed about their breastfeeding and menstrual period history.

A total of 52 percent of the women with MS did not breastfeed or began supplemental formula feedings within two months of giving birth. Of those, 87 percent had a relapse after pregnancy compared to 36 percent of women with MS who breastfed exclusively for at least two months after pregnancy.

Sixty percent of the women reported their main reason for not breastfeeding exclusively was to start taking MS treatments again. Women who began taking MS treatments within the first two months after giving birth had significantly higher risk of suffering a relapse than women with MS who did not start taking medications early, regardless of whether they breastfed. Those who breastfed exclusively got their menstrual periods back later than the women who did not breastfeed or began early supplemental feedings.

“Our findings call into question the benefit of choosing not to breastfeed or stopping breastfeeding early in order to start taking MS therapies,” said study author Annette Langer-Gould, MD, PhD, of Stanford University in California, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Larger studies need to be done on whether women should delay taking MS medications in order to breastfeed.”

Source:
American Academy Of Neurology
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis (Stem Cell Research): Treatment in Canada Vs. China

Culture 11

By Don Margolis

February 23, 2009

A Canadian Television station decided to do some stem cell research of their own recently. CTV Calgary did a two part series-a comparison of 2 different stem cell treatments using Adult Stem Cells to treat Multiple Sclerosis.


Part 1- Stem Cell Treatment for MS in Canada

In part one of the stem cell series, they took a look at a Canadian clinical Adult Stem Cell research study led by Dr. Mark Freedman at Ottawa General Hospital in which they first use chemotherapy to destroy the Multiple Sclerosis’ patient’s immune system and then implant the patient’s own stem cells to create a new immune system and hopefully destroy the Multiple Sclerosis in the process.

The TV show focused on MS patient Jennifer Molson who they show is seemingly cured of her MS as they show her playing street hockey with her kids. On the other side of the coin, they also show a patient, John McCleary who died in the clinical study from the effects of the chemotherapy (before the stem cells were implanted). Read more at Stem Cell Research


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Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Weapons To Fight Multiple Sclerosis

Posted by Stuart Schlossman of MS Views and News, Inc. Click link to register for a weekly e-newsletter.

Multiple sclerosis is a mysterious condition that can rob a young person of his ability to walk, or her ability to speak or think clearly. But doctors and researchers have new weapons to better see the lesions in the brain that cause MS. And the hope is as they see these lesions more clearly they understand them better and can treat them more efficiently. In this program, we head into the MRI lab to see the latest tools in the fight against MS and meet some of the experts who are on the front lines in the battle against this debilitating condition.

Click this link to view this video on this new weaponry


This information was provided by Dr. J. Horstmyer - Chairman of the FIU College of Medicine Department of Neurology and Director of the MS Center of Miami

Dr. Zivadinov is an FIU Professor of Neurology and a founding member of the FIU College of Medicine Department of Neurology.

Also seen here are physicians from the Univ of Buffalo.

Watch this video to learn more of these new weapons on the war against MS and to learn more in general of Multiple Sclerosis, including cognitive rehab strategies.


Please share this link with others affected by MS.

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Young Smokers Increase Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Newswise.com

Newswise — People who start smoking before age 17 may increase their risk for developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009.

The study involved 87 people with MS who were among more than 30,000 people in a larger study. The people with MS were divided into three groups: non-smokers, early smokers (smokers who began before age 17), and late smokers (those who started smoking at 17 or older), and matched by age, gender, and race to 435 people without MS.

Early smokers were 2.7 times more likely to develop MS than nonsmokers. Late smokers did not have an increased risk for the disease. More than 32 percent of the MS patients were early smokers, compared to 19 percent of the people without MS.

“Studies show that environmental factors play a prominent role in multiple sclerosis,” said study author Joseph Finkelstein, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, MD, which conducted the study in collaboration with Veterans Affairs MS Center for Excellence. “Early smoking is an environmental factor that can be avoided.”

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 21,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, restless legs syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, narcolepsy, and stroke.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit www.aan.com .

The AAN 61st Annual Meeting, the world’s largest gathering of neurology professionals, takes place April 25 to May 2, 2009, in Seattle. Visit www.aan.com/am for more information.

Editor’s Note: Study authors are available for interviews. Please contact Jenine Anderson, janderson@aan.com or Jay Mac Bride, jmacbride@aan.com.

To access 2009 AAN Annual Meeting abstracts available February 25, 2009, visit http://www.aan.com/go/science/abstracts.

Late-breaking abstracts will be featured in press release at the 2009 AAN Annual Meeting in Seattle.


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An Important Date is Soon Approaching

February 22, 2009

Dear friends,

Good Morning.

Just two months ago, I celebrated my 10th anniversary since being diagnosed with MS and last month I celebrated my 50th Birthday.

Yes, I do say celebrated and I do mean to both events.
Especially for the celebration of the 10th anniversary since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

The reason I say this is because when I was first diagnosed, I was told that within 5-6 years, I would probably be in the need of a walker or other walking aid.

However, this is not the case. Yea sure, occasionally I am in need of a cane, especially for whenever there is much walking to do.

But for the most part, the need for use of a cane all the time is surely not (yet) necessary.
Now, I will tell you why this timeframe of my disability has been thwarted. It's called advancement in research knowledge of the disease and availability of better medications to slow the disease progression. The CAUSE : "Research" . And how was this made available for Research to do? Answer: MONEY

Yes, Money is needed to further advance research. Not just for Multiple Sclerosis, but for many other diseases. Many of them being various types of Neurological diseases...
Find a cure for any one of these neurologic diseases and the walls may come tumbling down for all similar disease.

And so, this is why again, I must ask for your help while I ask for money to help fund research...
Want to know more of Multiple Sclerosis? See my MS website or view my MS blog Or catch up on Just the Facts of MS (available at my Library of MS Archives)

True the economy is worse than it has ever been for the majority of those who are reading this message.
But the fact remains, that Multiple Sclerosis will not sit idle awaiting for the economy to change.

My MS Walk date is soon approaching, in the middle of March.
This is an important day for me, as it marks another year that I have helped battle a disease which burdens me and hundreds of thousands of others.

Please opt to make a small contribution to help me to continue to wage war against this mysterious disease. By clicking this Link, to make a secure online contribution or,if you are not comfortable with an online contribution, then please make a check payable to :
The National MS Society and then mail it to me:
c/o Stuart Schlossman - 8669 SW 51st Street - Cooper City, Fl. 33328-4301

I do hope that you will remember me and my quest to end this often devastating and debilitating disease.

Sincerely,
Stuart Schlossman



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