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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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Saturday, November 7, 2009

MS Related: Biogen Updates Tysabri Label To Reflect Risk With Longer Use

November 6, 2009

By Thomas Gryta, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB) amended the U.S. label of multiple sclerosis treatment Tysabri, sold with Elan Corp. PLC (ELN), on Friday to reflect that the risk of a rare brain infection rises with longer usage.

The changes, which were expected, note that the occurrence of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, in patients treated for 24 to 36 months is "generally similar" to the 1-in-1,000 rate seen in clinical trials. The changes warn that there is limited experience with the drug beyond three years of treatment.

Lazard Capital Markets' analyst Joel Sendek said the changes appeared to be benign.

"We do not expect physicians to significantly change their Tysabri prescribing habits in the near-term," Sendek said in a research note. He continues to project 2010 Tysabri sales of $1.1 billion.

Biogen had previous said it was discussing a label change with the Food and Drug Administration to include duration-related risk, but some on Wall Street had feared it would include suggestion for duration limits, or taking a " holiday" from treatment.

Barclays Capital analyst Jim Birchenough wrote Friday that he believes the new label will ultimately slow sales growth of the drug.

Aside from duration information, the updated label includes details on using plasma-exchange therapy, which removes large molecules from the body's blood circulation, thereby accelerating removal of Tysabri and theoretically improving the immune response to PML infection.

It also explains that inflammation of the rebuilding of the immune system can occur following discontinuation of Tysabri in patients with PML.


Continue reading this article at Nasdaq.com

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Real-Time Observation Sheds New Light On Multiple Sclerosis

In diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cells of the immune system infiltrate the brain tissue, where they cause immense damage. For many years, it was an enigma as to how these cells can escape from the bloodstream. This is no trivial feat, given that specialized blood vessels act as a barrier between the nervous system and the bloodstream. Until now, tissue sections provided the sole evidence that the immune cells really do manage to reach the nerve cells. Now, a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, the University Medical Center Göttingen, and other institutes, has witnessed the movements of these cells "live" under the microscope for the very first time. In the process, they discovered several new behavioural traits of the immune cells. The consolidated findings mark a significant step forward in our understanding of this complex disease. (Nature, 14 October 2009)

The brain and the spinal cord monitor and control the functions of all body parts and co-ordinate the whole organism's movements, senses and behaviour. Adequate protection of the brain and spinal cord are therefore of the utmost importance. Physical influences and injuries are warded off by the cranial bone and the vertebral column. Dangers lurking within the body, such as viruses circulating in the bloodstream, are kept at bay by highly specialized blood vessels. The vessels' walls form a barrier that cannot be penetrated by the cells or various other small particles, thus serving to protect the delicate nerve cells.

There are, however, exceptions to the rule. In diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), aggressive cells in the immune system manage to break through the blood vessels' barrier. Having invaded the brain tissue, these cells wreak havoc by triggering off inflammatory reactions and attacking nerve cells. In Germany alone, the resulting adverse effects afflict over 120,000 MS-patients.

>>> CLICK to Continue to Read : Tracking down the culprits, Observing aggressive cells in action and more


Register at: MS Views and News, to receive our weekly ms related e-newsletter

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Hormones, Gender and MS

MS LEARN ONLINE PRESENTS

Today's new Feature Presentation:

Hormones, Gender and MS

featuring Nancy Sicotte, MD

This two-part video webcast series explores:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Gender
  • Testosterone
  • Hormone therapy

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.

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Flu Vaccines—2009-2010 - Information for those with Multiple Sclerosis

Source National MS Society and the CDC - November 3, 2009

Regular flu shot: As in previous years, the National MS Society recommends a regular flu shot as a safe and effective vaccination for people with MS. The flu shot—which is a de-activated or “killed” vaccine—can safely be taken by individuals who are on any of the disease-modifying medications (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Copaxone®, Rebif®, Novantrone®, or Tysabri®).

FluMist Intranasal®: In 2003, the FDA approved a flu vaccine nasal spray “for healthy children and adolescents, ages 5-17, and healthy adults, ages 18-49.” According to Dr. Aaron Miller, the Society’s Chief Medical Officer, FluMist—which is a live, weakened vaccine—is not recommended for use by people with MS, and should specifically be avoided by any person with MS who is on an immunosuppressive medication such as mitoxantrone (Novantrone®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), azathioprine (Imuran®), or methotrexate.
• Live-virus vaccines are more likely than de-activated-virus vaccines to cause an increase in disease activity in people with MS.
• A person taking an immunosuppressive medication is more susceptible to developing an infection with the vaccine strain of the virus—an infection that may be particularly severe because the person’s immune system is suppressed.
• The interactions between live vaccines and the disease-modifying medications are not known.

H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine: On September 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved four vaccines for the H1N1 flu virus. The vaccines are manufactured using similar processes by four different companies. An adult over the age of nine being vaccinated against H1N1 influenza will receive one dose of one of these vaccines. Children under nine will receive two doses.

Three of the H1N1 vaccines are de-activated or “killed” vaccines that are administered by injection. These de-activated vaccines are considered safe for people with MS. One is a live, attenuated vaccine that is administered by nasal spray. The live, nasal spray vaccine, which is now available in some areas, should be avoided by individuals with MS. The supply of de-activated vaccine remains very limited.

Clearly, the initial supply of H1N1 vaccine will not be adequate to vaccinate everyone who would like to get it. The CDC has identified five groups to receive the vaccination on a priority basis:
o Pregnant women
o Persons who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months of age
o Healthcare and emergency services personnel
o Children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years of age
o Persons aged 25-64 who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

It is important to note that people with disabilities (including people with MS) are not necessarily considered by the CDC to be part of this high-priority group.

However:
 The flu virus (like any other virus) can precipitate MS exacerbations.

 A person with advanced MS or someone with less severe disease (Kurtzke less than 6.0) who has reduced pulmonary function or has any difficulty with breathing is considered at risk for complications and a good candidate for the H1N1 vaccine.

We recommend that people talk with their MS doctor to determine if they are a good candidate for the de-activated H1N1 vaccine.

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Are you yet registered at the website that provides this blog. Visit http://www.msviewsandnews.org to register. Once registered, you wil begin receiving their weekly MS related e-Newsletter.

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Plasmapheresis and MS

Plasmapheresis is a process involving the following steps:
  • Whole blood is withdrawn from the person.
  • The liquid portion or plasma is removed from the blood and replaced.
  • The blood, with all its red and white blood cells, is transfused back into the person.

This process is a successful method for treating autoimmune diseases such as myasthenia gravis and Guillain-Barré syndrome, because it removes the circulating antibodies that are thought to be responsible for these diseases.

It is not clear whether plasmapheresis is of benefit in the short- or long-term treatment of MS, and its use in MS remains controversial.

Because MS may also involve an autoimmune process—where the body is attacked by its own immune system—and because demyelinating factors have been found in plasma from MS patients, plasmapheresis has been tried as a treatment for MS.

Mixed Results in Progressive Forms of MS

continue reading this from the source, the National MS Society
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Thursday, November 5, 2009

MS Related - Crossing the line: how aggressive cells invade the brain

November 5, 2009 - Eureka Alerts

In diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cells of the immune system infiltrate the brain tissue, where they cause immense damage. For many years, it was an enigma as to how these cells can escape from the bloodstream. This is no trivial feat, given that specialized blood vessels act as a barrier between the nervous system and the bloodstream. Until now, tissue sections provided the sole evidence that the immune cells really do manage to reach the nerve cells. Now, a team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, the University Medical Center Göttingen, and other institutes, has witnessed the movements of these cells "live" under the microscope for the very first time. In the process, they discovered several new behavioural traits of the immune cells. The consolidated findings mark a significant step forward in our understanding of this complex disease. (Nature, 14 October 2009)

The brain and the spinal cord monitor and control the functions of all body parts and co-ordinate the whole organism's movements, senses and behaviour. Adequate protection of the brain and spinal cord are therefore of the utmost importance. Physical influences and injuries are warded off by the cranial bone and the vertebral column. Dangers lurking within the body, such as viruses circulating in the bloodstream, are kept at bay by highly specialized blood vessels. The vessels' walls form a barrier that cannot be penetrated by the cells or various other small particles, thus serving to protect the delicate nerve cells.


re: the video: The film shows in real time how the green labeled T-cells creep along the inside walls of blood vessels before single cells force their way through the vessels' walls and...
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Not yet receiving the Stu's Views and MS News weekly Multiple Sclerosis e-Newsletter?

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Multiple Sclerosis: What Part Do Relapses Play In Severe Disability?

Medical News Today - November 5, 2009

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have relapses within the first five years of onset appear to have more severe disability in the short term compared to people who do not have an early relapse, according to a new study published in the November 4, 2009, issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study is one of the first to examine how MS relapses affect people during different time periods of the disease.

Research shows that 85 percent of people with MS begin by having the relapsing-remitting form of the disease and the majority of these people later develop secondary progressive MS. A relapse is defined in the study as worsening of neurological symptoms for more than 24 hours, without a
fever or infection. Because relapse-related symptoms often improve within a few weeks, it's been unclear how much disability comes from relapses, and how much from progression.

Continue from the Medical News today webpage - 3rd paragraph

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Using Social Networking / Social Media to stay in touch

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This just in from the British NHS on the swine flu

The British NHS website reports that whilst the risk profile of the swine flu virus is still being studied, it is already known that certain groups are more vulnerable. This includes people with chronic neurological conditions including MS.

The following blog contains information that was written in conjunction with neurologists and MS specialist nurses to answer the most commonly asked questions about swine flu in relation to the risks, symptoms, potential interaction with disease modifying drugs, and vaccination.

Please take the time to read this vital information: http://revivems.ning.com/profiles/blogs/swine-flu

source: ReviveMS http://revivems.ning.com


A message from Stuart - each day, I hear something different about H1N1 and people with MS.
I consider the entire subject like a Crapshoot or a roll of the dice. - this is just my opinion.

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A Guestbook Comment at the MSV&N website from a Mum in Scotland

Occasionally, comments are left on our website's guestbook.

To view the most recent, from a Mum (mother) in Scotland; a question regarding her 5 year old son's MS, click the above link.

If you want to respond to her, either do so on here (on this blog posting) ( not facebook) or sign-in at the website to leave a comment for her, there ( where she will most likely first check).

Visit this link, to post a message to our website guestbook. - thank you

********************************

If not yet registered at our website, to receive our weekly ms related e-newsletter and to leave comments, click this link to complete the short registration form.





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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

FDA News: Another MS patient using Tysabri develops PML

FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

Nov. 3, 2009 | Vol. 6 No. 214


EMEA: Another Tysabri Patient Develops PML, Brings Total to 24

A new progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) infection has been confirmed in a patient taking Tysabri, Biogen Idec and Elan’s multiple sclerosis drug, bringing the number of cases to 24 — four of them fatal, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) says. Fourteen of the PML brain infection cases have occurred in the EU, eight in the U.S. and two in Switzerland since the drug’s reintroduction in 2006, EMEA spokeswoman Vladimira Yalmanova said.
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Amazing new Computer called the Roll Top

Info provided by my mom:

Amazing new laptop from Israel. Click over the following linkand open your speakers. http://manneli.com/movies/Laptop.html

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Schoolboy campaigner backs vitamin D summit

From Times Online - November 4, 2009
(Ryan's Mum and Dad, receives the
"Stu's Views and MS News" weekly e-newsletter and are connected to Stuart thru Facebook)

A major international summit on the links between multiple sclerosis and vitamin D deficiency, supported by the Scottish government, is to take place in Scotland early next year thanks to the efforts of a campaigning schoolboy.

Ryan McLaughlin, 14, whose mother suffers from the disease, said yesterday he was delighted that that Ministers were backing an opportunity to explore the growing evidence that lack of the vitamin could be implicated in the high incidence of the disease.

The summit will bring together government health advisers as well as researchers from Britain and countries such as Canada, where much work has been done on MS, and where supplementation of vitamin D is officially advocated in the general population.

Continue reading this important story from Scotland



Then,
If affected by Multiple Sclerosis and not yet receiving our weekly MS related e-newsletter, please register at our website as shown below. You need NOT have Multiple Sclerosis "to be affected". - You may be a caregiver, friend, family member or health care professional.

On our website's homepage (http://www.msviewsandnews.org), you will find a link to register for our website and weekly publication of "Stu's Views and MS Related News", an MS e-Newsletter.


Please share this message with others you know that are affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

Unique in what we do; Bridging the gaps to all major MS organizations. Providing information and knowledge.

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Scientists develop rare cells in lab to counter autoimmune diseases

London, Nov 4: British scientists have succeeded in producing a huge quantity of rare cells that can help counter autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
Autoimmune disease are disorders where the immune system attacks the body's own tissue and regulatory T-cells or T-regs have always been seen by researchers as a possible way to dampen the immune response of the body.

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Q. Am I more susceptible to H1N1 because I have multiple sclerosis?

When I saw that Julie had this on her blog, I needed, no more like HAD TO, show her post here too...

So many people ask me or make mentions to me about their weak immune system. Or that they use Vitamins to pump-up / enhance their immune system and I have to constantly tell them that this is NOT good for them. That our immune system is hyper-active and running in over-drive, which is why our immune system is attacking itself. It attacks itself when their is nothing else to attack. This is why when we do get sick, that we need to knock it out of our bodies quickly, before it re-activates the intense hyper activity..
Have questions about this, then write back to me.

Meanwhile, let me get into Julie's blog and about the question found in the subject of the post.

Wednesday November 4, 2009 - By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D., About.com Guide to Multiple Sclerosis
I recently got the following e-mail: "I have MS and I guess that means that I have a weak immune system because I seem to catch every cold that is going around. Once I get a cold, it turns into something worse and I end up coughing for a long time. Does this mean that I should not get the H1N1 vaccine, because is it dangerous to me with my compromised immune system?"

A. There are a couple of things going on here and I will try to clarify some points:

1. People with MS do NOT have weak or compromised immune systems. Quite the opposite, actually - our immune systems are overactive and are attacking our myelin.

2. It probably seems like you are getting sick more often than most people because of the symptoms that you are experiencing from minor infections. People with MS tend to havedecreased lung function. Even people with very little noticeable disability can have lung function that is only 60 to 70% of normal. As a result, even little respiratory bugs can cause us to cough for much longer than someone without MS as these infections "settle in" to cause bronchitis or even pneumonia.

3. You absolutely SHOULD get the H1N1 vaccine. As mentioned, people with MS do not have compromised immune systems (for the record, immunocompromised people should also get the vaccine). The H1N1 virus is very dangerous to anyone who could easily develop pneumonia, which is our big risk factor due to the decreased lung function that I mentioned.

Here are a couple additional points about the H1N1 vaccine for people with MS:

  • People with MS should NOT get the nasal mist version of the vaccine, as it contains live virus.
  • If you are concerned about thimerosal, avoid the vaccine that comes from multi-dose vials. The single-dose syringes do NOT contain thimerosal.
  • Adjuvants are not included in the flu vaccines that are used in the United States.

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

Source url: http://ms.about.com/b/2009/11/04/q-am-i-more-susceptible-to-h1n1-because-i-have-multiple-sclerosis.htm

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If you or someone you know, is affected by Multiple Sclerosis and not yet receiving the weekly MS related e-Newsletter titled: "Stu's Views and MS News" , then please click here to register.

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The LDN Trust November Newsletter is now available

The LDN Trust newsletter is now ready for you to download online.

Magazine Style in PDF format:
http://www.ldnresearchtrustfiles.co.uk/docs/November_2009.pdf

The newsletter this month has some very exciting articles, we are now working with Insurance Choice who are brokers and aim to give you the best possible quotes even if you have a pre exciting medical condition.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An MS patient story: Charles Wienbar is Getting Back to the Top of the Mountain.

When Charles Wienbar was diagnosed with MS in 1994, the scariest thought for him was the possibility that he might end up in a wheelchair. For Charles, that possibility could mean a drastic change in lifestyle; it could mean the end of skiing, mountain biking, running on the beach and hikes in the woods with his family. He thought, “That’s a very scary life I could be living. I don’t know if I can do this.”

For the first three years after his diagnosis Charles was symptom-free. Eventually he began to use a cane and for the last eight or nine years he has been in a wheelchair.

Prior to his diagnosis Charles was an avid skier. He was always the first one on the slopes in the morning, eating his lunch on the chairlift to squeeze in extra runs, and timing himself perfectly so if he was at the bottom of the hill at 3:59 PM he could get one more chairlift ride and be the last person off the slopes at the end of the day. His love of fresh powder wasn’t going to stop just because he could no longer ski the “conventional” way.

Continue to read Charles' story by clicking here.

Source: The Myelin Repair Foundation


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Modifying Neural Stem Cells Improves Their Therapeutic Efficacy

Medical News Today - 03 Nov 2009

Stem cells isolated from the brain of adult mice (adult neural stem cells [aNSCs]) have shown very modest therapeutic effects in a mouse model of the chronic inflammatory neurodegenerative disease multiple sclerosis. But now, Guang-Xian Zhang and colleagues, at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, have developed an approach to enhance the therapeutic effects of aNSCs in this model of multiple sclerosis. Specifically, the researchers genetically engineered aNSCs to express the anti-inflammatory molecule IL-10 and found that these cells induced more extensive functional and pathological recovery from ongoing disease than did nonengineered aNSCs.

Importantly, the IL-10-aNSCs mediated their effects in multiple ways, suppressing immune system attack of nerve cells, promoting nerve cell repair, and promoting production of the nerve cell protective sheath. The authors hope these results might increase the chance that aNSC-based therapies might one day be developed for clinical use.

TITLE: Adult neural stem cells expressing IL-10 confer potent immunomodulation and remyelination in experimental autoimmune encephalitis http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37914?key=NKxgD7l4U2cHdaVxIjn7

Source: Karen Honey
Journal of Clinical Investigation

Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/169587.php


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RRMS Patients in the USA – Get $50 for a 30 minute survey

Hi Everyone

The Patients Voice would link to invite you to take part in our latest market research project with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients in the United States of America.


The research will take the form of a thirty minute online interview which can be conducted from your own home via the internet. If you do take part we will be delighted to reward you with $50.00 thank you for your time and effort.


To qualify for the study you will need to meet at least the following requirements:-

• Have been diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis
• And have been on your current medication for longer than six months

For more information and to register your interest please go to

http://www.thepatientsvoice.org/Remitting_Multiple_Sclerosis_patients_in_the_USA.asp

Do let me know if you have any question

Best wishes

Belinda


Tell them that Stuart sent you

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Monday, November 2, 2009

End of Year 2009 Appeal for Contributions

November 2009 (A month of Giving)


Dear Friends and Associates,

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It is my pleasure to provide you with an introduction to MS Views and News, Inc.

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The mission of MSV&N has been dedicated to the global collection and distribution of current information concerning Multiple Sclerosis. In collaboration with other organizations, We use state-of-the-art communication channels to provide information, at no cost, for those affected by or interested in MS. We do so through the generosity of private donors, family foundations, special events and corporate support.

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Our primary funding needs are in the following areas:


  • General Support
  • Website Re-engineering Project
  • Blog and e-Newsletter re-engineering and Upkeep
  • Addition of Learning Webinars and video conferencing
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MS Views and News is unique in what we do to bridge the growing gap of information found from the various MS organizations and resource communities. Daily, posts are made to our blog to keep those in need of MS information up to date, relying on our sites for their information.
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100% of the funds generated from our special events, grants, corporate gifts and planned giving go directly to supporting the vital services of MSV&N . Of course in today’s technological world, the need for our services is on the rise as people seem to have less time to search the internet and can simply rely on bookmarking the MS Views and News website and Blog for all their learning needs of Multiple Sclerosis.
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This is why we need to ensure that we have the funds to meet the needs of those who depend on the educational information we provide, by keeping our sites technologically up-to-date.
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Your tax deductible contribution can be made either by clicking here to donate online thru our website or by sending a check to: MS Views and News, Inc. - 777 NW 72nd Ave. - * Suite 3005 * - Miami, Fl. 33126
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Thank you for taking the time to review this email. I look forward to answering any questions that you may have about our services.
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Have a great day!

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Appreciatively,

Stuart Schlossman

Stuart Schlossman- RRMS

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MS Views and News is a 501©(3) organization as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service

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