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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

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A group of doctors in Italy is investigating a fascinating new treatment for multiple sclerosis

A group of doctors in Italy is investigating a fascinating new treatment for multiple sclerosis, based on a theory that, if proven true, could radically alter the lives of patients.

An investigation by CTV's W5 reveals that this treatment appears to stop the disease from progressing. Patients seen in the documentary relate how, after the simple procedure, their MS symptoms suddenly stopped and, in some cases, they were able to resume normal lives.

The Italian research is asking fundamental questions about the origins of the debilitating condition, whose causes have long remained a mystery.

Canada's W5 investigates intriguing new theory about MS
to continue reading this story - click here


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Living with Primary-Progressive MS

MS Learn Online:
Today's new Feature Presentation:

Living with Primary-Progressive MS

featuring Dorothy Northrop, MSW, ACSW
and Nicholas La Roccca, PhD

This five-part video webcast series explores:

  • The Emotional Side of Living with Primary-Progressive MS
  • Planning Ahead with Primary-Progressive MS
  • Rehab Options with Primary-Progressive MS
  • Employment Planning when Living with Primary-Progressive MS
  • Cognitive Issues when Living with Primary-Progressive MS

Click here to view the webcasts, or
copy into your browser: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/multimedia-library/webcasts--podcasts/living-with-primary-progressive-ms/index.aspx
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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Researcher says surgery has cured MS patients

November 21, 2009

NICOLAAS VAN RIJN

STAFF REPORTER - Healthzone.ca

An Italian researcher says he has successfully treated scores of patients with multiple sclerosis, which has long been thought to be an autoimmune disease.

But Dr. Paolo Zamboni, director of the centre for vascular diseases at the University of Ferrara, says his surgical treatment, which he has performed on 120 patients in Italy, including his wife, has radically altered their lives, leading some to say it's as if they've been reborn – without MS.

According to an investigation by CTV's W5, which airs at 7 p.m. in Toronto Saturday, Zamboni's approach provides a potentially promising but highly experimental treatment for the disease, which affects between 55,000 and 75,000 Canadians and some 2.5 million worldwide. It involves unblocking twisted veins in the chest and neck to improve blood flow.

MS, as it's known, was long considered an autoimmune disorder caused by immune cells attacking neurons in the spinal cord and brain. However, W5 found, scientists have observed unusually high levels of iron in the brains of people with MS, which many assumed was a by-product of the condition.

Zamboni, who began researching MS after his wife was diagnosed with it in 1995, came up with the radical notion that the iron deposits play a role in causing MS.

In the W5 segment, Zamboni explains that impaired drainage from the jugular veins or a large central vein that runs through the chest can cause a backup of blood and allow iron deposits to build up in the brain. Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency, or CCSVI, is the name he has given the condition.

The report notes his hypothesis has been met with skepticism by many neurologists and researchers in the field. The MS societies of Canada and the United States say there is insufficient evidence to suggest blocked veins are a root cause of MS. Results of a study of 65 of Zamboni's patients will be published next week in the peer-reviewedJournal of Vascular Surgery.

W5 says Dr. Robert Zivadinov of the University of Buffalo is leading a study to use ultrasound and MRI neck scans to detect blocked or twisted veins.

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Investment in NIH Increases Significantly for MS research

Source: National MS Society

For the past several years, the National Institutes of Health investment in MS-related research has been declining. You've contacted your legislators many times to ask for increased multiple sclerosis research funding through the NIH.
Finally, the research community is being reinvigorated through significant money allocated to the NIH from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Send a quick email to the White House. Thank President Obama for his commitment to science and research. Urge him to continue to make research a priority for FY 2011.

It is important for the NIH and for multiple sclerosis research to make this funding permanent. The President will determine what funding to recommend for the NIH before the end of this year. Send your message today.



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Wish You Could Find a Relapsing MS Treatment That's Right for You?

Frustrated by MS symptoms and relapses? You're not alone-and you have options. Get more information about relapsing MS symptoms, treatment options and support networks.



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When MS Attacks - Fighting flare-ups of multiple sclerosis

By Gina Shaw
WebMD Feature




Call it a flare-up, call it an exacerbation -- whatever you call it, you can't call it fun. Exacerbations of multiple sclerosis are the periodic, sudden worsening of symptoms that so many people with relapsing-remitting MS experience on a regular basis. You're walking along fine when you notice numbness in your right leg. Or suddenly you have double vision. If those symptoms last at least 24 hours, you're going through an exacerbation.

"Exacerbation is a more rapid evolution of new symptoms or worsening of old symptoms than just the overall progression of the disease by itself," says John Richert, MD, vice president for research and programs with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "It comes on over a period of hours or days, as opposed to a slow progression that occurs over months and years."

Inside an MS Flare-Up


source: webMd

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Tysabri - Working or Not ? - an MS Patient's concern on stopping the use.

Nov 20, 2009
Written by: Stuart Schlossman-RRMS

Each week I receive questions from many with MS or others affected by MS (caregivers, family or friends). Earlier this week I received the following question, followed by my reply and then a reply from a well known local (in South Florida) MS Neurologist.

Question:
I have been using Tysabri for almost a year and do not know if it has been working for me. Stuart, have you heard this from others and do you know if I can safely stop using it?
Di - in Nebraska
.
My reply:
I told Di that I would have to ask a medical professional. I also asked her if she spoke with her neuro and she said that she had, but did not like his response.
So, this led me to ask myself also How a patient is weaned off of Tysabri?
IS there an answer?
.
And the Doctors' Reply:
Your response is correct...a question like this should be addressed to their personal physician. If the person is unhappy they should seek a second opinion.

But, in general, the effects of Tysabri will wear off after 3-4 months, at which time the disease may become more active. So if the person is convinced the med. is ineffective they could stop but should have alternative plans in place. How do they know it is not working?

Are they having relapses, is there disease progression or is the MRI worse.
Finally, if these items are borderline Tysabri antibodies could be checked. If present they do reduce efficacy, and may contribute to the overall decision.

-- Dr. S.

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New therapies addresses suffering of MS patients

November 19, 2009

The Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Toronto's St. Michael's hospital has been treating MS patients for 25 years now, and the prospects for more effective therapies to address both the progress of the disease and their suffering have never looked brighter, says Dr. Paul O'Connor, its director.

"We have made enormous advances in our ability to understand the disease, to diagnose it in early stages and to provide therapies that slow its progress and reduce the frequency of relapses," he says. "We already have at hand five different therapies and I know of at least five more in the pipeline, two of which will be in pill form and will probably be available sometime in the next two years.


"Already we are finding ways to address the disease and have new therapies that, in some patients, seem to improve the quality of life MS can profoundly affect."

Continue from the 4th paragraph: http://www.nationalpost.com/life/health/joint-venture/story.html?id=2242185


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Pregnancy Safe for Women with Multiple Sclerosis

Submitted by Denise Reynolds RD on Nov 19th, 2009

Stanford University School of Medicine has released a new study in the November issue of the journal Neurology that will ease the mind of many young women with multiple sclerosis or epilepsy. Having one of theseneurological disorders does not put a mother-to-be at a significant risk for pregnancy related complications.

Continue from here
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Teenagers with MS

Teenagers With MS

Paediatic MS resources are sadly lacking in the UK and we at the MSRC are trying to provide as much information as possible for the growing number of families, having children affected by MS.

If you are a family with a child/teenager who has been diagnosed with MS and would like to help others in a similar situation, then please get in touch with our Webmaster at squiffy@msrc.co.uk


The MSRC has a number of pages, and links, which will be of use to those interested in Paediatric MS.

Visit with this MSRC-UK link to continue reading this needed information

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Paediatric Multiple Sclerosis News

Little Lucy’s big battle with multiple sclerosis

Lucy Wood

Brave Lucy Wood’s smiles hide a secret sorrow . . . that she’s one of the world’s youngest children to fight multiple sclerosis.

The happy five-year-old should be concentrating on dressing her dolls and giggling at her Disney film favourites.

Instead, last summer her family’s world was shattered when doctors in Newcastle gave them the shock diagnosisthey may never recover from.

It is a tragic twist for the Wood clan, from Peterlee, County Durham.

For Lucy’s dad Stuart was told by doctors at the age of 27 that he would have to fight MS.

And after Lucy began suffering terrifying bouts of blindness, vomiting and walking difficulties, Stuart and Lucy’s mum, Sharon, feared the worst.

Sharon took Lucy to an optician who explained there was pressure building at the back of her left eye and referred them to Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Continue to read of Pediatric MS from the MSRC-Uk


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MS Views and News strives to provide you with news and information you need to know, of Multiple Sclerosis. Bridging the informational gaps found around the world. Register at our site, to receive our weekly information filled e-newsletters. Visit: http://www.msviewsandnews.org

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Sam's Story, A Little Boy With Multiple Sclerosis

by Sandra Blyth

Tuesday 3rd of March 2009 is a date that sends shivers down my spine for it is the day we were told our darling gorgeous little boy Sam had a brain tumour.

It all started in January this year. Sam had a cold just the normal runny nose and coughing after a week or so it had gone, but then Sam started complaining of headaches. Now think what you like but I had a horrible feeling straight away that this was going be the start of something serious. After 3 or 4 days the headaches were coming more often and now he was being sick with them.

I took Sam to our then G.P. who I must add we are no longer with, anyway I was told it was just another cold and sent on our way. I wasn't happy, something was wrong. The headaches began to wake Sam up 2 or 3 times during the night and also he was starting to complain of a sore neck and sore eyes. I went back to my G.P who told me to stop chocolate for 10 days and get Sam's eyes tested. I was worried sick, I wanted Sam to see a paediatrician, I wanted a CT scan.

Later on that same day Sam started screaming that he couldn't see. We took him straight up to our A & E Department where we saw a doctor. I told him everything, he checked Sam over and said he was fine. I burst into tears, I said I wasn't leaving until we saw a paediatrician, I told him I thought it was a tumour and I wanted a CT scan done. He laughed and said no way was it a tumour but he'd see if there was a paediatrician free to see Sam, thank God there was! We went up to Ward 15 at Dumfries and Galloway Infirmary where Sam was seen by an army full of doctors. They took blood and said we weren't going home that night and he was going for a CT scan asap. I was terrified that they didn't like the fact that Sam's vision had gone earlier that day and they wanted to check what was going on inside his head. I knew exactly what they were checking for, a brain tumour, but they didn't say it.

Sam had his scan and a while after it a nurse and 2 doctors came for me and Ian(Sam's Dad). We were told Sam had a serious problem and we'd be transferred to Edinburgh's Hospital For Sick Children. I asked if it was a brain tumour, the doctor said that they thought so, I asked if Sam was going to die, he said he didn't know. We were in shock, there was no way I was going to live without Sam, we have Lucy our little girl who is 7, how could we tell her Sam was going to die?

How we got through that night I shall never know. Anyway the next morning we were taken to Edinburgh, we were taken to Ward 7 and met by the most amazing doctors and nurses. We were told that Sam had to have an MRI but their MRI was broken! So Sam would have to go to the Western Hospital the following day to have it done. Goodness sake, another 24 hours to wait! We were in a complete mess, I was crying all time and Ian was in denial, he kept saying it can't be a tumour it just can't.

At about 5pm that night Sam, Ian and me were in the ward playroom when 3 consultants came in to see Sam. Sorry but 2 of these men's names I cannot remember, but one will be in my heart forever, the wonderful Dr Kamath Tallur. After checking Sam over he told us not to worry and he would see us after the MRI. I thought, what the hell does he mean not to worry.

Continue to read this story of Sam (at the 8th Paragraph) who when he turned just six years old, was diagnosed with MS

information source: MSRC-UK

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis information, just clicks away

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Knowledge is POWER

Keep up to date with MS information when registered for the Stu's Views and MS News e-Newsletter.
Simply click here, taking less than 30 seconds to enroll.
----------------
and if you want to follow me on Facebook, click the emblem:
to "Friend" my personal page

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Learn about Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) was first described by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot in 1868. Yet, after more than 140 years of research into the disease, much remains a mystery. There is no known cause, and as yet, no cure. However, there are treatments that can slow the progress of the disease and manage the symptoms, and new research is expanding our understanding of this unpredictable illness.

Use the navigation at the left to learn what is currently known about the disease, treatments, and the state of research. For more information on managing the disease, visit Coping with MS , from the MSF website

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“African Americans with MS” Forum Debuts on MSF Website

“African Americans with MS” is the newest addition to the MSF’s lineup of forums designed to meet the diverse needs of the MS community. Medical and healthcare professionals knowledgeable about the distinctions of MS in African Americans will answer your questions on a wide range of topics, including the medical, psychological, and cultural aspects of living with the disease. The forum will also serve as a venue for African Americans with MS to connect and share their experiences.

Here’s a brief introduction to the doctors participating in the “African Americans with MS” forum:

Mitzi Williams, M.D., is a neurologist and medical director of the Augusta MS Center at MCGHealth Center. She is also an assistant professor in the neurology department at the Medical College of Georgia.

Annette F. Okai, M.D., is a neurologist at the MS Treatment Center of Dallas. Dr. Okai is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Lara Stepleman, Ph.D., is director of the MS psychological services program at the Augusta MS center. A licensed psychologist, she is an associate professor in the department of psychiatry and health behavior at the Medical College of Georgia.

To submit a question for the doctors, go to www.msfocus.org. Click on “MS Community” and click on “Forums”.

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Pain is Better than nothing at ALL

Below (in the light green section), on the right side of this blog page is a link to press to hear and read how feeling Pain is better than feeling nothing at all.

Yes indeed. There are always worse options...


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Cannabis can affect neuropathic pain medical marijuana and multiple sclerosis

source: examiner.com - Nov 18, 2009


Dr. Rock Heyman presented a "Research Update" last night at the annual meeting of the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He discussed new drugs on the market, drug studies, the and risks associated with a variety of drugs currently being studied.

Q: Pennsylvania is currently considering HB1393. What is your position on medical marijuana?

A. Sativex has been approved in Canada for relif of pain and spasticity from MS. It won’t improve memory or balance or tremors (laughter from audience).

The chemicals in marijuana can affect Neuropathic Pain and will help patients with Neuropathic spasticity. Cannabis is an option for them. The problem is that it may blunt someones' energy levels, memory or cogntion and overuse of cannabis can be a big problem. Blunting peoples motivations to get out and do things. And certainly as a doctor I don’t like people smoking any medicine whether it’s their Avonex or their marijuana. The problem with cannabis is that if you take it orally it gets broken down so much that most of it doesn’t stay in the system which is why Canada went with the spray.

Q: Should meidcal marijuana be legalized?

A: Yes

Dr. Heyman is Assistant Professor of Neurology Chief, Division of Neuroimmunology/Multiple Sclerosis at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.

250 people were in attendance at the November 17, 2009 meeting including MS patients, family members, volunteers and the Board of Trustees.


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It's not too late to join the MSF 1010 Cruise for a Cause


See the experience enjoyed by many on their 2008 cruise:

Then consider the 2010 Cruise to Alaska:



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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

“Broken Feather” Supports the Myelin Repair Foundation with Music

Posted by Justine Lam on Nov 17th, 2009

Rick Bone and Deb Kelson are two musicians with multiple sclerosis (MS) who recently found the Myelin Repair Foundation on MySpace and on Facebook.

Rick was Dx’ed with Relapsing/Remitting MS in 1999 and Deb was Dx’ed in 2004 with Primary Progressive MS. They met on MySpace in a MS support room about 4 and a half years ago.

Before they were diagnosed, Rick played in many bands during the late 70’s and early eighties and Deb was a background singer for local bands in the late 90’s up until 2005.

The Healing Power of Music

For Rick, MS left the left half of his body numb. Therefore, he cannot feel the strings. His motor skills and cognitive skills are greatly diminished. For Deb, her cognitive skills are also poor. When they play live they need sheet music and lyrics in front of them.

Click here to continue reading.

Then return to this blog page if you want to comment where other Stu's Views readers can observe.


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MS Is More Aggressive in Children but Slower to Cause Disability than in Adults

Source: Buffalo Edu News

Release Date: November 16, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Magnetic resonance images (MRI) of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in childhood show that pediatric onset multiple sclerosis is more aggressive, and causes more brain lesions, than MS diagnosed in adulthood, researchers at the University at Buffalo have reported.

Interestingly, however, patients with pediatric-onset MS -- which comprise up to 5 percent of total MS cases -- develop disabilities at a slower pace than patients with adult-onset MS, the data showed.

"Patients with pediatric-onset MS have three times as many relapses annually than patients with adult-onset disease, which suggests there is greater disease activity in this population," said Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, associate professor of neurology in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and corresponding author.

» Read More

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Tune Into Music and Tune Out MS

This useful information was provided to me from: Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN

By: Cathy Rivera, MS, MM, MT-BC

Most people can remember a time when hearing music changed their mood or made them forget their pains and troubles. However, present-day music therapy can do much more than provide an emotional uplift. The directed use of music for therapy can produce changes in mind and body that last beyond the therapy session. In addition, music therapy can introduce methods of practicing functional skills in a way that reduces the boredom or frustration that can accompany long-term rehabilitation or adaptation training.

Using music to promote health and healing

Studies conducted at research centers worldwide, aided by recent advances in imaging and scanning technologies, show that music directly stimulates the brain and it can influence many brain-based behaviors, including moving, thinking, and feeling.

Music used to be classified only as a "right-brained" activity – basically an emotional response. We now know that just listening to music stimulates areas in every region of your brain. The simple tap of your foot is evidence of that.

» Read More

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Vitamin "D" and MS

Since this subject has now hit close to home, I wanted to again bring it up...
It is important to our health that we be better managed...


Source: Rocky Mountain MS Center - eMS News - October 15, 2009

"You need to get your vitamins…" is a phrase we all likely heard as children, perhaps when we didn’t want to eat the heaping pile of vegetables that had been so generously served to us. Annoying as it may have seemed at the time, certain vitamins may in fact be more important than we previously understood. As MS research continues to expand and move forward, there is growing support that one vitamin in particular, D, plays an important role in the development and progression of MS.

Vitamin D, the main sources of which are exposure to sunlight, milk, cheese, and fish, as well as some juices and cereals, is a fat soluble vitamin. It is biologically inert, which means that upon entering the body, it must be processed in order to become activated. This occurs either in the liver or the kidney. Another important aspect of vitamin D is that it works collaboratively with calcium, and is critical for bone growth and health.

» Read More

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BrainStorm Stem Cell Therapy Technology Possesses Promising Potential for the Future Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Press Release: Source: BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.On 8:00 am EST, Monday November 16, 2009

NEW YORK & PETACH TIKVAH, Israel--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies and therapeutics, is pleased to announce that the company’s therapeutic approach for treating neurodegenerative diseases, particularly ALS and Parkinson’s disease, was found to have a positive effect in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In a scientific paper published in the Journal of Molecular Neuroscience, Professors Melamed and Offen’s team from Tel Aviv University studied the effectiveness of human bone marrow derived stem cells induced to differentiate and secrete neurotrophic factors (NTF-SC) as compared to the use of non-differentiated stem cells in a mouse MS model.

“This study demonstrated that the transplantation of the NTF-SC, based on our novel differentiation technology, resulted in a delay of disease onset and increased animal survival in the mouse MS model to a greater extent than transplantation of the non-differentiated stem cells. It was shown that the NTF-SC modulate the immune system and protect neuronal cells from toxic insults. The positive results in the mouse MS model indicates that our new technology may serve as a possible approach for the treatment of MS,” commented Professor Daniel Offen, Brainstorm’s chief scientific advisor.

Click here to continue reading from the fourth paragraph
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Keep Informed with News and Information regarding Multiple Sclerosis. If not yet receiving the "Stu's Views and MS Related News", weekly M.S. e-newsletter, then please Click Here to register.

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A Multiple Sclerosis patient asks: "Why Accept It"?

written and posted November 16, 2009


Did I stop and wait when first diagnosed, when the neurologist suggested that I not do a medication until my MS worsens?
Did I just accept what was told to me (almost 11 years ago) ?
No, I did not.


Why then have I just been accepting the decline in my health? WHY Have I ACCEPTED IT?


This is what I seek:
less fatigue,
less cognitive issues,
less balance issues and vertigo,
and less need of the use of the cane,
Less symptoms caused by this hard-to-manage disease.


Why have I accepted the use of a cane?
Why Have I accepted that I get vertigo or have battles with fatigue when trying to do things in the middle of the day?
Why have I accepted getting angry, very angry when cognitive dysfunction hampers me from understanding instructions or remembering how-to, do things or how-to get places.


So, my question again is: "Why have I been accepting it"?
It's Time for a Change...
This is why I will begin Tysabri in about a month.


A gift to myself for the coming holiday season.


Best Regards,
Stuart Schlossman- RRMS


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The Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National MS Society is excited to announce that the 2009 Bike MS event raised $1.7 Million

Thousands Attended 21st Annual Event in New Bern

The Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the National MS Society is excited to announce that the 2009 Bike MS event raised $1,736,537 to create a world free of MS. Over 2,400 cyclists and 300 volunteers participated in the Historic New Bern Ride. Over 70% of those participants traveled from the Triangle for the September event. This year’s fundraising exceeded last year’s total and this year’s estimated goal by almost $200,000.

“This represents a lot of people pulling together for a very important purpose and doing it in an exceptional manner,” said Jeff Furst, President of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “This feat is going to touch and help so many people living with MS.”

The two-day ride featured courses of 30 miles, 50 miles, 75 miles, and 100 miles each day. Bike MS benefits the mission of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter of the Society with the money going to support services for local people affected by multiple sclerosis and the Society’s efforts to find better treatments and a cure.


“The turnout and momentum for this year’s event was fantastic,” says Haley Transou, bike coordinator for the Eastern NC Chapter. “With record attendance and the addition of our 50-mile route, our ride proved to be a landmark event. We are grateful for the support and generosity of New Bern and the surrounding areas. Our volunteers, cyclists and donors went above and beyond to raise much needed funds.”


Bike MS is the largest organized cycling series in the country. Over 100,000 cyclists participate in more than 100 rides across the United States. Unlike a racing event, Bike MS is designed to provide a scenic, challenging ride for both the experienced cyclist and the energetic novice. Bike MS includes fully-stocked rest stops with bike mechanics; support and gear vehicles on the routes with the cyclists in case of mechanical problems; and dinner with live entertainment at the end of the day.


The 2010 Bike MS event is scheduled for September 11-12 in New Bern.
For more information, registration and event sponsorship, visit www.msbike.org or call 1-800 FIGHT MS.
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H1N1 and many other illnesses, including Multiple Sclerosis - Linked To Vitamin D Deficiency

Why, in the land of plenty and, now, also in the land of over-consumption, overweight and obesity, can there be an epidemic of a vitamin D deficiency or any other nutrient?
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BY HERB DENENBERG, FOR THE BULLETIN
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2009
According to a recent study, as many as 77 percent of all Americans may be deficient in the vitamin essential for bone health and which may prevent H1N1 (Swine Flu) and seasonal flu, wheezing, winter-related eczema, upper respiratory infections and may help prevent cancer, autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, certain infectious diseases, myocardial infarctions – heart attacks – and many other serious diseases.

When subgroups of the population are considered, depending on which of the many reasonable definitions of deficiency are accepted, the picture is even more ominous. For example, an important new study from Children's Hospital in Boston found that as many as 80 percent of Hispanic children and 92 percent of black children, what the study calls non-Hispanic black children, may also be deficient in this vitamin.

We're talking about vitamin D, also called the sunshine vitamin and often considered the nutrient of the year, if not the decade. Its power as a determinant of human health can be captured by what happens when someone is D deficient. They are at risk for what is called rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

In its most extreme form, the bones soften and almost melt, making them so fragile that the simple act of walking up steps may cause bones to fracture and slight movement may cause excruciating pain. In its most severe form, a blood test for vitamin D may show zero. Dr. Fred Kaplan, an eminent orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, whose patient had zero D, said this is rare even in Third World countries.


Why, in the land of plenty and, now, also in the land of over-consumption, overweight and obesity, can there be an epidemic of a vitamin D deficiency or any other nutrient? The reasons may not be fully understood, but the picture is still clear: Over time, we have obtained most of our vitamin D from the sun. When ultraviolet B rays hit the skin they cause the formation of vitamin D. But, in an age of sunscreens and well-placed fear of skin cancer, we tend to either stay out of the sun or use a sunscreen to shield us from its rays, including the ultraviolet B ray.

Even if you stayed in the sun all day in some locations, you would not get enough vitamin D. For example, north of Philadelphia, between November and March, the suns rays are not strong enough to precipitate the formation of vitamin D. And, during early morning and late afternoon, the sun’s rays are not strong enough to generate vitamin D. That’s a big part of the picture, as authorities find that exposure to the sun is the main determinant of vitamin D in humans. This leads us to the next source of vitamin D — our food. Some dairy products, such as milk, are fortified with vitamin D, but we tend to avoid dairy products due to their cholesterol and saturated fat content. Other sources are fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring. Still other sources are fortified cereal and other foods such as orange juice, now, often fortified both with vitamin D and calcium. But, most people don’t eat enough of these foods to get enough vitamin D. So, that leaves supplementation with multi-vitamins that include D, combination calcium and vitamin D pills, or vitamin D stand-alones.

Continue to read from the 7th Paragraph

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Possible cure for MS could be one trial away - "REBOOTING the Immune System"

Reported by: Barbara Smith - Last Update: 11/14 2:01 am

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) A Utah woman is about to being a medical journey that she hopes will save her life. Michelle Colledge has Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that causes paralysis, blindness, and death. Johns Hopkins is testing a new treatment for this debilitating disease that so far, is dramatically effective. Michelle Colledge has been accepted as part of the study of this new and very aggressive treatment.

Michelle was diagnosed on Valentines Day 2007. She says, “The only way to describe those first couple of months was absolute terror, and crying at night for several hours, and just thinking my life was over.” The young mother developed lesions on her brain and spine, her own immune system, charged with protecting her, had turned against her and become the enemy. Dr. Adam Kaplin, M.D. from Johns Hopkins explains; “What these people have, are these periods of time where their brains and spinal cords are under attack and their optic nerve.” He says no one knows why it happens, but doctors believe the immune system is tricked in reaction exposure to bacteria, viruses, or even a vitamin D deficiency.

Click here to continue reading

OR Click this link to watch a video: Possible cure for MS could be one trial away


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Adult Stem Cells – An Exciting New Paradigm in Health

SCIENCE UPDATE: The New England Journal of Medicine stated that the number one indicator of anyone’s wellness is directly correlated to the number of adult stem cells in the blood stream.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release)Nov 13, 2009 – The discovery that Bone Marrow Stem Cells constitute the natural renewal system of the body has paved the way to a new paradigm in health and wellness. In fact, a number of recent studies have shown that a greater number of circulating adult stem cells equated to greater cardiovascular and over all better health.


StemTech Health Sciences, Inc., a pioneer in development and marketing, introduced the first natural dietary supplement proven to support the release of adult stem cells into circulation. This ground breaking discovery started as a theory in the mind of research scientist Christian Drapeau MSc.

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First U.S. Marijuana Cafe Opens in Oregon

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PORTLAND, Oregon — The United States' first marijuana cafe opened on Friday, posing an early test of the Obama administration's move to relax policing of medical use of the drug.

The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give certified medical marijuana users a place to get hold of the drug and smoke it — as long as they are out of public view — despite a federal ban.

"This club represents personal freedom, finally, for our members," said Madeline Martinez, Oregon's executive director of NORML, a group pushing for marijuana legalization.

"Our plans go beyond serving food and marijuana," said Martinez. "We hope to have classes, seminars, even a Cannabis Community College, based here to help people learn about growing and other uses for cannabis."

The cafe — in a two-story building which formerly housed a speak-easy and adult erotic club Rumpspankers — is technically a private club, but is open to any Oregon residents who are NORML members and hold an official medical marijuana card.

Members pay $25 per month to use the 100-person capacity cafe. They don't buy marijuana, but get it free over the counter from "budtenders". Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., it serves food but has no liquor license.

There are about 21,000 patients registered to use marijuana for medical purposes in Oregon. Doctors have prescribed marijuana for a host of illnesses, including Alzheimer's, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Tourette's syndrome.

On opening day, reporters invited to the cafe could smell, but were not allowed to see, people smoking marijuana.

"I still run a coffee shop and events venue, just like I did before we converted it to the Cannabis Cafe, but now it will be cannabis-themed," said Eric Solomon, the owner of the cafe, who is looking forward to holding marijuana-themed weddings, film festivals and dances in the second-floor ballroom.

NO PROSECUTION

The creation of the cafe comes almost a month after the Obama administration told federal attorneys not to prosecute patients who use marijuana for medical reasons or dispensaries in states which have legalized them.

About a dozen states, including Oregon, followed California's 1996 move to adopt medical marijuana laws, allowing the drug to be cultivated and sold for medical use. A similar number have pending legislation or ballot measures planned.

Pot cafes, known as "coffee shops", are popular in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, where possession of small amounts of marijuana is legal. Portland's Cannabis Cafe is the first of its kind to open in the United States, according to NORML.

Growing, possessing, distributing and smoking marijuana are still illegal under U.S. federal law, which makes no distinction between medical and recreational use.

Federal and local law enforcement agencies did not return phone calls from Reuters on Friday seeking comment on the Portland cafe's operations.

"To have a place that is this open about its activities, where people can come together and smoke — I say that's pretty amazing." said Tim Pate, a longtime NORML member, at the cafe.

Some locals are hoping it might even be good for business.

"I know some neighbors are pretty negative about this place opening up," said David Bell, who works at a boutique that shares space with the cafe. "But I'm withholding judgment. There's no precedent for it. We don't know what to expect. But it would great if it brought some customers into our store."

Stem cell business booms in India!

Provided by: SHUB SABHARWAL

NEW DELHI: Almost non-existent a few years ago in the country, stem cell banking is now a flourishing business with more and more people wishing to store their baby's cord blood as a form of bio-insurance, even though it comes at a heavy price.

Cord blood storage is fast gaining momentum as a less traumatic alternative to treat neurological illnesses, and as a guarantee for the family against a host of diseases.

Stem cell treatment is a therapy in which new cells are injected into damaged tissues and banks generally charge anything between Rs 60,000 and Rs 80,000 to harvest the cord blood for private use.

Increased awareness about the benefits of stem cell therapies has led to mushrooming of several firms providing treatment and blood storing services in less than six years.

According to Stem Cell Global Foundation (SCGF), a Delhi-based organisation promoting research, stem cell banking is a Rs 100 crore business in India and at an annual growth of over 35 per cent, it is expected to touch Rs 140 crore by 2010.

The overall market for stem cell research is also growing very fast and it could reach Rs 2,200 crore by next year, said Karan Goel, chairman and founder of the foundation.

"The reason behind the exceptional growth is because therapies using stem cells are giving hopes to millions of patients afflicted with chronic diseases and not responding to conventional treatment," Goel said.

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