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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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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tips to Optimize Your MRI Experience for Multiple Sclerosis


MRIs for Multiple Sclerosis:
MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging scans) are a necessary part of diagnosing and monitoring your multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers and doctors consider them to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in the MS field, as they give a chance to “look inside the brain” in a way that was never possible before. However, the procedure itself can be an unusual and even scary experience for someone who has never had an MRI.


Anticipating and understanding what to expect during an MRI will help you through the scan. The following tips are provided to help make your MRI experience as stress-free as possible.


At Your Doctor’s Office:
Ask your doctor what he will want to see on the MRI: the brain, all or part of the spinal cord, or the entire central nervous system (from top of the head to tailbone). If your doctor wants a scan of the whole thing (which is likely if this is your first MRI or if an exacerbation is suspected), you may be asked if you prefer one or two sessions. Here are some things to consider when deciding:


Doing the whole thing at one time may take up to two hours.


If you split it up, the sessions will be shorter each time, but you will have to go to two appointments and will have to receive gadolinium (contrast material) each time.


Continue reading from about.com/multiple sclerosis




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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

European Neurologists Expect Significant Increases In The Use Of Both Tysabri And Extavia In Their Multiple Sclerosis Patients

December 28, 2010


BioTrends Research Group, Inc. finds that while neurologists in the EU tend to prescribe the established interferon betas as their first line disease modifying agents (DMAs) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, they are most satisfied with Biogen/Elan'sTysabri. Prescribing of both Tysabri and Novartis's recently launched DMA, Extavia, is anticipated to increase over the next six months with Bayer's Betaferon suffering the most in terms of market share loss. Despite these expected changes, neurologists clearly associate most of the DMAs with a certain MS patient type and their reported prescribing reflects these preference patterns.


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Monday, December 27, 2010

THE SOCIAL SECURITY and DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER - a fabulous website answering most of your questions

social security disability


USE the above site for Social Security Disability and SSI Disability Articles
Click the image to view the website




Click for:
Social Security Disability Benefits



Click for:
Social Security Retirement


Click for:
RX Assistance


Click for:
Medicare-Medicaid


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A CCSVI UPDATE: Studies in 2011 could decide MS theory's validity after 'roller-coaster' year


TORONTO - Almost exactly a year ago, a theory about a potential contributing cause of multiple sclerosis burst into the public consciousness. For many MS sufferers, it seemed an answer to their prayers; for the medical community it was variously viewed as a promising notion worthy of investigation to scientific nonsense or even an outright scam.
What can be said for certain, however, is that no other medical story has dominated the headlines in 2010 as the contention by an Italian vascular surgeon that narrowed neck veins could be an underlying cause of MS.
Dr. Paolo Zamboni speculates that reduced blood flow leaves iron deposits in the brain, leading to the neural lesions typical of MS. He suggests that reversing the condition — dubbed chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, or CCSVI — by unblocking neck veins could help alleviate patients' symptoms or possibly halt progression of the debilitating disease.
News of his theory created an avalanche of interest among people with MS and their loved ones, fuelled by discussion on Internet social media sites, YouTube testimonials by MSers "liberated" by Zamboni's suggested technique for opening up the blood vessels, and hundreds of articles in the mainstream media.
In reaction to pressure from MS patients advocates, a few provinces have announced funding for various studies to help determine if Zamboni's theory has any validity. But the federal government is steadfast in its decision to hold off financing a pan-Canadian clinical trial of the procedure until several other studies underway show whether CCSVI is indeed a hallmark of people with MS compared to those without the disease.
Meanwhile the MS Society of Canada has come under criticism for its handling of the issue, initially saying it could not back a scientifically unproven theory, then asking Ottawa to provide $10 million to investigate the concept, and finally supporting the federal government's decision to wait.

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Teva Pharma Rises on Optimism of Reduced Competition for Copaxone MS Drug

By Ronit Goodman - Dec 26, 2010



Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. climbed the most in more than two weeks on speculation failure by the company to win U.S. approval for a new formulation of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone means it will be more difficult for competitors to enter the market.
Teva received a complete response letter from the Food and Drug Administration saying the company’s application for the new formulation of Copaxone with a higher concentration of medicine can’t be approved as submitted and may require a new study to prove it works, the company said Dec. 23.
“Given that the FDA is requiring clinical trial efficacy data from the originator because of a concentration change, the likelihood of the FDA requiring clinical trials for generics is even higher,” John Boris, an analyst at Citigroup Inc. in New York, wrote in a Dec. 23 report.

Continue Reading





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Sunday, December 26, 2010

An MS Patient's Story- "If I can dodge the bullets in Baghdad, then I'll certainly never give in to MS"

By ANGELA LEVIN 
Last updated at 10:54 PM on 25th December 2010



Canon Andrew White firmly believes in mind over matter, not least when it comes to his own health. 

He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, when he was 33 and two years ago became so unwell, that his family and friends feared he would not see the year through. He, however, refused to be cowed. 

'The ethos of my life is DON'T GIVE IN  -  whatever anyone says,' he says. 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, causing problems with muscle control, vision and balance. 
About one in 1,000 people in the UK develop MS and it mostly strikes young adults between 20 and 40. It is incurable and treatment is usually confined to relieving its symptoms. 

Instead of taking life at an easier pace, Canon White chose to devote himself to what must be one of the most arduous and dangerous jobs in the world. He is Vicar of St George's Church in Baghdad, the only Anglican church in Iraq which has thrived under his charismatic leadership. 

He is also president of The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, an organisation he founded to promote inter-faith relations and work towards resolving the religious conflict between Judaism, Islam and Christianity. He has become one of a small number trusted by virtually every side. 
Being a Christian in Iraq is dangerous in itself and his church, in a compound just outside the Green Zone, is regularly bombed. There have been countless threats on his life and if he travels to another part of the city, he is protected by guards in armoured vehicles. 

It is a knife-edged, hectic existence that would physically, psychologically and emotionally exhaust the fittest, let alone someone who has to run a parallel battle with an incurable disease. But Canon White is no ordinary man. He stands 6ft 3in tall and is broad of stature. 

'I won't let MS stop me,' he says. It is why, when he finally admitted he felt ill, he decided two years ago to be a guinea pig for a course of revolutionary-stem-cell treatment which is available in Baghdad, though not yet in the UK. To his great relief it has changed his life. 

'I felt better after one treatment,' he says fingering his blue prayer beads.

'I have since had 17 more treatments without any side effects. How ironic that Baghdad is ahead of the UK in this modern treatment.'

SEE PHOTOS AND Read more 



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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Kids with MS need prompt treatment

Last Updated: 2010-12-13 18:43:05 -0400 (Reuters Health)

By Karla Gale

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - About half of children with multiple sclerosis (MS) need to switch medication during their first few years of treatment because of refractory illness or poor tolerability, new study results show.

"The general rule of thumb is to wait until more than one relapse has occurred to change therapies," lead author Dr. E. Ann Yeh said. But she advises that physicians shouldn't be afraid to change treatment if the patient's disability worsens or the tempo of relapses increases.

She also recommends that pediatric MS patients be treated as soon as the diagnosis is firm, usually after two clinical episodes of central nervous system demyelination.

In an interview with Reuters Health, the researcher noted that the time to physical disability in kids with MS is longer than in adults, but they "eventually do reach the equivalent to those of adults with secondary progressive MS," and they do so at a younger age. There's also growing evidence that children develop significant cognitive difficulties within several years of diagnosis.

"So if a child is diagnosed with MS, treatment should be initiated sooner rather than later," she said. "Sometimes neurologists tend to wait and watch."

In a paper published online today in the Archives of Neurology, Dr. Yeh, from the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, New York, and colleagues review records of 258 patients with pediatric-onset MS treated between 1997 and 2009 at the six Pediatric MS Centers of Excellence in the US.

The average age of onset was 13.2 years (range 2.0-17.9 years).

The patients initially received at least six months of treatment with a first-line disease-modifying therapy (DMT) - interferon beta (in 77.5%) or glatiramer acetate (in 20.5%). Five patients (1.9%) with very active acute disease were first treated with pulse cyclophosphamide or azathioprine but were later prescribed a first-line DMT.

Most patients (52.3%) continued with the first therapy prescribed throughout the observation period, which averaged 3.9 years. Therapy was changed once in 25.2%, twice in 11.2%, three times in 3.9%, and four or more times in 3.9%. Nine patients (3.5%) quit treatment.



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