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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, January 23, 2010

Making Sure Your Medicare Wheelchair and Equipment Gets Paid For

The information found below was received from the United Spinal Association:

posted January 23, 2010


Do you have a prescription for a wheelchair or durable medical equipment? Then be sure your physician has enrolled in the Medicare internet based PECOS system or good old Medicare may not pay for it.

Starting April 5, 2010 physician and non-physician practitioners must be enrolled in the Medicare internet based PECOS system to order durable medical equipment prosthetics orthotics and supplies for you.

For any item to be covered by Medicare, it must be ordered by a physician or nonphysician practitioner who is eligible to order such items. The providers who can order items include: doctor of medicine or osteopathy; dental medicine or dental surgery; podiatric medicine; and physician assistant, certified clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner and optometrist.

Do yourself a favor! Download this letter (PDF), print it, and show it to your doctor to make sure that they are enrolled in this program. It’s not an option, no enrollment means no equipment for you. Get it done! Oh ya, please.

ShareThis


Source: Wheelchair Diffusion Blog

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About Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Written by Stuart Schlossman
Saturday, 23 January 2010 10:06

''MS Views and News" believes that knowledge is Power, which is why we strive to provide education materials about MS that affect the patient, caregiver and others with interest in MS.

Learn more of Multiple Sclerosis by clicking here.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Acorda Therapeutics Announces FDA Approval of AMPYRA™ (dalfampridine) to Improve Walking in People with Multiple Sclerosis –


Acorda Therapeutics Announces FDA Approval of
AMPYRA™ (dalfampridine)
to Improve Walking in People with Multiple Sclerosis – Demonstrated by Increases in Walking Speed


· First and Only FDA-Approved Therapy Addressing Walking Impairment

· AMPYRA Previously Referred to as Fampridine-SR

· AMPYRA Expected to be Available by Prescription in March 2010

· Acorda Conference Call Today at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time



HAWTHORNE, N.Y., January 22, 2010 – Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:
ACOR) today announced that it has received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for AMPYRA™ (dalfampridine), an oral treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This was demonstrated by an increase in walking speed. AMPYRA demonstrated efficacy in people with all four major types of MS (relapsing remitting, secondary progressive, progressive relapsing and primary progressive). AMPYRA can be used alone or with existing MS therapies, including immunomodulator drugs.



“The approval of AMPYRA marks an important milestone for the many people with MS who suffer walking impairment. Difficulty walking is often cited by those with MS as one of the most pervasive and challenging aspects of their disease,” said Ron Cohen, M.D., President and CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, adding “We are enormously gratified to have achieved approval for the only medication indicated to improve walking in people with MS, and we thank all of the clinicians, people living with MS and medical and patient support organizations who joined in this effort over the past decade. Reaching this milestone underscores Acorda’s ongoing commitment to develop innovative therapies for people with neurological diseases.”

» Read More


Please return to this page to leave comments. Thank You


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Multiple Sclerosis Related: European regulators recommend Tysabri label update

* European regulators announce PML cases with Tysabri

* Say risk of the brain infection remain low

* Recommend updating label to reflect two-year risk (Adds European recommendations)

BOSTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - European regulators have identified 31 cases of a potentially deadly brain infection in patients taking Biogen Idec Inc's (BIIB.O) multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri and recommended new measures for dealing with the risks of the drug.

The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, or CHMP, said Thursday that the figure was based on reported cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, through Jan. 20.

Of the 31 cases worldwide, 23 patients had been taking Tysabri for more than two years -- roughly one case of PML for every 1,000 patients treated for two years. The rate is consistent with the risk noted in the drug's prescribing label.

Biogen markets the drug with partner Elan Corp Plc (ELN.I)

The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that it recommends additional measures to better manage the risk of PML, and said the risk of developing the disease increases after two years.

However, it said the benefits of Tysabri continue to outweigh risks for patients with highly active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

The agency recommended that several measures be put in place to ensure patients and doctors are fully aware of the risks of PML.

They include updating prescribing information about the increase in the risk of PML after two years of treatment, and providing additional advice on how to manage patients who show signs of PML.

The agency also recommended that forms be signed by patients at the beginning of treatment with Tysabri, and again after two years of treatment. The new measures are designed to complement existing measures, the agency said.

The recommendations mean the drug's prescribing information in Europe will look more like the U.S. label.

CHMP undertook its review after it had received reports of side effects of Tysabri, including 23 cases of PML reported between July 2008 and October 2009, resulting in four deaths. Fourteen cases, including one death, were reported in Europe. (Reporting by Toni Clarke, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

Source: Reuters.com

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Interferon-–Producing T Cells, Pregnancy, and Postpartum Relapses of Multiple Sclerosis

Information provided by Karen D. in South Florida

Annette Langer-Gould, MD, PhD; Rohit Gupta, BS; Stella Huang, DO; Adam Hagan, DDS; Kondala Atkuri, PhD; Amethyst D. Leimpeter, MS; Kathleen B. Albers, MPH; Eleni Greenwood, BS; Stephen K. Van Den Eeden, PhD; Lawrence Steinman, MD; Lorene M. Nelson, PhD

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(1):51-57.

Objective To determine whether fluctuations in functional T-cell subsets can explain why multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses decline during pregnancy and increase in the postpartum period.

Read this study by clicking here



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Run to Stop MS - ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon

NG Miami Marathon

Join the Movement by participating with the inaugural Run to Stop MS team at the ING Miami Marathon!

Make your personal achievement of running a long-distance race even more memorable by helping those who live with the unpredictable challenges of multiple sclerosis. Ask your friends and family to support your run by making donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and together we can create a world free of MS.


Here is a link to the website http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/FLS/fundraising-events/run-to-stop-ms/index.aspx

Anyone can donate by going to the link and scrolling all the way down and click donate.


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MS Learn Online Presents: Complementary & Alternative Medicine Part Two


Part two of a two-part webcast series that explores:

  • Warning signs or red flags
  • Talking to your neurologist
  • Educate yourself
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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Current Disease Modifying Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis

Although there are new medications on the horizon, the following is what currently exists

Article Source: MSRC-UK

Disease Modifying Drugs are a group of compounds which alter the progression of MS. They have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses and slow the development of disability in some people.

Up until June 2006 there were traditionally two types of Disease Modifying Drugs (DMDs) used in the treatment of MS.

These were:
Beta interferon - which comes in two forms, Beta interferon 1a and Beta interferon 1b
& Glatiramer acetate
Although their effect is quite similar, they work in different ways.

» Read More


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Two MS patients take part in controversial cell treatment


Taking an injection of pureed sheep fetus organs mixed with saline solution may sound like something out of the television show “Fear Factor,” but for two local women suffering from multiple sclerosis, live organo cell therapy brings relief.

First injected into patients intramuscularly by Swiss doctor Prof. Paul Niehans in 1931, live cell therapy uses stem cells from other mammal species to trigger the growth of new cells in humans. The therapy is used to treat a variety of ailments from premature aging and immune deficiencies to degenerative bone disorders, liver and kidney disease and even impotence in men.

The unusual procedure is not without medical controversy regarding health benefits and resulting allergic reactions and is generally debunked in the United States.

>> Continue reading

So much to read of so many people and the two mentioned in this article I had met approx one year ago.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Su Vida Con Esclerosis Múltiple - Living with MS

MS Views and News is Hosting it's First MS Education Program on February 6th in Miami.

This program is a Spanish Language program and will benefit not just the MS patient who does not speak much English , but also a great program for the caregivers who might also need to hear and learn of this illness in their native language of Spanish. This will help them to understand what their family member is living with.

For more information on this event, please click this link and RSVP soon, as Space is now limited...


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NEJM -- Oral Fingolimod or Intramuscular Interferon for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

Information for this posting was provided by Karen D., in South Florida:

Published at www.nejm.org January 20, 2010 (10.1056/NEJMoa0907839)

Background Fingolimod (FTY720), a sphingosine-1-phosphate–receptor modulator that prevents lymphocyte egress from lymph nodes, showed clinical efficacy and improvement on imaging in a phase 2 study involving patients with multiple sclerosis.

Methods In this 12-month, double-blind, double-dummy study, we randomly assigned 1292 patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis who had a recent history of at least one relapse to receive either oral fingolimod at a daily dose of either 1.25 or 0.5 mg or intramuscular interferon beta-1a (an established therapy for multiple sclerosis) at a weekly dose of 30 µg. The primary end point was the annualized relapse rate. Key secondary end points were the number of new or enlarged lesions on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans at 12 months and progression of disability that was sustained for at least 3 months.

Continue by clicking here


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Novartis oral MS therapy FTY720 shows reduced risk of confirmed disability progression

January 21, 2010

Results of the TRANSFORMS(1) and FREEDOMS(2) studies, the two pivotal Phase III clinical trials with oral FTY720 (fingolimod), have been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, providing comprehensive evidence to support the efficacy and safety profile of this first-in-class therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS).

The data, from one of the largest Phase III programs conducted in MS, were included in the applications for regulatory approval submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMEA) in December 2009. In both studies, two doses of FTY720 were examined (0.5 mg and 1.25 mg). Approval is sought for the lower 0.5 mg dose as the results from the studies indicate that this dose has the most positive benefit-risk profile.

"Innovative science leading to new medicines for MS patients is badly needed," said John Richert, MD, Executive Vice President of Research and Clinical Programs for the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "The positive results published in The New England Journal of Medicine showing benefit of fingolimod on the clinical and MRI outcomes assessed is very encouraging for MS patients, their families and their physicians."

Continue reading by clicking here

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Oral Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis — Sea Change or Incremental Step?

January 20, 2010 - New England Journal of Medicine

written by: William M. Carroll, M.B., B.S., M.D., F.R.A.C.P.

The long-awaited arrival of oral formulations for the treatment of relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis is welcome news for the estimated 2.5 million people worldwide who have this chronic, disabling disease. Since the publication of the first pivotal trial of interferon beta-1b in 1993,1 practitioners and patients alike have been anticipating the approval of oral therapies because of the relative ease of administration, which should improve adherence and reduce restrictions on lifestyle.

In this issue of the Journal, researchers report the results of three well-conducted trials of the first two oral agents, cladribine and fingolimod, in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. The researchers studied cladribine in the Cladribine Tablets Treating Multiple Sclerosis Orally (CLARITY) trial2 and fingolimod in the FTY720 Research Evaluating Effects of Daily Oral Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis (FREEDOMS) trial3 and the Trial Assessing Injectable Interferon versus FTY720 Oral in Relapsing–Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (TRANSFORMS).4 Although these two drugs differ in their mechanisms of action, both reduce the number of potentially autoaggressive lymphocytes that are available to enter the central nervous system. The articles, which report that the agents are effective and have manageable adverse-effect profiles, raise three questions: How do these therapies measure up against the existing treatments? Are all the longer-term adverse effects known? What do these drug trials tell us about multiple sclerosis and our treatment goals?


Both cladribine (in the CLARITY trial) and fingolimod (in the FREEDOMS trial) were highly effective against placebo over a 2-year period, and fingolimod was more effective than intramuscular interferon beta-1a over a 12-month period (in the TRANSFORMS trial). Each of the three studies involved more than 130 centers in up to 32 countries, and the enrollments of 1272 to 1326 patients ensured that the trials were sufficiently powered to detect an effect of two doses of the active oral agent. Patients had active relapsing disease with durations of 7 to 9 years. On the Expanded Disability Status Scale (which ranges from 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating greater disability), patients had a median score of 2.0 in the fingolimod trials and mean scores ranging from 2.9 to 3.0 in the cladribine trial.

Continue reading from the NEJM


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Ways to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Information found below supplied y Daniel B in South Florida.
January 2010 - Source: WSJ.com
By THOMAS GRYTA and JON KAMP

Multiple sclerosis seems to damage the central nervous system at a pace faster than the body's own repair mechanism can keep up. In an attempt to find new approaches to treat the disease, scientists are exploring techniques to give the repair process a boost.

An important area of research focuses on ways to help the body regenerate a fatty substance called myelin, which is damaged by attacks brought on by MS patients' own immune system. Myelin protects nerve fibers, or axons, much like insulation on electrical wire. Currently, the principal treatment for MS is with medications that aim to slow the disease's progression, but don't help repair the damage.

» Read More

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Pa. should follow Jersey's lead on medical marijuana

Legislators in neighboring New Jersey recently passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana, and Gov. Jon Corzine signed the bill into law in one of his last acts before completing his term this week. That adds the Garden State to the more than a dozen states that have legalized medicinal marijuana. Cynics will say this is the proverbial foot in the door for outright legalization of marijuana. Maybe true. Meanwhile, it should serve as an reminder to Pennsylvania legislators that marijuana ought to be treated the same way as other, legal prescription drugs as a palliative for those suffering from AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.

New Jersey legislators had enthusiastic citizen approval. A poll in 2009 indicated that 86 percent of New Jersey residents supported legalization. Pennsylvanians hold similar views. A 2006 statewide poll indicated 77 percent supported legalized medical marijuana.

Continue reading this article from the Pocono Record


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Nuvigil, for Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue

I too remarked "NUVAGIL" ?? Then I continued to read Julie Stachowiak's blog posting.

On January 19, 2010 She wrote:
Heard of Nuvigil for MS Fatigue?

Neither had I until a friend with multiple sclerosis (who sees the same neurologist that I do) called me to tell me that it had "changed her life." Nuvigil (armodafinil) is a derivative of Provigil (modafinil), which many people with MS take to combat MS-related fatigue.

My ears perked up at the excitement in my friend's voice. She went on to tell me that she couldn't tolerate Provigil, as it left her too wakeful to sleep at night. That Provigil-induced insomnia led to her getting not enough sleep to feel rested, so that she was even more tired the next day. Now she has big plans to do things that she was afraid to even consider before.

Provigil wasn't my friend, either. It completely eliminated my appetite in a kind of scary way, in that I was almost disgusted by food. That would lead to weird blood sugar fluctuations as I would finally force myself to eat something, but not enough or the wrong thing. Plus, I felt "off" the whole time I was taking it, in a kind of headachy, nauseated kind of way. I can't even really say it greatly improved my fatigue.

I set out to find out more info about Nuvigil for MS fatigue. Digging around, I found a couple of blogs where MSers had said the same thing as my friend - great drug, more effective and with fewer side effects than Provigil. However, I also found an equal number that could not tolerate Nuvigil.

Here is some very basic Provigil vs. Nuvigil scoop: Nuvigil is NOT (as is rumored) a generic version of Provigil, but is a derivative of Provigil (the right-handed isomer, to be exact). Using just part of the molecule that makes up Provigil is thought to be a way to get more benefits with fewer side effects, which seem to correspond to the left-handed isomer.

Continue reading by clicking here to be re-directed to Julies' blog posting

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MS Trial Alert: Investigators in Ohio Recruiting 24 People for Study of Autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation

This information was posted by the NMSS on Jan 6, 2010.

Summary: Investigators in Ohio are recruiting 24 people with relapsing forms of MS for a study of the safety and tolerability of transplanting one’s own mesenchymal stem cells (derived from bone marrow). The study is being conducted at Cleveland Clinic Mellen MS Center, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and the National Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, all in Cleveland. This study is supported by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs, a program funded through the Defense Department, thanks in large part to the tireless work of MS activists across the country who helped to secure the funding. Please note: This study involves numerous visits to the study site.

Rationale: There are many types of stem cells, and varying degrees of research and knowledge about different types of stem cells and their potential usefulness for treating MS. At present, there has been no proven therapy for MS that uses stem cells. Read more about stem cells in MS.

To continue reading this information from the NMSS website, click here.

Have a comment about stem cell research/therapy, then please return here to leave your messages and/or post to the facebook feed... - thank you


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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sun avoidance can cause vitamin D deficiency

In a year that saw a plethora of papers published on vitamin D deficiency as a cause of most internal cancers, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, autism and even flu, one paper putting the D deficiency epidemic in full perspective stood out as my pick for “Study of 2009.”

Dr. Adit Ginde’s paper published March 23, 2009 in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that:

• Three out of four of Americans are vitamin D deficient today — a 50 percent increase over D deficiency levels just one generation ago.

• 97 percent of black Americans today are vitamin D deficient — which can only be blamed on sun-avoidance and sunscreen usage amongst those whose darker skin needs the most sunlight to make adequate vitamin D.

• Severe vitamin D deficiency in blacks increased from just 9 percent a generation ago to 29 percent today.
What Ginde’s paper did was to make it indisputable that sun avoidance is causing vitamin D deficiency. According to 275 epidemiological studies, 338,000 Americans will die from vitamin D deficiency related diseases in 2010.

Ginde’s paper shows not only are these vitamin D deficiency diseases iatrogenic, that is medical advice to avoid the sun has caused the diseases, that same medical advice is racially biased against people of color. That’s why— in a year with so many research papers on vitamin D published— I think this one has the biggest impact.

Don Kermath,
UI graduate


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Next Steps In Pursuing CCSVI (Venous Insufficiency)

The National MS Society has launched an accelerated international effort to identify rigorous CCSVI research proposals. Initial grants will be announced in June. The Society is also working with University of Buffalo to help them recruit adults and children with MS to determine the prevalence of CCSVI. 500 volunteers have already been selected.

Read more

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The National MS Society reports that $4.5 Million Appropriated to Continue Established MS Research Program

The National MS Society is pleased to announce that $4.5 million has been appropriated within the FY 2010 Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) for multiple sclerosis research. This program is funded through the Defense Department at the direction of Congress and was signed today by the President. This latest appropriation is a continuation of the MS program that was founded in FY 2009.

"This continued opportunity is of great benefit to not only our nation’s 28,000 veterans living with MS, but to everyone and every family touched by the disease," said Joyce Nelson, National MS Society’s President and CEO. "Emerging evidence has shown that combat veterans could be at an increased risk of developing MS. This important ongoing research being conducted under the CDMRP could help us move one step closer to better treatments and a better understanding of the disease."

Continue reading


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What We Know About Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)

If you’ve been told that you have primary-progressive MS (PPMS), you probably have questions about what it is, how it differs from other forms of MS, and what can be done to treat it. And you may be wondering what research is being done on this form of MS.

PPMS is a disease course that is characterized by steady worsening of neurologic functioning, without any distinct relapses (also called attacks or exacerbations) or periods of remission. A person’s rate of progression may vary over time — with occasional plateaus or temporary improvements — but the progression is continuous.

Click to View a Video and Learn more



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Valuable Multiple Sclerosis Resources


MS Views and News is a Not-for-Profit 501©(3) Organization

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