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Saturday, April 10, 2010
Emma Hitt, PhD
“Few studies have considered the effects of MS risk factors simultaneously,” Dr. Simon told Medscape Neurology. “Our goal was to investigate whether the observed effects of smoking, anti-EBNA antibody titers, and HLA-DR15 were independent or related, indicating the possibility of shared biological mechanisms,” she said.
The current analysis used data from 3 case-control studies, a nested case-control study in the Nurses' Health Study I and II, a Tasmanian MS study, and a Swedish MS study, including 442 subjects with MS and 865 without MS.
Friday, April 9, 2010
This will give you an idea of what will be on W5 tomorrow.
Updated: Fri Apr. 09 2010 10:59:30
Avis Favaro, CTV News - Winnipeg
Kuwait has become the first country in the world to offer a controversial treatment to all its patients with multiple sclerosis who have blocked veins in their necks.
CTV News has confirmed that Kuwait's minister of health has given interventional radiologists in the country the go-ahead to use the state-financed medical system to begin treating patients who have blocked veins and abnormal blood flow in their necks.
According to a theory proposed by University of Ferrara's Dr. Paolo Zamboni in Italy, and first broadcast on CTV's W5 last November, many patients with MS have blocked or narrowed veins in their necks and chests. He calls the condition CCSVI, or chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency.
He theorizes that the blockage prevents blood from draining properly, sending it back to their brain, a problem that could contribute to the immune response that marks MS.
The theory has generated a lot of interest in Kuwait, which has high rates of MS, particularly among women.
In a telephone interview with CTV, Dr. Tariq Sinan, an interventional radiologist and an associate professor at the Department of Radiology in the Faculty of Medicine at Kuwait University says the health ministry will allow radiologists to begin treating MS patients who have CCSVI, starting next week, as part of an ongoing study.
The Kuwait News Agency KUNA also reported the development, quoting the chairman of the standing committee for co-ordination of medical research at the ministry, Dr. Youssof Al-Nesf, as saying: "The presentation meets the legal, moral and scientific criterions specified by concerned organizations, including the World Health Organization."
The decision is based on research by a team headed by Sinan who studied 12 MS patients in March. All of them had CCSVI and were offered what Zamboni has dubbed the Liberation Treatment. The treatment is a vein version of angioplasty, in which a small balloon is inserted into a blocked vein to force it open.
(No stents were used in the procedures, a practice some doctors around the world have tried and one that Dr. Zamboni does not endorse.)
Sinan says all of the patients saw improvements in their MS symptoms, with some noticing "dramatic" results.
"On one day, on March 3, we did three patients. Two had dramatic improvements on the table and started crying because they couldn't believe what they were feeling," Sinan reported.
He says patients with more severe MS reported fewer improvements, but did notice feeling less stiffness and more energy. Those with less severe disease, reported up to 90 per cent improvements in their fatigue and numbness in their hands and leg.
"In one case, the patient couldn't see from one eye and started to be able to see," Sinan reported.
Sinan said he's confident the results he saw were not the result of the "placebo effect," a phenomenon in which patients fool themselves into feeling better by an otherwise ineffective treatment.
"If this is a placebo effect and I have MS, I would want this placebo effect," Sinan said.
"It is amazing the kind of improvements the patients say they have. It cannot all be attributed to placebo. Not being able to see and then being able to see, better bladder control, end of foot drop -- that cannot be placebo."
Last week, Dr. Sinan says a group of neurologists petitioned the country's ministry of health to stop the treatments. Their concerns – shared by other MS specialists around the world -- is that the link between blocked veins and MS has not been proven, and that the treatment could be dangerous. They have called for more studies.
But after review, and submissions from physicians and patients, the decision was to allow the treatments, which will be covered by the state-financed medical system.
The procedure will not be performed to treat MS per se but to treat only "improper blood flow" in the veins.
"So we say this is a vascular problem in the neck. Patients, when you dilate the veins, they feel better. We don't have to talk about MS or the link to MS," said Sinan.
Patients will be warned that the procedure is experimental, and the potential risks of venoplasty will be detailed in consent forms. Patients who agree to treatment will be part of an ongoing study that will be done in cooperation with a Kuwait neurologist.
The team will use ultrasounds and magnetic resonance venograms to scan the neck veins, as well as MRIs to track changes in the brain, including the appearance of MS-related lesions.
Doctors hope to treat 10 Kuwaiti patients a week, beginning next week.
By Robin L. Gardner | Independent Tribune
Published: April 9, 2010
CONCORD - As the saying goes, " when someone hands you lemons, you make lemonade."
Simply put, you make do with what you've been given.
Cabarrus County Deputy Sheriff David Allred, 43, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 13 years ago.
This weekend, he will once again prove that the diagnosis won't define his life as he runs the Charlotte RaceFest Half Marathon & 10K.
MS is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Symptoms of MS may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision.
Last spring, Allred attempted something he has worked towards since his diagnosis, the Ford Ironman — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a complete marathon of 26.2 miles — in Lake Placed, N.Y.
"When you look at what can happen with MS, there were things I wanted to do, and the day may come when I can't. It may or may not," Allred said. "When I was diagnosed, the doctor said, 'you may go 20 years and have no problems or you may go 20 minutes and have a problem.' You just don't know."
So he decided it was time to "start doing things," beginning to train and try to get physically fit. His friends pushed him to run, bike and swim.
"It just kind of grew from one thing to another," Allred said. "There was a lot of help from my wife Julie and my daughter."
Training for events like marathons, of which he has done several, and half-ironman events is very time consuming. An early morning swim at 5 a.m., a run at lunch and then a long bike ride after work can eat up a lot of family time, but Allred is thankful for his family's support.
"It's a big sacrifice, but they are both very supportive, and my wife helps monitor everything," Allred said. "Sometimes I don't notice if I'm a little too fatigued, but she has to live with me so she picks up on it."
Though training can be difficult, Allred said sometimes "he just makes his mind up" to persevere.
"When it's really, really hot, sometimes it makes me a little bit dizzy, but not to bad," Allred said.
He controls the dizziness with cool water.
The treatment for his MS includes the drug Avonex. It is a shot his wife, who is a nurse, administers, and has worked very well for him.
For answering the endless queries of suffering from , the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada organized information on Wednesday in Toronto. This session basically aimed at enlighteningpeople about the condition dubbed chronic cerebrospinal or CCSVI.
The webcast session was filled with excitement and curiosity from the officials and the patients as well. During the session, most of the people after knowing about CCSVI in actual and online wanted a deeper insight with readily available treatment for the same.
But later it was known that procedure promoted for treating CCSVI i. e., "blockages of veins in the neck that drain oxygen-depleted blood from the brain", has not yet been appropriately recommended for patients as the experts advised people to be calm and wait until full approval is passed for the treatment.
This treatment was developed by Dr. Paolo
After its disclosure, about 20 Canadians opted for the testing and travelled all the way to
The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada is warning people that it is not yet know whether the opening of two veins help or not. The organization is also recommending that the testing will only be advisable when the risks associated with it and the time period for which the effectiveness will last and many other doubts will be cleared out.
If unable to work due to an MS related disability you might be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance or ...
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Teva to Present New Data on Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease at the 62nd American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting
JERUSALEM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. today announced that several new studies supporting the company’s innovative central nervous system (CNS) portfolio will be presented at the 62nd American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Toronto, April 10-17,2010.
Featured presentations highlight:
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
For the MS Patient: a Webforum for the general public on the topic of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI)
Monday, April 5, 2010
Tim Stevens travelled to Poland in the hope of finding a cure for his MS, the hugely debilitating illness which has robbed him of the use of his legs.
In this final part of his account of the trip, BRIAN BEACOM reveals how Tim got on after leaving the clinic in Katowice ...
As miracles go, it’s not exactly up there with the biblical classics. But for Tiger Tim’s wife, Caroline, the sight of her husband tucking into his Hawaiian pizza using a fork in his left hand was nonetheless astounding.
"My God," he’s holding it," shouts, Caroline of the fork adventure. "This is the first time in 10 years Tim has been able to use his left hand to eat, even though he is left handed.
"I can’t believe it."
Nor could Tim. The afternoon pizza experiment was carried out in hope rather than expectation. But then today had already been about a series of great surprises.
It began at 10am outside the 27-storey Hotel Qubus in Katowice.
Already 18 degrees and a beautiful day, those assembled to greet the patients as they returned from the Euromedic Clinic wanted desperately to believe that the bright sunshine overhead was a sign, a metaphor for the first day of Tiger’s new life.
After spending a precautionary night in the clinic after his ‘Irrigation Treatment’ to clear his blocked veins, Tim had called to say he was on his way back to the hotel. But how would he feel? Doctors at the clinic don’t promise immediate results; they say that improvement can take up to six months, as the body begins to repair itself after the damage done to it by iron deposits in the brain.
However, they do say there have been some remarkable early results. Perhaps none more so than the 60-something US woman from Los Angeles, who two days earlier was restricted to using crutches.
"Look at me today," she exclaimed, with a smile as bright as the sunshine.
"We’re going shopping in Krakow and I want to walk, but my daughter says I should take my crutches – just in case."
She demonstrated her walk, which for a woman, who’s been dependent on crutches for years, is amazing.
But will Tim, and the others who had the same procedure on the same day, have such a positive a result?
First back from the clinic was Mark, the 29-year-old from North London, who uses a motorised wheelchair.
"I feel good," he said, his face beaming. "Normally, my hands and feet are cold, but feel them." He extended his hands and they felt ‘normal’.
Monday, April 05, 2010
A 45-year-old U.K. woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis, says bee stings helped her regain her quality of life, London's Daily Mail reported.
Sami Chugg was confined to her bed and unable to move, but after the area around her spine was deliberately stung by 1,500 bees, she feels much better and can walk again.
Bee venom therapy is known in some cultures to relieve the body of pain by reducing inflammation.
"Most people would be terrified by the prospect of being stung by a bee," Chugg said. "But when you have a condition like MS, that involves numbing of the body, any sensation is welcome - even if it's from a bee sting."
There are some risks associated with bee stinging — some people go into anaphylactic shock after being stung.
A MS Society spokesman said trials in the United States on purified bee venom extract have not found any lasting effect on MS sufferers.