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Friday, May 7, 2010

New report covers the use of DMAs for treatment of MS published

BioTrends is pleased to announce the publication of a new syndicated report,TreatmentTrends: Multiple Sclerosis. This report covers the use of disease-modifying agents (DMAs) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as attitudes and perceptions toward these products, advantages and disadvantages, ideal patient types, barriers to growth and expected future use. In addition, respondents were queried about their awareness of and interest in MS products in development.

The study, based on feedback gathered in an on-line survey completed by 100 neurologists in March 2010, found that among the disease modifying agents available, Biogen Idec's Tysabri had the highest percent of neurologists indicating a recent increase in use. However, fear of PML is noted as a leading obstacle to expanded use of the product by 80% of the respondents. Furthermore, patients on Tysabri are significantly more likely to be given a drug holiday compared to other brands and this is usually at the direction of the neurologist as opposed to patient request.

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Laquinimod may have neuroprotective properties in addition to anti-inflammatory effects for RRMS

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Active Biotech announced (in April) results from several studies demonstrating that laquinimod, a novel, investigational once-daily oral immunomodulator for relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) may have neuroprotective properties in addition to its anti-inflammatory effects. These studies were presented at the 62ndAnnual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN).

“As MS research progresses, emphasis will not only be on delaying disease progression, but on preventing permanent nerve damage”

New data from studies in RRMS patients demonstrate that treatment with laquinimod results in a significant increase in brain derived neurotrophic factor, a key protein responsible for the maintenance of mature neurons.

Additionally, data from new animal models show that following treatment with laquinimod there were significant reductions in the extent of demyelination, and more axonal preservation within spinal cord lesions. Furthermore, treatment with laquinimod inhibited the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the spinal cord and brain, and caused a positive shift in specific white blood cells involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology.

These findings suggest that laquinimod may have neuroprotective properties in addition to anti-inflammatory effects. Coupled with the Phase IIb study results, which demonstrated oral laquinimod to be effective and safe in RRMS patients, these data provide further insight into the contributing factors surrounding the favorable benefit-risk profile associated with this compound to date.


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Liberation Procedure could result in rebuke for radiologist


A Victoria radiologist is facing possible professional rebuke for performing an experimental procedure said to cure the effects of multiple sclerosis.

Dr. Brian Weinerman, an oncologist and executive medical director of diagnostics for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, said he has spoken to the radiologist -- who is now feeling a little chastened -- and passed along a report on the matter.

The radiologist "was a little naive and he knows now what he did was beyond the bounds," said Weinerman.

Last month, two people from Vancouver, both with multiple sclerosis, received a treatment at Victoria General Hospital in which veins draining blood from their brains were unblocked using balloon angioplasty.

The treatment -- named the "liberation" procedure -- was pioneered in Italy by vascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni, who says it prevents a harmful buildup of iron in the brain.

Weinerman said the two patients were initially sent to Victoria for the procedure on the grounds it might be beneficial for something else, such as reducing swelling in their limbs.

But it soon became apparent they were really seeking the treatment for their MS.

"[The radiologist] knows now and kind of feels he was taken in," said Weinerman.

"Physicians are people like everybody else and everybody gets excited by these things," he said. "I guess he went ahead with it.



Thursday, May 6, 2010

BIG News for those affected by MS in Canada

By: Melissa Martin - Brandon Sun

6/05/2010 9:22 AM

WINNIPEG -- A big announcement from the national MS Society could mean the tide is turning for supporters of a hot-button new theory on multiple sclerosis.

On Wednesday, the MS Society of Canada announced it will lobby the Canadian government to channel $10 million into researching a link between blocked veins in the head and neck -- a condition dubbed chronic cerebrospinal venous insuffiency, or CCSVI -- and MS.

Continue to read by clicking here


an MSVN appeal

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A Patient's Story on His Plan for Liberation via CCSVI

The Plan - By Mark Lane
Today, I conducted my second interview with the CBC Morning Show regarding MS, CCSVI and my thoughts on the availability of treatment for CCSVI in Canada and elsewhere in the world. I also discuss my personal goal to have the procedure completed in St. John's,NL.

Visit to download the archived audio file.
Read More of THE PLAN by clicking here to be re-directed to Mark's Blog



Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bone-Marrow Stem Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Show Promise

ScienceDaily (May 5, 2010) — A groundbreaking trial to test bone marrow stem cell therapy with a small group of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has been shown to have possible benefits for the treatment of the disease.

Bone marrow stem cells have been shown in several experimental studies to have beneficial effects in disease models of MS. The research team, led by Neil Scolding, Burden Professor of Clinical Neurosciences for the University of Bristol and North Bristol NHS Trust, have now completed a small trial in patients with MS to begin translating these findings from the laboratory to the clinic.

The Bristol team report on this pioneering trial in an article published online in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The study was performed at the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol and the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

The study explored the safety and feasibility of cell therapy in patients with MS. Participants had a general anaesthetic during which bone marrow was harvested. The marrow cells were filtered and prepared so that they could be injected into the patient's vein later the same day.

The procedure was well tolerated and the participants were followed up for a year. No serious adverse effects were encountered. The results of clinical scores were consistent with stable disease. The results of neurophysiological tests raised the possibility of benefit.


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The Medical Industrial Complex: Sick People Required

Written by Our "Wheelchair Kamikaze" Marc Stecker

Living life with a chronic illness such as Multiple Sclerosis gives one an inside view of the medical establishment, a view that healthy people rarely glimpse. In the blissful ignorance of good health, modern medicine appears to be bright and shiny, a miracle machine complete with magical elixirs, futuristic technology, and a sophisticated understanding of the maladies that strike human beings. Headlines and television news anchors shout about the latest medical breakthroughs, and a stream of television commercials assure us that there are pharmaceutical remedies for everything from cancer to osteoporosis to erectile dysfunction. Once sick and thrust into the belly of the beast, though, this illusion starts to fall away, and a different reality emerges.

Although there have been some incredible advances made in our efforts to heal sick humans over the last 50 years, there are still vast swathes of patient populations whose illnesses remain poorly understood, insufficiently and ineffectively treated, and ultimately incurable. Problematically, many of these patient populations generate billions and billions of dollars for the modern medical hierarchy, a situation that sets up a paradox within our profit driven medical establishment. Cure these patients, and vast sums of money and an elaborate infrastructure would simply evaporate; keep them perpetually reliant on hyper expensive medicines and medical procedures, and reap the fruits of an unending money machine.

Click to be re-directed to Marc's blog

Oh, also, Marc is going to be interviewed live on an Internet radio show about CCSVI this Saturday night at 8 PM. Here's the link:


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Vatican to finance adult stem cell research

Church backs science to provide alternative to embryonic stem cells

updated 6:01 p.m. ET, Fri., April 23, 2010

ROME - The Vatican is pushing for research of adult stem cells as an alternative to the use of embryonic stem cells, which the Catholic Church opposes because it maintains that the destruction of the embryo amounts to the killing of human life.

On Friday, the Catholic Church threw its support and resources behind the study of intestinal adult stem cells by a group of experts led by the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The group wants to explore the potential use of those cells in the treatment of intestinal and possibly other diseases, and is seeking an initial $2.7 million to get the project going, officials said.

"This research protects life," Cardinal Renato Martino said during a meeting with Italian and American scientists and health officials to outline the project. "I want to stress that it doesn't involve embryonic stem cells, where one helps oneself and then throws the embryo away and kills a human life."

The church is opposed to embryonic stem cell research because it involves the destruction of embryos, but it supports the use of adult stem cells, which are found in the bodies of all humans. Human embryonic stem cells are produced from surplus embryos of in vitro fertilization procedures used to help infertile women get pregnant.

CLICK here to continue reading this MSNBC report


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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Important control mechanism behind autoimmune diseases discovered

May 4, 2010

Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have discovered a new control mechanism in our immune system. The discovery is of potential significance to the treatment of serious diseases such as MS (multiple sclerosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and SLE (Systemic lupus erythematosus).

"Now that we've started to understand the regulatory mechanisms involved in these autoimmune diseases, we are hopeful that new treatments can be found," says Mikael Karlsson, associate professor at the Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet in Solna, and one of the team behind the study now published in the highly reputed periodical, the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

An important component of our immune defence is a type of cell called a B cell. Normally, the job of these cells is to produce antibodies, which in turn bind to and neutralise invasive microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses. In people with an autoimmune disease, explains Dr Karlsson, these actually have an injurious effect and instead of serving the body, are activated against its own tissues, which they start to break down.

Patients with SLE and other have lower levels of so-called NKT cells. Previously, it was not known what part these cells play in the origin and development of the disease; now, however, the research group at KI has shown that this deficiency is a contributory pathogenic factor.

"We've demonstrated that NKT cells can regulate how B cells become activated against healthy tissue, and that a lack of NKT cells results in greater misguided B cell activation," says Dr Karlsson. "So now we can mechanically link the NKT cell defect in patients to the disease."

The study also shows that the NKT cells directly impede faulty B cell activation, and that they do so early in the misdirected process. The team managed to inhibit the activity of pathogenic B cells by adding NKT cells - a result that may one day lead to new types of treatment.

Continue Reading


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Monday, May 3, 2010

Hmm,,, When and How to Tell Your Child You Have MS?

The short answer to the question of when and how to tell your child you have MS is that it depends on the age and maturity of your child. There is no one right way, and there are many differing opinions. But Dr. Dingledine and other experts do agree that there is no reason to burden your child until they need to know. And they need to know when they start sensing or seeing from your behavior that something is wrong, or just different.

Children do notice behaviors. They are smart, and they often see more than we think they do. They also have active imaginations, and the truth may be less scary to them than what they have conjured up to explain behaviors they don’t understand. Your child may not come straight out and ask what’s wrong; it’s up to you to be sensitive to your child’s level of awareness.

Self-awareness is important, too. When you think your child has reached a point when they need to know, ask yourself whose need this really is. Is it your child’s need to know, or your own need to unload?

When you do decide to explain that you have MS, in general the younger your child, the simpler the explanation should be. A straightforward “I have something called multiple sclerosis, or MS, and it can [make me tired] [affect my walking] [make it hard for me to be in the heat]” can be sufficient. Focus on behaviors. Older children may want and need more facts; they will cue you to how much to tell them.

Like adults, children need time to absorb difficult information. And, they will undoubtedly need to keep talking from time to time, even if they may have trouble letting you know that. Asking “What did you think when you saw that?” can encourage them to share.

Above all, remember that the goal is to help your child understand in a way that enables them to cope.


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