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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, July 17, 2010

MS Views and News - url's to know and to bookmark

MS Views and News
Using State-of-the-Art technology to provide information for those
 affected by Multiple Sclerosis.


MANAGING MS Symptoms / Symptom Management

The key to living with MS is to feel in control of MS. You can do this by keeping track of your symptoms, going to appointments with your health care provider, having regular magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs), and taking any medication your health care provider has prescribed.
The exact correlation between MRI findings and the current or future clinical status of patients, including disease progression, is unknown.
Following a well-balanced diet and a properly prescribed exercise program are also good foundations for health. Always talk with your health care provider or MS specialist before starting any symptom management program.

Staying on treatment

If your health care provider has prescribed a disease-modifying drug (DMD), it is important you follow your doctor's recommendations. The introduction of DMD's 15 years ago showed them as a breakthrough for people with relapsing MS. Since then 4 DMD's have been introduced to the market and have shown to slow the course of the disease.
If you are not taking a DMD, talk with your health care provider. He or she is there to help you. It's important that you communicate your needs. Together, you can go over the treatment options and decide whether DMD therapy is right for you.

Managing MS symptoms

It's very important for you to learn to listen to and take cues from your body. This will help you manage your MS symptoms.

When to call someone about your symptoms

You should ask your health care provider about when it is important for you to call. Some reasons to call may include:
  • If you experience loss of vision or blurry vision
  • If you have an abrupt change in bowel or bladder function
  • If you think you have a urinary tract infection
  • If you have feelings of depression or thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Any time you are concerned about a symptom or feeling
This is not a complete list. Remember to check with your health care provider about when you should call.

More on Symptom Management:




Source of these articles is MS Lifelines:
 http://www.mslifelines.com/managing-ms/symptom-management/index.jsp

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Wellness and Multiple Sclerosis

Read about: wellness and nutrition, wellness and exercise and wellness & complimentary and alternative therapies by clicking here


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Friday, July 16, 2010

Novartis, showing encouragement for new MS Drug

Novartis, a drug company, has recently released its quarterly report on earnings and the future looks bright. This can be in part thanks to the recent approval for FTY720, a drug that combats multiple sclerosis. The company reports earnings of “free cash flow” at about $2.4 million dollars.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is, according to WebMd, “is a disease that affects the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control,vision, balance, and sensation (such as numbness). With MS, the nerves of the brain and spinal cord are damaged by one's own immune system.” One of the most insidious parts of this disease is that the symptoms come and go. Sometimes a person can’t walk. Then the next day, they can walk but cannot see.
While there have been many improvements in the treatment of MS, it remains incurable at this time. Patients can compare various treatment options, including medication and physical therapy, to see what will work best with them by clicking here http://www.webmd.com/relapsing-ms/consider-treatment

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Comparing MRI Criteria for Diagnosing Pediatric MS and ADEM

Information found below was suggested by Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN


The new Callen criteria for multiple sclerosis–acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (MS-ADEM) are the most useful of the current MRI criteria for differentiating a first attack of MS from monophasic ADEM in children, according to a study in the May 4 Neurology. In comparison, although the Callen diagnostic MS criteria are more sensitive, they lack the specificity necessary to differentiate MS from ADEM, researchers reported.

I. A. Ketelslegers, MD, and colleagues from Erasmus MC, Department of Neurology, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, included 49 children with a demyelinating event and an MRI scan within two months of their first clinical attack. A total of 21 children had ADEM and were relapse-free after at least two years of follow-up, and 28 patients had received a definitive diagnosis of MS. The investigators assessed the sensitivity and specificity of the four current sets of MRI criteria—Barkhof criteria, Kids with Multiple Sclerosis (KIDMUS) criteria, Callen MS-ADEM criteria, and Callen diagnostic MS criteria.


The researchers found that the Callen MS-ADEM criteria had the best combination of sensitivity (75%) and specificity (95%). Although the KIDMUS criteria had a higher specificity (100%), they provided a much lower sensitivity (11%). The Barkhof criteria yielded a sensitivity of 61% and a specificity of 91%. Furthermore, the Callen diagnostic MS criteria were the most sensitive (82%), but they were 52% specific for distinguishing a first attack of MS from ADEM, according to the researchers.


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How much does your neurologist know of 'soon coming' oral MS therapies such as Gilenia (FTY720)?

Surveyed Neurologists' Awareness of Merck Serono/EMD Serono's Oral Cladribine is Double that of Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe's FTY-720 (Gilenia)


Posted on: Thursday, 15 July 2010, 07:00 CDT

WALTHAM, Mass., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that surveyed neurologists have low awareness of Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe's FTY-720 (Gilenia) among the surveyed oral emerging therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). According to the new report,Brand Perception Series: Physician Segmentation in Multiple Sclerosisjust over one-third of surveyed physicians have heard of FTY-720 (Gilenia) compared with three-quarters of surveyed physicians who are aware of Merck Serono/EMD Serono's oral cladribine and half of surveyed physicians who are aware of Teva/Active Biotech's laquinimod.



The majority of surveyed physicians indicate that they will use the surveyed emerging oral agents in relapse/remitting MS patients who have failed therapy with interferon-betas and Teva's Copaxone. Only a small percentage (10 percent or less) will use the surveyed emerging oral agents in treatment-naive patients. Surveyed physicians report they will most likely prescribe these emerging oral agents for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of their current therapy or who are unwilling to risk the side effects of Biogen Idec/Elan's Tysabri.

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Makes me wonder how much general neurologists really know of the current ms therapies...


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National MS Society Works with Reps. Kilroy & Thornberry to Introduce & Confirm Legislation to Cover Off-Label Prescriptions for Medicare Part D Carriers

July 14, 2010



H.R. 5732, the “Part D Off-Label Prescription Parity Act" was confirmed in Congress Wednesday.  The bill is desgined to allow Medicare coverage of off-label medication when its use is supported by peer-reviewed medical literature, as is the case for Medicare Part B and for Part D medications used to treat cancer. With key consultation and support from noted clinicians and other health organizations, the Society has worked closely with Reps. Kilroy and Thornberry to draft this legislation. Linda Buchwald M.D. and Chief of Neurology and Medical Director of the MS Comprehensive Care Center in Cambridge, MA and Randy Shapiro President of the Schapiro Multiple Sclerosis Advisory Group in Eagle, CO, the Medicare Rights Center and the National Organization for Rare Disorders were instrumental in the development and championing of this bills’ introduction. 
Currently, many Medicare consumers who suffer from chronic conditions, such as MS, are unable to access safe and effective medications under Part D, which does not allow coverage for drugs that are used off-label.  The cost of MS disease-modifying therapies and symptom treatments can be staggering and not always covered by insurance. Access to prescribed drugs, however, can often allow people with MS to live active and productive lives. Doctors, based on existing medical literature and their professional judgment, routinely prescribe medications for off-label uses, meaning the drugs are used for purposes other than those originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  “Doctors and patients should be able to decide the best safe and effective medications for their treatments,” said Rep. Kilroy. “We must fight for the right to be treated with the best, safest medicine in consultation with our physicians, not a government bureaucrat.”

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