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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, October 16, 2010

Keep Your Brain Young With Berries

by: Nissa Simon - AARP bulletin



Pour yourself a bowl of brightly colored berries to refresh your brain as well as your taste buds.
Recent research shows that fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, acai berries and other deeply colored berries can help the brain stay healthy. These berries, and possibly walnuts, activate the brain's own housekeeper cells, which clean up and recycle toxic debris linked to age-related mental decline.
Scientists already know that aging involves a steady drop in the body's ability to protect itself from inflammation and biological wear and tear. But natural plant compounds called polyphenolics, found in many fruits, vegetables and nuts, can protect the brain. "In previous work we showed that supplementing the diets of aged mice with berry extracts improved their ability to process information," says molecular biologist Shibu Poulose of the USDA Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.
Continue reading this interesting article. Click Here



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Disclaimer:  'MS Views and News' (MSVN), 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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CCSVI News: Zamboni warns more tests are needed


October 16, 2010



MS new treatment?
Photo: Mike Szymanski
Dr. Paolo Zamboni, who came up with a seemingly simple solution to stopping Multiple Sclerosis, is now urging caution until more clinical trials are done.
This procedure, which he developed in Italy at the University of Ferrera, showed that the improper drainage of blood from the brain may play a part in causing MS. That means treatment of the disease could be by simply opening up the blood vessels to the brain – a procedure called “liberation therapy.”
Dr. Zamboni told an MS conference in Gothenburg, Sweden, that patients shouldn’t go ahead with such surgery, except in the case of clinical trials.
“Surgery is not recommended at this stage,” he said, during a presentation this week to the Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS, according to the Globe & Mail. He also said he does not support “medical tourism” – the practice of some patients who travel overseas to clinics that will perform the surgery. Thousands of people are believed to have done this.
The story created strong reactions both pro and con to Zamboni and his treatments: Read comments here.
   

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Biogen, Genentech say MS drug met goal in study

AP News - October 15, 2010


Drugmakers Roche and Biogen Idec Inc. said Friday that their drug candidate ocrelizumab met its goal in a mid-stage clinical trial, as it reduced brain lesions associated with multiple sclerosis compared to placebo.
The companies said that compared to placebo, patients who took a low dose of ocrelizumab had 89 percent fewer brain lesions, and patients who took a larger dose had 96 percent fewer lesions. Patients on ocrelizumab also had a larger reduction in flare-ups of their symptoms. The study lasted 24 weeks and involved 220 patients. The patients who were treated with ocrelizumab were given infusions at the start of the trial, and then a second infusion two weeks later.
Biogen is developing the drug in a partnership with Roche's Genentech unit. The companies also studied ocrelizumab as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, but stopped studies in March and discontinued the research in May.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy nerves. It can cause pain, numbness, slurred speech, impaired vision, muscle weakness, and neurological problems. The companies said about 1.3 million people worldwide have the disease.
Brain lesions were detected with MRI scans of the patients' brains. One patient who was treated with the higher dose of ocrelizumab died of a systemic acute inflammatory reaction. The companies said it is not clear if the drug caused that reaction. Side effects included hypersensitivity, inflammatory responses, and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in a patient with a pre-existing lesion.
The companies will continue treating patients for up to 96 weeks, getting infusions every 24 weeks.

Article Source: Business week


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Friday, October 15, 2010

Phase II study with ocrelizumab shows significant reduction in disease activity for multiple sclerosis patients


October 15, 2010




Phase II study with ocrelizumab shows significant reduction in disease activity for multiple sclerosis patients

Roche and Biogen Idec  today announced 24-week results1from a phase II study of ocrelizumab in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the most common form2 of the disease. Ocrelizumab demonstrated a significant reduction in disease activity as measured by brain lesions and relapse rate. Patients with RRMS suffer from relapses and disabling symptoms caused by nerve damage which can significantly affect their quality of life.

Reductions in total number of brain lesions detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans (the primary endpoint of the study) were highly significant at 96% for 2000mg ocrelizumab and 89% for 600mg ocrelizumab compared to placebi . Disease activity was also measured by reduction in annualised relapse rate (ARR), the rate of attacks or flare-ups per patient-year. At week 24, ARR was significantly lowered versus placebo with a reduction of 73% for ocrelizumab 2000mg and 80% for ocrelizumab 600mg .ii

“These efficacy results are amongst the most remarkable seen in a phase II RRMS study, and show that ocrelizumab may have the potential to offer benefits to patients with this disease”, said Professor Ludwig Kappos, lead investigator of the study, from the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland.

“We are strongly encouraged by these data and the possibility that ocrelizumab could become a new option for patients with MS”, commented Hal Barron, M.D, Head of Global Development and Chief Medical Officer for Roche. “We believe in the potential of ocrelizumab and look forward to exploring it further in the final phase of clinical development”.

Both ocrelizumab doses were generally well tolerated and no opportunistic infections were reported.    Serious adverse events (SAEs) were similar in all treatment groups. Infusion-related events during first infusion, predominantly mild to moderate, were more common with ocrelizumab (34.5% and 43.6%) than placebo (9.3%). However, these reports decreased during the second ocrelizumab infusion and were comparable to those initially reported with placebo.

READ About the study: Click Here



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NEW DATA EVALUATING LAQUINIMOD FOR THE TREATMENT OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DEMONSTRATE NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECTS

Fri - October 15, 2010


Data presented at the 26th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research
in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS)

Jerusalem, Israel and Lund, Sweden, October 15, 2010 - Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) and Active Biotech (NASDAQ OMX NORDIC: ACTI) announced today that
data providing further evidence of the neuroprotective properties of laquinimod in
animal studies were presented at the 26th Congress of the European Committee for
Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Gothenburg, Sweden. Laquinimod
is an investigational, once-daily oral immunomodulator for the treatment of relapsing
remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). 

These results, generated from several pre-clinical studies evaluating the mechanism of
action (MOA) of oral laquinimod, demonstrated that:

* 
Laquinimod reverts the disruption of neurogenic processes that can occur with chronic 
            inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS), and is associated with a
significant reduction 
            in the percentage of demyelination and axonal damage.  

* 
Laquinimod differentially influenced the activity of select immune cells, reducing their
pro-
            inflammatory characteristics while increasing the production of neurotrophic
factors known to be 
            involved in neuroprotection and repair mechanisms. 

* 
Laquinimod treatment is associated with an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor
(BDNF), 
            a pivotal factor in the development and maintenance of the CNS.

"These results add to the accumulating body of data establishing the novel MOA of
laquinimod. These MOA studies suggest that laquinimod has the potential to prevent
demyelination, which is associated with multiple sclerosis, and therefore may provide
neuroprotection in the treatment of RRMS," said Prof. Ralf Gold, Department of
Neurology, St. Josef-Spital, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. "Research is ongoing to
further evaluate laquinimod, and we look forward to additional data, including the
forthcoming results from the Phase III clinical development program."

Laquinimod received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) in February 2009. Two global Phase III clinical studies, ALLEGRO and BRAVO, have
completed enrollment and are currently ongoing, with results anticipated in 2011.

ABOUT THE STUDIES

* 
[P885] Laquinimod prevents the inflammation-induced derangement of neurogenic niches  
            in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice.


Continue reading from Reuters


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Age and Inflammation Predict Response to Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis


October 14, 2010 (Gothenburg, Sweden) — Patients who develop relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis later in life and who have less inflammation are more likely to respond to immunomodulating therapies, report researchers.
Presenting here at the 26th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, investigators described demographic, clinical, and imaging predictors of response to first-line therapies.
The retrospective, single-center study included 1203 patients with multiple sclerosis. Patients were followed up every 3 months and underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging once a year.
The team, led by Giancarlo Comi, MD, from the Scientific Institute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy, then broke response rates down by type of immunomodulating therapy.
Patients taking once-a-week interferon beta had a similar response at 37%, and those taking multiweekly interferon beta had a rate of 34%. Patients taking glatiramer acetate faired better at 42%.
The investigators tested potential predictors of response using a multivariate logistic regression model. They found older age at disease onset and less inflammatory activity predicted response to therapy. However, the researchers caution, the relatively short duration of follow-up may limit the reliability of the finding over a longer period.
Patients who responded well to therapy at 1 year tended to continue to enjoy the benefits of treatment at 2 years. After a year, 68% of patients had a complete response, and this persisted until the end of the study.
Asked by Medscape Medical News to comment, Sidney Spector, MD, from the Veterans Affairs Medical in Phoenix, Arizona, said he would have expected that patients with less disease burden would respond better to treatment. "I'm not surprised patients with less inflammatory activity responded well, but I'm not sure I would have anticipated that age at onset would be a factor," he said. "I think that one could have gone either way, so this is interesting.

Continue Reading


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Genzyme MS drug data remains strong after 5 years

Information provided to me by an old friend and RA, named Mitchel A., in California



Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:21pm EDT
* Five-year follow-up data consistent with four-year data
* No new cases of serious side effects were reported
* Genzyme sees drug as more valuable than Sanofi does (Adds description of disease, analyst comment, side effect details)
By Toni Clarke
BOSTON, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Genzyme Corp (GENZ.O) presented new data from a trial of its experimental multiple sclerosis drug alemtuzumab on Thursday that continued to show strong efficacy with no new or worsening side effects.
Genzyme believes the drug, if approved, could become the new standard of care for treating the disease and gain a significant portion of a market the company estimates will be worth roughly $13 billion by the end of this year.
Alemtuzumab, also known as Campath, is a key pawn in the battle between Genzyme and 




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Using Corticosteroids for multiple sclerosis

Examples

Generic NameBrand Name
dexamethasone
methylprednisoloneDepo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol
prednisone

How It Works

Methylprednisolone, prednisone, and dexamethasone are corticosteroids. These medicines shorten multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks by reducing inflammation on the brain and spinal cord.
A high dosage of methylprednisolone may be given through a vein (intravenous, or IV) daily for 3 to 5 days during an MS attack. Prednisone or methylprednisolone may then be given by mouth for several days after the IV treatment.

Why It Is Used

Corticosteroids may be used to treat sudden, severe (acute) MS attacks and acuteoptic neuritis.

How Well It Works

Treatment with corticosteroids may reduce the symptoms of MS attacks and help you recover more quickly.1 There is no convincing evidence that corticosteroids can reduce the progression of MS.

Side Effects

Corticosteroids cause few side effects when used over a short period of time. People with MS who use a short course of corticosteroids to treat severe symptom attacks may have:
These problems will usually go away after you stop taking the medicine.
When corticosteroids are used in high doses or for longer periods of time, they can have more serious side effects, including:




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