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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, for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not 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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Monday, August 8, 2011

Multiple sclerosis research update August 2011


Welcome to a latest post from Funky Mango where she gives a fantastic round out of multiple sclerosis research for August 2011.  Funky Mango described herself as a technically middle-aged and a part-time wheelchair user. She is a medicine and science nerd,a spoonie,and loves skulls. The world’s most demanding cat allows her to live in the same house in return for food,treats and belly rubs.  She blogs at http://funkymangosmusings.blogspot.com/ so please do wander over to see her in action!
We now have more evidence for a link between MS and current vitamin D levels. British researchers compared average vitamin D levels among people in Scotland with MS,and their admission to hospital for things like relapses and infections. They found that the two factors were linked:hospital admissions were highest in spring (April-June) when vitamin D levels were lowest.
This suggests that vitamin D levels are associated with whatever it is that causes people with MS to be admitted to hospital. We already know that vitamin D affects the immune system:being deficient can increase the risk of infections and probably relapses.
Australian researchers have found that past infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV),the virus which causes glandular fever (mononucleosis) can combine with genetic variations to increase the risk of developing MS by up to 20 times. There was no evidence that a current infection with EBV could bring on MS.
Not research,but a discussion…a group of researchers held a session on cognitive (thinking) dysfunction in MS,and the problems of developing longitudinal tests and standardising data for the effects of MS on the mind. The researchers gave the contrasting example of Alzheimer’s disease:the cognitive decline caused by that disease is faster and more certain than in MS,where cognitive decline affects about 6% of patients each year.
As far back as 2002,researchers published a consensus paper agreeing a battery of tests to be used to measure cognitive decline in people with MS. According to this discussion,it is time to update the consensus to 2011 standards.
Disappointingly for those of us who have followed its progress,the UK National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has issued a draft recommendation that Gilenya (fingolimod) should not be prescribed on the NHS. This is because NICE feel that it has not been trialled against the correct drugs:it has been compared with a placebo and with Avonex,while NICE argues that it should be compared with other beta interferons as well as Avonex,and with Tysabri.
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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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