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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cognitive Decline, Brain Atrophy More Rapid for Men With MS


October 20, 2011 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) — A new investigation finds that 6 years after diagnosis, brain volumes and, particularly, cognition were more severely affected in men with multiple sclerosis (MS) than in women with the disease.
White and grey matter atrophy was present in all patients, and deep grey matter structures were also affected, but again particularly in men, the researchers, with lead author Menno M. Schoonheim, a PhD candidate from the Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, Department of Radiology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, report.
Thalamic atrophy was most related to cognitive dysfunction out of all the brain structures investigated, Mr. Schoonheim added, and this atrophy was present in both men and women. However, the cognitive effect of the atrophy was mostly seen in the men. Volume changes in the right thalamus best predicted cognition, the authors note, and results were "clearly different" between the sexes.
"This highlights again that gender is important, not only in predisposition but also in clinical progression and cognitive status," Mr. Schoonheim concluded. "However, longitudinal studies are needed to investigate the progression throughout the disease, because this is still a cross-sectional study."
Their results were presented during the Young Scientific Investigators session here at the 5th Joint Triennial Congress of the European and Americas Committees for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS).
Grey and white matter atrophy is common in MS, as is cognitive dysfunction, the authors point out. MS is known for its sex effects, with women being more susceptible to the disease, but with men generally facing a worse prognosis.
However, few studies have looked at specific sex effects on atrophy, the authors note. In this study, the researchers investigated the relationship between atrophy and cognition in MS, "focusing on modification of this relationship by gender."
Structural 3T magnetic resonance imaging, including 3DT1 for brain volumes, and cognitive evaluations were performed in 50 healthy control patients (20 men) and 120 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (40 men), part of an early-inception cohort, 6 years postdiagnosis. Sex groups were comparable with regard to age, education level, disability, lesion volume, and disease duration.
Normalized grey matter, white matter, and whole-brain volumes, corrected for head size, were calculated using a method called SienaX, and all subcortical grey matter volumes were determined using FIRST, a method that analyzes brain regions including the thalamus, caudate nucleus, putamen, and others, and provides measures of both right and left structures.

Continue reading from Medscape - registration required


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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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Multiple sclerosis diagnosis turned her life upside-down



Imagine waking up numb. So numb, in fact, that movement is either impossible or takes all your energy. If you are able to get out of bed, fatigue plagues every moment of the day, and the tingling in arms and legs does not subside.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease which attacks the central nervous system. Those diagnosed with it can be rendered wheelchair bound. It is silent, and affects no two people quite the same way.


Erica Garrett, 40-year-old Mesquite resident, supervisor of the Virgin Valley Home Care and Hospice, and a mother of four children — Morgan, 17; Madison, 11; Beau, 4; and Kole, 2 — was diagnosed with the disease in July of 2010.

“I had cut my finger on a glass,” said Erica. “And three weeks later I noticed that the tip of my finger was going numb. I thought that it was really odd, and — at first — thought I had hit a nerve; then the three (fingers) on this side went numb. I knew something was wrong.”

Tests proved that no nerve was affected. Further tests revealed no indication of a pinched nerve in Erica’s spine as well.

“My husband is a physical therapist and I am a nurse, so we were talking,” she said. “We began to think it was a brain tumor.”

Eric Garrett’s brother, a doctor, had mentioned the possibility of MS, but Erica did not consider it an option.

Three hours after her MRI, Erica and Eric were told that she had MS.

Another resident of Mesquite, Martin Barra, was diagnosed with MS in September of 2010, but his prognosis of life is much worse than that of Erica.

He also has ALS, which is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“I was the sole breadwinner,” he said. “I had two jobs, insurance. We were living well. Now I am on Social Security and food stamps.”

Barra is 45 years old, and the father of four children.

According to www.nationalmssociety.org, about 400,000 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with MS, with about 200 new cases diagnosed each week.

MS is the result of the body’s own defenses attacking the myelin — the protective fatty covering on the nerve fibers in the central nervous system — damaging and scarring the nerves. This causes interruption in the passage of impulses to and from the brain, disrupting or distorting the communication. Little more is known of the disease, accept for the fact that most of those who get it are women between the ages of 20 to 40.


Continued..
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All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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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. .

In study, Lemtrada helps MS patients

Oct 22, 2011
New data from a late-stage trial showed that 78 percent of patients treated with Lemtrada remained relapse-free for two years, compared with 59 percent using Rebif, an older multiple sclerosis drug sold by Germany's Merck.



Lemtrada is a key experimental product at Sanofi's Genzyme unit. The fortunes of the drug are closely watched by holders of Genzyme Contingent Value Rights certificates issued to shareholders as part of the U.S. company's takeover deal.
CVRs represent an extra fee holders will receive if Lemtrada hits certain targets or when Genzyme meets other milestones.
The commercial potential of the drug, already sold under the brand name Campath as a leukemia treatment, was a key bone of contention between Sanofi and Genzyme during takeover talks.
Multiple sclerosis, which affects 2.5 million people worldwide, is a chronic and progressive disease that attacks the central nervous system.
Previously published data from the same late-stage study were mixed. Although Lemtrada was found more effective than Rebif at preventing relapses, it did not prevent the disease from becoming disabling, as it had in earlier trials.
The results of the latest late-stage trial showed that side-effects, including respiratory and urinary tract infections, were mild to moderate, Sanofi said.
Serious adverse events were similar between Lemtrada and Rebif, Sanofi said, with 18.4 percent of patients on Lemtrada suffering from side effects that included autoimmune disorders compared to 14.4 percent in patients taking Rebif.

Continue


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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. .

Friday, October 21, 2011

One of the scientists at Biogen Idec pushing for a new kind of regenerative medicine for Multiple Sclerosis


Luke Timmerman 10/21/11

Sha Mi, Biogen Idec’s Neurology Ace, to Join “The Genetics Institute Impact” conference


One of the scientists at Biogen Idec pushing for a new kind of regenerative medicine got some of her most valuable experience, and inspiration, back in the day at Genetics Institute. So we’re thrilled to have Sha Mi join what is shaping up to be a truly special gathering of alumni from GI, one of the pioneering companies in the Boston biotech scene.

Sha Mi, the distinguished investigator in Biogen’s discovery neurobiology group, has agreed to join the lineup of confirmed speakers at the next big Xconomy Boston life sciences event—”The Genetics Institute Impact” on Dec. 14. Sha Mi, who worked at GI from 1995 to 2000, will join the ranks of speakers who will offer a short story about one of their favorite memories from their GI days.

Besides Sha Mi (who sometimes goes by “Misha”) you can expect to hear these short stories from Adelene Perkins of Infinity PharmaceuticalsTuan Ha-Ngoc of Aveo PharmaceuticalsAbbie Celniker of Eleven BiotherapeuticsTony Evnin of Venrock Associates, and John Knopf of Acceleron Pharma. Plus, we’ll have a keynote chat with the two scientific co-founders of GI—Tom Maniatisand Mark Ptashne—along with longtime CEO Gabe Schmergel.

Sha Mi, distinguished investigator, Biogen Idec
Sha Mi is best known these days for her discovery work on a drug that seeks to be the world’s first regenerative medicine for multiple sclerosis. This experimental drug,which Biogen Idec has advanced into clinical trials, is designed to block a protein called Lingo-1 that interferes with the body’s production of myelin, the fatty insulating coating around nerve fibers. People with multiple sclerosis have an overactive immune system that eats away at the myelin layer, and they have no ability to regenerate myelin to protect their nerves. That means nerve impulses that control speech, vision, and movement get short-circuited, sort of like when an electrical wire is stripped of its insulation.

According to Sha Mi’s hypothesis, the new drug should be able to help regenerate the protective myelin coating around nerves. And if you can regenerate myelin, it’s conceivable you can restore lost neurological function, like the ability to see, talk, and walk. It will take a long time to find out if this works in humans, but the experimental drug has already cleared some significant hurdles by making it into the clinic.

I’m personally excited to hear Sha Mi tell her story about a memorable time at GI that help propel her along her current path. And I’ve heard great feedback from many GI alumni, and friends of GI alumni, who are looking forward to this special event. Tickets are going fast, so if you haven’t gotten one yet, be sure to sign up here at the registration page. See you there Dec. 14.



I wish I could go... 
















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Genentech announces 96-week results from ocrelizumab Phase II study on RRMS


October 21, 2011

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced 96-week results from a Phase II study of ocrelizumab in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the most common clinical form of the disease. The study showed that the significant reduction in disease activity as measured by the total number of active brain lesions and relapses, previously reported for 24 weeks, was maintained through 96 weeks. The data is being presented at ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis), the world's largest annual international conference devoted to basic and clinical research in multiple sclerosis.


People with RRMS suffer from relapses and disabling symptoms caused by damage to the central nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves) which can significantly affect their quality of life. Symptoms are unpredictable and vary between patients. Most people experience their first symptoms between the ages of 20 and 40.


Results from the trial showed that during the 24-96 week treatment period, no patient who received a dose of 600mg ocrelizumab developed a new or enlarging brain lesion (as measured by MRI). The annualized relapse rate (ARR), the rate of clinical attacks or flare-ups per patient-year, was less than 0.2 attacks per patient per year across the 96-week period. The data also showed that, of the patients who completed the study, two-thirds of the patients in the 600mg group were free of any disease activity (as measured by MRI, relapses or neurological progression) over the 96-week treatment period.


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Remain CURRENT with Multiple Sclerosis news and information  
Providing You with MS Views and News, is what we do 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
On the Fourth Wednesday of Each Month
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 To listen, speak with us or speak with a guest
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
"MS Views and News" is a 501©(3) Not-for-Profit organization as 
recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. 
All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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. .