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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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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MRI Tool Helps to Predict Conversion to Pediatric MS


AMSTERDAM – An MRI scoring tool helped to identify children with acute central nervous system demyelination who later developed pediatric multiple sclerosis in a prospective study of 284 children.
The tool found that the risk of an MS diagnosis dramatically increased in these children when a baseline MRI showed the presence of one or more T1-weighted hypointense lesions, as well as when scans revealed T2-weighted periventricular lesions.
"Several studies have described the MRI characteristics of pediatric patients with established MS, and how they compare to that of adults matched for disease duration," said Leonard Verhey, a doctoral student working with Dr. Brenda Banwell at the Hospital for Sick Children at the University of Toronto.
"However, less is known about the MRI features that predict MS in children with acute demyelination, and how these features might compare with the predictive criteria for adult-onset MS."
Mr. Verhey and his associates used a standardized 14-item MRI scoring tool to identify MRI parameters that might predict MS in an unselected population of children with acute CNS demyelination. The tool was originally developed based on data from 61 children with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), monophasic acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and non-demyelinating CNS inflammation, none of whom were included in the current prospective study.
The investigators recruited children younger than 16 years for the current study at 23 centers in Canada. During a 5-year follow-up period, they obtained MRI scans at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year. The study’s funding did not allow serial MRIs to be taken between years 2 and 5 of follow-up, but the children were assessed clinically every year until the end of the study, and some had additional MRIs taken if required.

By: SARA FREEMAN, Family Practice News Digital Network
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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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Progressive MS Update: Opexa's Tovaxin(R) for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis Granted Fast Track Designation by FDA


THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Nov 08, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Opexa Therapeutics, Inc.  announced today that its lead drug candidate Tovaxin(R) has been granted Fast Track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS).
The FDA's Fast Track program is designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs intended to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs. According to the FDA, products with a Fast Track designation often receive priority review, which may offer a significant benefit in that, historically, the review time of a priority product is almost half that of a standard review. Additionally, as per the FDA, Fast Track priority review products are more likely to be approved on the first review cycle than those without the designation. Fast Track also entitles Opexa to more frequent interactions and dialogue with the FDA, further benefiting the development of Tovaxin.


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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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Natalizumab an Option for Pediatric MS?


November 7, 2011 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) — A new study suggests that natalizumab (Tysabri, Biogen Idec/Elan) may be an effective option for the treatment of active pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS).
The study, a cohort study of 35 pediatric patients treated out to 23 months with natalizumab, showed that the drug was safe and well-tolerated and was effective in suppressing disease activity in almost all patients.
"I think the message is that the pediatric patient is no different in their response," to natalizumab than adult patients, senior author Giancarlo Comi, MD, director of the Department of Neurology and Institute of Experimental Neurology at the Scientific Institute and University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy, told Medscape Medical News. "So there is absolutely no reason not to treat pediatric patients."
Neurologists have not been used to treating patients with pediatric MS aggressively because there has not been a lot of experience in this population, Dr. Comi added. However, pediatric MS tends to have a more active presentation, "so it's better to have exactly the same attitude."
The results were presented by first author Angelo Ghezzi, MD, from Centro Studi Sclerosi Multipla dell'Ospedale di Gallarate in Lombardy, Italy, on behalf of the Italian Society of Neurology's MS Study Group here at the 5th Joint Triennial Congress of the European and Americas Committees for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS).
Nonresponders
About 30% of children with pediatric MS have an inadequate response to first-line medications such as interferon beta-1a or glatiramer acetate, Dr. Ghezzi noted in his presentation. Natalizumab, which in phase 3 and phase 4 studies has shown strong suppression of clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) activity in adult patients with relapsing-remitting MS, has been shown in previous case reports and observational studies to be a "promising therapeutic option" for pediatric patients as well as adults, the authors say.
In this non–industry-sponsored observational study, 15 Italian centers enrolled pediatric patients (younger than 18 years) with definite MS to look at the long-term safety and effect on clinical evolution of the disease of natalizumab therapy. Natalizumab has been authorized in Italy for pediatric patients with MS who have a severe or aggressive evolution of disease and no other therapeutic option, the authors note.
Patients were treated with natalizumab if they had had at least 2 relapses in the previous 2 years and/or incomplete recovery despite treatment with interferon or glatiramer acetate; or had experienced a recent severe relapse with incomplete recovery.
The study included 35 patients (21 girls), 25 of whom had previously been treated with at least 1 disease-modifying agent, and 13 of whom had previously been treated with more than 1 agent. Patients received a standard dose of 300 mg natalizumab every 28 days.
Patients underwent clinical and laboratory evaluation on treatment days and had an MRI every 6 months. Follow-up was 23.8 months (standard deviation, 9.8 months), covering 24.7 infusions, and was more than a year in all cases.
The mean age at the start of natalizumab treatment was 15 years, and the mean disease duration pretreatment was 28 months (±20 months). The mean number of attacks for these patients was 4.6, and the mean number of attacks in the year previous to natalizumab treatment was 2.6. Patients had a mean of 5.8 gadolinium-enhancing lesions at baseline.
"We observed an impressive reduction of disease activity," the researchers note, with reductions seen in relapse rate, Extended Disability Status Scale scores, and active gadolinium-enhancing lesions on MRI compared with baseline.

Read More from Medscape


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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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What if? Helping people achieve greater mobility

MOST PEOPLE THINK OF HONDA AS AN AUTO COMPANY


MOST DO NOT KNOW THAT THEY ARE NOW WORKING TO HELP PEOPLE GAIN BETTER MOBILITY


Derived from decades of ASIMO robotics research,Honda has developed prototype Walking Assist Devices to enable greater mobility. To learn more about the Walking Assist Devices including the Bodyweight Support Assist Device,


LEARN MORE
WATCH THIS VIDEO:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S_SL8IWObY




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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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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Recent Multiple Sclerosis Market Events Have Resulted in Treatment Modifications


EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While Biogen Idec’s Avonex and Teva’s Copaxone continue to capture the majority of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients first starting on a disease-modifying agent (DMA), the introduction of Novartis’ Gilenya, the only oral DMA currently on the market, appears to have impacted the average length of the time that patients remain on their first-line therapy before a switch may be initiated. Gilenya, typically prescribed as a second or later-line DMA, has also negatively impacted the overall market share of certain DMAs compared to the 2010 audit fielded prior to the Gilenya launch, with Pfizer / EMD Serono’s Rebif and Biogen Idec’s Avonex, taking the greatest hit.
In addition to the introduction of Gilenya, another recent event impacting the MS market is the commercial availability of the anti-JC virus antibody assay to help mitigate the PML risk associated with treatment of Biogen Idec’s Tysabri. Based upon the patient-level audit data, the percent of patients tested for anti-JC virus antibodies differs based both on brand of DMA at the time of testing and MS disease classification. While patients who test negative for the antibodies are most likely to switch to Tysabri, patients who test positive are most likely to switch to Gilenya.
The majority of DMA-treated patients experience at least some MS-related symptoms with the most common including fatigue, abnormal sensory perceptions, and balance issues. Since there are currently very few FDA-approved symptomatic agents, the agents most often prescribed to help control MS-related symptoms are typically products without a formal indication for MS. Acorda's Ampyra, the first FDA-approved symptomatic agent for a MS-related symptom, is used by neurologists to treat walking impairment, spasticity, and / or fatigue. A number of important differences exist between patients treated with Ampyra and those who are not, including the severity of the disease at DMA initiation and current disease classification.
When asked to hypothetically switch audit patients to one of the DMAs in late stage clinical development, neurologists identify the greatest opportunity for Biogen Idec’s PEG-Avonex and Teva’s laquinimod. A number of patient characteristics appear to help identify the types of patients who are perceived by neurologists as more likely to be switched to a specific DMA in development upon approval.

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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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