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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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Lecture Will Discuss Social Media's Influence on Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Madison, Wisconsin - With Facebook and other social media, patient groups in Canada pressed their government to authorize clinical trials for a radical new treatment that addresses an unproven theory of multiple sclerosis (MS).

It's an early example of a powerful new Internet-based way of setting the scientific agenda, according to Helen Branswell, medical reporter for The Canadian Press.

Branswell will describe the Canadian MS experience at 4pm Wednesday, November 9, at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.

The public talk, titled "The Role of Social Media in Setting the Scientific Agenda for a Radical New Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis," is a highlight of Branswell's stay on campus the week of November 7, when she will be the Biomedical Writer in Residence.

The new theory of MS - that it is caused by blocked veins - exploded onto the scene in 2008. Facebook and other social media were soon abuzz with information on the purported breakthrough. Saturation coverage in the Canadian news media further fanned the flames, creating enormous pressure on research funders and politicians in Canada to authorize clinical trials.

As a reporter with more than 30 years experience, Branswell is intrigued by the phenomenon, which she believes will happen again and again.

Prior to assuming the medical beat in 2000, Branswell was London correspondent for The Canadian Press from 1995 to 2000. In 2004, she was awarded a Knight Public Health Journalism Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control, where she spent three months working with scientists in the nosocomial infections and influenza branches.

During the 2010-2011 academic year, she was a Nieman Global Health Fellow at Harvard University.


Date Published: 10/28/2011



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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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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
Visit: StuMSradio - With Deanna and Stu
 CALL-IN To listen, speak with us or speak with a guest
* Call (347) 215-9265 *
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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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