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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Experimental multiple sclerosis drug, Alemtuzumab (LEMTRADA(TM*) shows promise


Remember after watching the video, that this medication is still in trial studies


BY SONYA COLBERG scolberg@opubco.com    
Published: December 24, 2011

Jennifer Garner was getting desperate.

She wasn't even 40, yet found herself unable to see clearly and having to use her cane more frequently as the confounding numbness returned to the left half of her body. She had to be hospitalized three times over a short time period.

In 2004, an MRI showed telltale lesions in her brain.

After more testing, the physician assistant and mother began taking the drug Rebif for multiple sclerosis.
But after a couple of years, her body began rejecting the medication and the lesions worsened.

Her doctor, Gabriel Pardo, told her about various MS studies under way and suggested she use her medical background to choose a medication to try. She settled on a new, promising drug called alemtuzumab.

“From August to December, when I got the treatment, I had worsened dramatically. I can't even imagine what kind of shape I would be in, whether I would even be walking,” Garner said.

“Instead, I still have a full-time job, have my own business and two children. I can't afford to not be walking,” she said.
Positive results
If the new drug continues to live up to recent results, it may offer new hope for MS patients.

Read more: http://newsok.com/experimental-multiple-sclerosis-drug-shows-promise/article/3634670#ixzz1hfBucdoM



WATCH VIDEO: http://www.newsok.com/article/3634670


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Friday, December 23, 2011

New MS Stem Cell Model Revealed


Submitted by Nimisha Sachdev on Thu, 12/22/2011


It has been recently revealed that scientists from Australia have revealed the all new stem cell model of multiple sclerosis. This shall be able to open new ways for the development of new test treatments and drugs in the time to come.


It was revealed by Claude Bernard, the Deputy Director from the Monash University that he and the rest of his team had used skin cells from the MS patients in order to create a new pluripotent variety of stem cells. These shall be able to help in further research and development for a cure of the disease.

This means that now the scientists wouldn’t have to use human embryos for their research, which would put a relaxation on the ethical concerns that were included with the matter.

It was revealed by Professor Bernard that this new endeavor would be able to create a huge supply of cells for the purpose of research, and would make things easier for the scientists. It is a disease, which hasn’t been found a cure for. His is affecting many people across the world each year, and there is need for research and developmentof a proper cure that could heal the disease.

The disease also exerts a lot of pressure on the health industry of the country and this is why there is need for a proper cure to be found for the same.

''Much research to date has relied on animal models that, while similar to MS, have been very different to the human disease, which has led to ineffective and even detrimental MS treatments”, revealed Professor Bernard.

This would be able to benefit many people, and the occurrence of the disease also could be controlled with effective research.
Source: FrenchTribune

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Researchers link multiple sclerosis to different area of brain


Dec 22, 2011
Contact: Deborah Mann Lake
deborah.m.lake@uth.tmc.edu
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 

UTHealth researchers link multiple sclerosis to different area of brain

HOUSTON – (Dec. 22, 2011) – Radiology researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have found evidence that multiple sclerosis affects an area of the brain that controls cognitive, sensory and motor functioning apart from the disabling damage caused by the disease's visible lesions.

The thalamus of the brain was selected as the benchmark for the study conducted by faculty at the UTHealth Medical School. Lead researchers include Khader M. Hasan, Ph.D., associate professor, and Ponnada A. Narayana, Ph.D., professor and director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging; and Jerry S. Wolinsky, M.D., the Bartels Family and Opal C. Rankin Professor in the Department of Neurology.

Results of the research were published in a recent edition of The Journal of Neuroscience.
"The thalamus is a central area that relates to the rest of the brain and acts as the 'post office,' " said Hasan, first author of the paper. "It also is an area that has the least amount of damage from lesions in the brain but we see volume loss, so it appears other brain damage related to the disease is also occurring."

Researchers have known that the thalamus loses volume in size with typical aging, which accelerates after age 70. The UTHealth multidisciplinary team's purpose was to assess if there was more volume loss in patients with multiple sclerosis, which could explain the dementia-related decline associated with the disease.

"Multiple sclerosis patients have cognitive deficits and the thalamus plays an important role in cognitive function. The lesions we can see but there is subclinical activity in multiple sclerosis where you can't see the changes," said senior author Narayana. "There are neurodegenerative changes even when the brain looks normal and we saw this damage early in the disease process."
For the study, researchers used precise imaging by the powerful 3 Tessla MRI scanner to compare the brains of 109 patients with the disease to 255 healthy subjects. The patients were recruited through the Multiple Sclerosis Research Group at UTHealth, directed by Wolinsky, and the healthy controls through the Department of Pediatrics' Children's Learning Institute.

Adjusting for age-related changes in the thalamus, the patients with multiple sclerosis had less thalamic volume than the controls. The amount of thalamic loss also appeared to be related to the severity of disability.

"This is looking at multiple sclerosis in a different way," Hasan said. "The thalami are losing cellular content and we can use this as a marker of what's going on. If we can find a way to detect the disease earlier in a more vulnerable population, we could begin treatment sooner."

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UTHealth co-authors are Indika S. Walimuni, Ph.D., post-doctoral research associate; Humaira Abid, M.D., former post-doctoral research associate; Linda Ewing-Cobbs, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics; and Richard Frye, M.D., former assistant professor of pediatrics and neurology. The research was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. The title of the article is "Multimodal Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Thalamic Development and Aging Across the Human Lifespan: Implications to Neurodegeneration in Multiple Sclerosis."


SOURCE: EurekaAlerts

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Multiple Sclerosis Not Disease Of Immune System?



Written by:   - 
December 23, 2011

An article to be published Friday (Dec. 23) in the December 2011 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology argues that multiple sclerosis, long viewed as primarily an autoimmune disease, is not actually a disease of the immune system. Dr. Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, suggests instead that MS is caused by faulty lipid metabolism, in many ways more similar to coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) than to other autoimmune diseases.
Framing MS as a metabolic disorder helps to explain many puzzling aspects of the disease, particularly why it strikes women more than men and why cases are on the rise worldwide, Corthals says. She believes this new framework could help guide researchers toward new treatments and ultimately a cure for the disease.
Multiple sclerosis affects at least 1.3 million people worldwide. Its main characteristic is inflammation followed by scarring of tissue called myelin, which insulates nerve tissue in the brain and spinal cord. Over time, this scarring can lead to profound neurological damage. Medical researchers have theorized that a runaway immune system is at fault, but no one has been able to fully explain what triggers the onset of the disease. Genes, diet, pathogens, and vitamin D deficiency have all been linked to MS, but evidence for these risk factors is inconsistent and even contradictory, frustrating researchers in their search for effective treatment.
“Each time a genetic risk factor has shown a significant increase in MS risk in one population, it has been found to be unimportant in another,” Corthals said. “Pathogens like Epstein-Barr virus have been implicated, but there’s no explanation for why genetically similar populations with similar pathogen loads have drastically different rates of disease. The search for MS triggers in the context of autoimmunity simply hasn’t led to any unifying conclusions about the etiology of the disease.”
However, understanding MS as metabolic rather than an autoimmune begins to bring the disease and its causes into focus.
CONTINUE READING



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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MRI Abnormalities in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Vary With Distance From Lesions





Magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in normal-appearing white matter in multiple sclerosis brains vary with the distance from the white matter lesion, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Annals of Neurology.
(HealthDay News) — Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abnormalities in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in multiple sclerosis (MS) brains vary with the distance from the white matter (WM) lesion, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in the Annals of Neurology.
Natalia M. Moll, M.D., Ph.D., from the Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland, and colleagues examined the pathologic basis of subtle abnormalities in magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters observed in NAWM in MS brains. A rapid post-mortem protocol which included in situ MRI was used to obtain brain tissues. A total of 48 regions of interest (ROIs) obtained from four secondary progressive MS brains were analyzed for four types of MRI-defined ROIs: regions abnormal on all images (T2T1MTR lesions); NAWM regions with slightly abnormal MTR located close to WM lesions (sa-WM Close) or far from WM lesions (sa-WM Far); and NAWM regions with normal MTR (NAWM), all of which were analyzed immunohistochemically.
The investigators identified significantly more axonal swelling in sa-WM Close ROIs. Compared with NAWM, more enlarged major histocompatibility complex II+ microglia and macrophages were seen in sa-WM Far, sa-WM Close, and T2T1MTR lesions. MTR and DTI measures across all ROIs were moderately associated with myelin density, axonal area, and axonal counts. When T2T1MTR lesions were excluded from the analysis, nonlesional WM MTR and DTI measures were found to be associated with activated microglia, but not with axonal or myelin integrity.
"The pathologic substrates for MRI abnormalities in NAWM vary based on distance from focal WM lesions," the authors write.
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

SOURCE: MD News.com 
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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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