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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, 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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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Medistem Receives Allowance of Patent on Fat Stem Cell Therapy for Autoimmunity



SAN DIEGO CA--(Marketwire - Jun 29, 2012) - Medistem Inc. (PINKSHEETS: MEDS) announced today notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a patent covering the use of fat stem cells, and cells associated with fat stem cells for treatment of diseases related to a dysfunctional immune system. Such diseases include multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. The allowed patent, entitled "Stem Cell Mediated Treg Activation/Expansion for Therapeutic Immune Modulation" has the earliest priority date of December 2006.

"We have previously published that giving multiple sclerosis patients cells extracted from their own fat tissue, which contains stem cells, appears to confer clinical benefit in a pilot study," said Thomas Ichim, CEO of Medistem. "The current patent that has been allowed, in the broadest interpretation of the claims, gives us exclusive rights to the use of specific types of fat stem cell therapy for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis."

Subsequent to the filing of the patent application, Medistem together with collaborators at the Lawson Health Sciences Research Institute, Canada, reported data that fat tissue contains high numbers of T regulatory cells, a type of immune cell that is capable of controlling autoimmunity.


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Friday, June 29, 2012

National MS Society's Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Ruling of new Healthcare mandates



The National Multiple Sclerosis Society supports the decision of the United States Supreme Court regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This ruling will have a significant, positive impact on many, including the millions of Americans affected by multiple sclerosis.

Below are some of the provisions of the law that the National MS Society believes will have the biggest impact on people with MS and their families:
  • Prohibition of coverage denials based on pre-existing conditions: Too many people living with MS had been routinely denied insurance after receiving their diagnosis, preventing them from getting the care they need.
  • Prohibition of lifetime limits: Routine, often costly care is needed to manage MS. This may cause those living with severe forms of the disease to reach their lifetime limit early in life. Elimination of that limit was critically important for continued care.
  • Elimination of annual limits: Similar to lifetime limits, many patients reach their annual limit of coverage because of the cost of care for MS. These arbitrary limits should not prevent those in need from receiving care.
  • Extension of parent’s insurance to 26: Many people with MS are diagnosed in their 20s and may still be in school or lacking a full time job to help pay for their care. This provision ensures that they can continue coverage under their parent’s policy.
  • Closing the Medicare Part D Coverage Gap: Disease Modifying Therapies for someone with MS can cost as much as $4,000 per month, which is out of reach for the average American; therefore, gradually closing the coverage gap has provided financial relief for those who depend on Medicare for prescription coverage.
  • Pathway for Biosimilars: The law provides a pathway for biosimilars which provides some hope of lower cost therapies in the future. The FDA had recently indicated it would not have pursued this pathway without the legislative mandate therefore, it will continue to be developed--which is good news for anyone who uses biologic therapies.
Background
Although many people with MS have health care coverage, 70% of those with health insurance still struggle with the cost of health care and 30% are forced to spend less on food, heat, utilities and other necessities in order to afford their health care. Those without access to private insurance and who do not qualify for public programs are often priced out of the market, as individual plans can be prohibitively expensive.

On average, the financial impact of living with MS is $69,000 per year, and more than half of this amount consists of direct health care costs. Unlike some other diseases, MS is a lifelong illness--typically diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 30s--prime career and family building years. Because of the high cost and complications that can be associated with the disease, the National MS Society has long supported many of the policies that were included in the law just upheld by the Supreme Court.

With guidance of people living with MS, the Society adopted a set of National Health Care Reform Principles several years ago and, as an organization. Our approach is to support legislation that is in line with those principles. We intend to continue to work with Congress and the Administration in pursuit of public policies that address the needs of those impacted by MS.

Contact
For assistance with specific health insurance questions, people with MS, their families or healthcare providers may speak with an MS Navigator by calling 1-800-344-4867 (FIGHT MS). You can find additional information on our website.




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Disaster Preparedness - Be Ready



The information shown below was prepared by the State of Florida, for those living in Florida. However- there is information here that you can use regardless of where you are living. Find similarities of these topics wherever you are living. The Bottom Line is: BE PREPARED!!
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Disaster Preparedness
Hurricane season is upon us and, with 1,197 miles of coastline and all cities within 75 miles of the coast, there are no areas in Florida that are immune to the forces of a hurricane. Your safety and the safety of your family must be paramount as a hurricane strike becomes imminent, so it’s imperative that you have a plan and stay informed.

Have a Family Plan
In a major disaster, emergency workers may not be able to reach everyone right away and, in some cases, it may take three or more days for help to arrive. Having a plan for your family and their needs will help ensure their safety and comfort during these difficult times. The Florida Division of Emergency Management offers a Family Disaster Planning website to help Floridians create a customized family disaster plan. Floridadisaster.org/family allows each family to calculate the amount of food and water needed in the event of an emergency and gives supply checklists, provides local emergency contacts and evacuation routes. Each personalized plan also includes a checklist of things to do before, during and after a disaster.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a Family Emergency Plan contact form at www.ready.gov/make-a-plan. This form will assist you in documenting essential information that you may need in case of an emergency. You will be better prepared to safely reunite with your family and loved ones during an emergency if you plan ahead and communicate with others in advance.

Have a Place to Go
If your plan includes evacuating to a safer location, determine where you will go in advance. If you are ordered to evacuate, don’t delay. Traffic congestion will only worsen as time goes on. Select the evacuation destination that is nearest to your home to minimize the distance you will have to travel. If possible, make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative who lives nearby, but will not be ordered to evacuate. Discuss the details of this plan with the friend or relative well before a hurricane is approaching.

Have a Pet Plan
All pet owners should have an emergency plan that includes an evacuation plan and adequate supplies for your pet in case of a disaster. Because many shelters cannot accommodate pets, be sure to find out in advance if the place you plan to go will welcome your pet, too. Keep in mind that shelters that allow pets require proof of license and vaccination and pets must be in an ‘airline approved’ pet carrier. Never leave your pets at home if you choose to evacuate. If it’s dangerous for you, it’s dangerous for your pet. For a list of pet friendly shelters in your area, contact your local emergency management department or visit www.floridapets.net/petfriendlyshelters.html. For a list of pet friendly hotels and motels, visit www.petswelcome.com. For guidance on creating a plan for large animals and livestock, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ resources for disaster preparedness at www.freshfromflorida.com/ai/.

Stay Informed
FEMA now has the capability to deliver Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) to your cellular phone, relaying Presidential, AMBER and Imminent Threat alerts. These WEAs use cell broadcast technology that will not get backlogged during times of emergency when wireless voice and data services are highly congested. WEA will not have to be opened like SMS text messages, but will “pop up” on your device’s screen. There is no charge to you to receive these messages. Customers of participating wireless carriers with WEA-capable phones will not need to sign up to receive the alerts and should automatically receive WEAs in the event of an emergency, if they are located in or travel to the affected geographic area. FEMA also offers additional information by request. Cell phone users can text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelters in your area. You can also text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA) to sign up to receive monthly disaster safety tips.

For additional information, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at www.800helpfla.com or by calling 1–800–HELP–FLA (435–7352) within Florida, 1-800–FL–AYUDA (352–9832) en Español or (850) 410–3800 from outside of Florida.

  
This message was thoughtfully prepared for you by S. Schlossman

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MS education Program coming soon to Broward County, Florida



The MS Views and News organization invites you to an informative MS education program

Treatment Strategies and Therapeutic Symptom Management
in Multiple Sclerosis Can Lead to Better Quality of Life

R.S.V.P. Required - see below to reserve seating


Presented By:

Brian Steingo, MD, Neurologist from Sunrise Medical Group
MS Treatment and Symptom strategies

And

Susan Dorne, OT
Therapeutic Symptom Management
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Date: Saturday July 28, 2012

11:00am - Registration
11:30am – Program Begins
Complimentary Lunch

Location:
Signature Grand
6900 W State Road 84 - Davie, FL 33317

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R.S.V.P. Required
To obtain a confirmation number:
If you do not have email, call: (954) 684-1683

Space is Limited to the Patient plus (1) Caregiver

Program Sponsored with an Education Grant from:


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Exhibit Sponsorships provided by:

  

This program is Hosted by: "MS Views and News" (MSVN), a 501©(3) Not-For-Profit organization

WE LIVE WITH MS AND THIS IS WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE...



To look at, Sarah Ransley is the picture of health. You would never guess that she has a chronic illness – until she lists her symptoms.

There is numbness, dizziness, nausea, balance and mobility problems, difficulties with dexterity, aches in different parts of the body – and overwhelming fatigue.
“I’ve been tired since I was 14,” she says.
Sarah, 26, is one of an estimated 1,000 people in Cumbria and 100,000 in the UK who are living with multiple sclerosis.
As with all celebrity-related news it is receiving a lot of attention.
Sarah is hoping this new attention could dispel some of the misconceptions about it. For one thing MS is not a terminal illness. It can leave you weak, disabled and feeling very unwell but it is not fatal, as some seem to believe.
It’s also extremely varied. “People think MS and they think ‘wheelchair’,” she points out. “There’s a lot more to it than that.”
Some people do need a wheelchair as the disease advances, but most, like Sarah, go through periods of feeling very unwell followed by periods when some of the symptoms subside partially or completely.
Sarah, of Newfield, Carlisle, is upbeat, articulate and happy to talk about the condition. “I’ve got a collection of multi-coloured walking sticks – one for each outfit!” she jokes.
But she remembers well the fear and isolation she felt when she first discovered she had a debilitating illness.


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Pediatric MS Information



Amy IronmongerPaediatric MS Information
Although thought to be relatively uncommon, it is fast becoming clear that there is a gathering number of children and teenagers being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis around the world.
We hope to bring you as much information as possible with regards Paediatric MS.
If you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with MS, or a child/teen with MS we would like to hear from you.
Further Information
  • Paediatric Multiple Sclerosis News
  • Paediatric Multiple Sclerosis Research
  • Children With MS
  • Teenagers With MS


  • Source: MSRC-UK

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    Understanding Fatigue - A Guide for Families



    “What does fatigue feel like?”
        When asked to describe the feeling of fatigue, many who have experienced it are at a loss for words.
    It is very hard to explain to someone who hasn't been through it,” says one woman. “Words like 'exhaustion' are so overused that they've lost all meaning. There aren't words strong enough to describe this feeling.” Others offer analogies. “Imagine wearing a heavily weighted suit,where every movement you make takes real effort,” suggests one patient. “How long could you continue like that?” Another likens fatigue to “the worst flu you've ever had — not the sickness, just the inability to move or think that comes with it. But unlike the flu, it doesn’t go away.”
        When fatigue strikes, it can make it impossible for a person to perform even the simplest tasks.
    “Some evenings when I come home, I have to ask my wife to unbutton my shirt,” one man explains. “It takes all the energy I have just to get through the day.” “Some days it is so bad I just want to cry,” relates a young woman who struggles with fatigue, “but I don’t even have the strength it takes to sob.”
    “But You Were Fine Yesterday!”
        One of themost difficult aspects ofMS-related fatigue is its unpredictable nature. LikemostMS symptoms,fatigue may come and go. Some may experience fatigue daily, but some individuals don’t know when fatigue will hit. This is frustrating both for the person experiencing fatigue, and for those who rely on them. It is important to remember that the person with MS-related fatigue has no more knowledge or control over when fatigue strikes than you do, and to develop coping mechanisms together.
    “What can I do?”
        The most important thing you can do is understand. Your loved one may already be experiencing grief, anxiety or anger because of fatigue. It may be very difficult for him or her to accept that they cannot do all the things they want to do because of this condition. They may be worried that others will think they are lazy or ‘useless’. They may be afraid that they will become unable to work, keep up with responsibilities at home, or meet the expectations of their spouse or children. To know that you understand and care about what they are going through can go a long way toward easing these feelings. You can help your loved one learn to cope with fatigue. For those who experience fatigue, it is always important to have a Plan B. What if that person is too fatigued to cook dinner? What if he or she tires out in the middle of a shopping trip? Have a backup plan in place to help when fatigue strikes. Be ready to help get the vital tasks accomplished, and be understanding when non-vital tasks are set aside.
        Conserving energy is also important for those with fatigue. The less energy that is wasted in unnecessary effort, the more energy they will have to devote to daily needs. Try not to place undue expectations on your loved one. Are there responsibilities that can be shared? Are there things that can be done to simplify their tasks? Can outside sources offer assistance? 
        Today, there are treatments that can reduce the severity of fatigue for some people, and therapeutic techniques to help manage its effects. But the understanding and support of family and friends are the best coping tools a person with MS-related fatigue can have.
    Everyone Gets Tired!
        Have you said this to your loved one with MS? While it is true that everyone does experience
    tiredness, not everyone experiences the medical condition called fatigue.     Fatigue is the most common symptom among MS patients, affecting nearly 80% of those diagnosed. For family, friends, and loved ones, it can be the most difficult symptom to understand. It is important to comprehend that fatigue and tiredness are not the same thing.
    “It's been a long day. I'm fatigued, too.”
        Are you really fatigued, or are you tired? A quick glance at a dictionary may help you begin to understand the answer to this question. Tiredness is defined as being in need of rest or sleep, or weakened and made less active by exertion. Fatigue, on the other hand, is defined as mental or physical exhaustion. A second definition, listed as a term used in physiology, explains further: inability to respond to stimulus, temporary inability of an organ or part such as a muscle or nerve cell to respond to a stimulus and function normally.
        Being tired is a normal response to the body's need for rest following a period of exertion or activity.
    Sometimes tiredness can be severe, but it can almost always be remedied with a good night’s sleep. Proper rest, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle can often prevent tiredness. The same cannot be said for fatigue. Fatigue is a condition that interferes with a person's ability to function.
    “What causes it?”
        The cause of MS-related fatigue is not completely understood, but recent research indicates that fatigue is tied to widespread axonal (nerve fiber) damage in the central nervous system caused by the disease. This damage can interfere with the transmission of nerve impulses, and the body expends extra effort to compensate for the interference. One woman with MS likens the central nervous system to a highway, with messages traveling along nerve fibers to various parts of the body. “The lesions in my brain are similar to a road block that you have to take a detour around while driving. It takes more energy and time for the nerve signals to get around those lesions, just as your car would use more gas to get around that road block.” The extra effort required for the brain to communicate instructions to the body is a probable cause of MS fatigue.
    “You just need to be more active. Exercise!”
    “Reduce your stress.”
    “You should try vitamins.”
        Family and friends of people with fatigue often make well-meaning suggestions such as these. While rest, good nutrition, and a low-stress environment may reduce the severity of fatigue, it is unlikely that these measures will alleviate it entirely. Appropriate exercise as part of a regular routine may be beneficial toward preventing fatigue, but exercising while experiencing fatigue is not advisable.

    Source: The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc. (MSF) 
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    Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Doctors say bad weather is making Scots ill



    SCOTLAND’S dreary weather is bad for your health and is to blame for a growing number of cases of cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis, doctors say.
    The lack of sunlight in Scotland is leading to a rise in the number of people with a lack of vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in the growth of human cells.
    The British Medical Association yesterday passed a motion calling for the introduction of a national programme of Vitamin D supplements, and some doctors are now calling for it to be added to everyday foods such as milk and margarine.
    People make 90 per cent of their vitamin D naturally from sunlight exposure on their skin, and the dull weather in Scotland means Scots are more likely to suffer from a deficiency than people elsewhere in the UK.
    Dr Nicola Balch, an associate specialist in child health, said: “People need just 20 to 30 minutes of sun three or four times a week to ensure they get enough vitamin D, but obviously with our weather it can be impossible to get this.
    “Many people know this can cause weaker bones, but what they don’t know is a lack of vitamin D has been linked to lung and bowel cancer, coronary heart disease and MS. The vitamin helps modulate cell growth and plays an important role in the immune system.

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    Jack Osbourne denied job because of MS



    ERIK ORTIZ
    Friday, June 22, 2012

    Jack Osbourne claims he was canned from a TV show because of his recent diagnosis with multiple sclerosis — a surprise ouster that “offended” the former reality star.
    “I had just booked a job, right when I got diagnosed, and unfortunately the company that hired me didn’t think I could actually perform the job,” he said Wednesday in an interview on CBS’ “The Talk,” which is co-hosted by his manager mom, Sharon.
    “Out of everything, that’s what has really ticked me off the most because it’s like, ‘Don’t tell me what I can and cannot do,’” the 26-year-old son of rock legend Ozzy Osbourne griped. “At not one point did anyone ever call and ask me. It was all through agents and lawyers.”
    Sharon Osbourne also tweeted Thursday that her son was “fired” because “they said he was a liability.”
    Neither Osbourne named the show, but Britain’s The Sun newspaper reported Friday that he was supposed to be a contestant on NBC’s reality game show, “Stars Earn Stripes.”
    The show debuts in August and will feature a celebrity cast including Todd Palin, Dean Cain and Nick Lachey. U.S. General Wesley Clark is a co-host.
    According to a news release about the show, “eight competitors will gather at a remote training facility where they will tackle complicated and difficult missions that are inspired by real military exercises.”

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    Monday, June 25, 2012

    What Cravings? Thank you Dr. Wahls!! - a Patient's story


    Written by:  Karen K.

    I am so happy to say that since going on Dr. Wahls diet I have not only lost almost 20 pounds but minimized some of my MS symptoms as well as I don't have as many cravings for bad foods anymore. I used to crave  sugar, or processed foods, and I find that it is not as much of an issue for me. I can sit next to those eating  fast food, or foods that I know are not healthy and not be tempted to join in.  People ask Dr. Wahls all the time if they can "cheat". She tells them that of course they can cheat and eat bad. But in the end the only person your cheating is yourself. And that is one thing that is sticking with me on my new diet journey and my  attempts to slow my MS down. I am using food as my medicine.I am not relying on Copaxone alone. 

    It is exciting knowing that virtually every thing I am putting in my body is helping me. My Vitamin D level is at 65 which is as high as it has been since I was diagnosed in 2009. I know that eating correctly and according to Dr. Wahls I am helping to cool off the fire of inflammation in my brain and spine. I am providing my body foods that it needs for ultimate vitality. With this diet I can truly say I have MS but it does NOT have me. I know that we all could manage this disease so much better if we realized that we can not rely on drugs alone. We HAVE to fight for our lives through intensive nutrition and healthy habits.

    To continue reading, click here

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    Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Taking once-a-week AVONEX just got easier



    Now there's a one-click way to take once-a-week AVONEX. AVONEX PEN is a single-use prefilled autoinjector that uses a covered needle that's half the length of the standard needle for AVONEX Prefilled Syringe. There's never been an easier way to get the benefits of AVONEX.
    In a study of people already taking AVONEX, 9 out of 10 preferred AVONEX PEN over the prefilled syringe.b,c The top reasons chosen were:
    • Easier to use
    • Reduced pain
    • Reduced anxiety
    In the study, 89% of people correctly followed the instructions for using AVONEX PEN. In fact, there were no device failures, and 99% of people got their full dose of AVONEX.
    It's also reassuring to know that, in this study, people felt significantly less injection pain after they switched from prefilled syringe to AVONEX PEN.d People in the study also experienced reduced injection anxietye and felt more confident self-injectingf with AVONEX PEN than with the Prefilled Syringe.


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