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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cleveland researchers find key to stem-cell therapy for MS patients



Published: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 


By Brie Zeltner, The Plain Dealer

 CLEVELAND, Ohio -- One of the most promising and exciting treatment avenues for multiple sclerosis is the use of a patient's own stem cells to try to stop -- or even repair -- some of the disease's brain tissue damage.

But injecting a patient with a dose of his or her own bone-marrow stem cells was actually a pretty crude method of treating the disease, because no one was quite sure how or why it worked. Last year, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University began trying this for MS patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial after positive results were seen in mice.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths that surround and protect nerve cells. When myelin is damaged, the nerve cells are exposed and unable to do their job, which is sending signals to the brain and back. This results in the loss of motor skills, coordination and cognitive abilities.

Like many other researchers using stem cells, the local group didn't know exactly how their treatment worked, but they knew that when they gave these human mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, to mice with a mouse version of the disease, the mice got better.

Figuring out why the mice improved could help researchers see if the MSC injection will work well in a particular patient before the patient is injected, and possibly augment or improve the treatment as well.

In May, the research group at CWRU, headed up by neurosciences professor Robert Miller, discovered exactly what it is in the stem-cell soup that has a healing effect: a large molecule called hepatocyte growth factor, or HGF. The team published their results in Nature Neuroscience.

Miller's group knew that it could be the stem cells themselves, by coming in physical contact with the myelin damage, that were having a healing effect. Or it could be something the stem cells secreted into the surrounding liquid culture, or media, they were grown in, that was key. HGF is secreted by the stem cells, Miller said.

Read more


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Questcor gets approval for 77% cut in Medicaid rebate for MS drug Acthar Gel



September 4, 2012 8:35 am by  | 0 Comments

(Reuters) - Questcor Pharmaceuticals Inc said it is now eligible to provide lower Medicaid rebates on its flagship multiple sclerosis drug, Acthar Gel, allowing for improved financial results in the future.
The company said the government informed it that Acthar is now eligible for lower rebates for patients under Medicaid -- the program that funds medical and health-related services for the poor and disabled.
In a filing, Questcor said it estimates the rebate rate to be cut from about 100 percent of the amount it charges its distributor to 23.1 percent, and that the cut could be materially positive to its financial results.
Acthar, the only drug Questcor sells, has been approved to treat a range of disorders including multiple sclerosis, rheumatic disorders, allergies, seizures in babies, a kidney condition called nephrotic syndrome, and eye and respiratory diseases.
(Vidya P L Nathan in Bangalore, Editing by Anthony Kurian)

Source: MedCityNews
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Monday, September 3, 2012

An Interesting theory for an MS Cure


It's just over 14 minutes in length and is a very interesting video.

Narration
Is it possible that Multiple Sclerosis can be cured? According to these medical mavericks, the answer is yes. 

Here is a 14 min. video that was aired in Australia last week. Chlamydia pneumoniae is NOT the venereal Chlamydia – –and this doctor's findings dovetail neatly with much of the other research that we hear about from time to time regarding the bacteriological element of MS. 


Click here: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3572695.htm  to watch this video. 

The information found on this page was provided to Stu's Views & MS News from:
 Connie Schwarzkopf Nichols  - Thank you Connie


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Horses offer help to MS sufferers


September 2012

Just a few months ago, it was disclosed that Ann Romney had multiple sclerosis. It was also noted that she owned a horse, too, which she rode quite regularly because she had been advised that horseback riding was well known as a therapy for people with any number of disabilities.

MS is one such disability because the act of riding itself has proven to be another genuine and therapeutic activity that can aid a person with a disability -- especially a person dealing with MS -- to improve their balance; strengthen their muscles; improve their coordination, reflexes and other motor skills; increase their range of motion; and decrease any spasticity that a person with a given disability may be experiencing.

While no one can pinpoint the time when riding for people with disabilities became a specialized field, history now records that people with disabilities began riding horses as early as the days of the ancient Greeks. More specifically, a Greek historian began to document the therapeutic value of riding for people with disabilities in about 600 BC. Other writings from that time in Greek history also spoke of "im-proving the health and well-being of people with handi-caps" by helping such people to "regain as much of their health as possible" with the aid of riding horseback again.

Fast forward to 1875, when a French physician actually used horseback riding as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including neurological disorders; improving posture, balance and joint movements; and psychological improvements. Fast forward again to 1946, when, in the Scandinavian countries -- following two wide spread outbreaks of poliomyelitis -- a very well known and accomplished horsewoman, Lis Hartel, was stricken with the disease.

While surgery and physiotherapy helped her to walk again with braces and crutches, her determination to ride independently saw her begin a daily program of supervised daily riding sessions, which allowed her to improve her muscle strength and her coordination.


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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Involuntary Crying and Laughing is Reported by More People With MS than Expected



MS can impact not only physical and cognitive abilities, but also a person's emotional wellbeing. In cooperation with the research organization Infogroup/ORC and supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Avanir Pharmaceuticals, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) conducted an independent, online survey of almost 20,000 of its members in the fall of 2010. The purpose of this survey was to better understand the extent and impact of a particularly challenging neurological condition known to occur among people living with MS: pseudobulbar affect (PBA).

PBA is a condition that occurs in some people with certain neurological conditions, including MS, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease and others. It is characterized by exaggerated and inappropriate laughter and/or crying. During these emotional outbursts, the magnitude of the response is typically too extreme for the situation, and/or it may be inappropriate for the setting - such as laughing at a funeral or crying at a funny movie. These episodes can occur frequently, suddenly, and uncontrollably. Because of the crying episodes, PBA is often mistaken for depression and as a result, PBA is under-recognized. Unpredictable PBA episodes can cause embarrassment and distress leading to a significant impact on a person's employment, family relationships, social interactions, and overall quality of life.

MSAA's goal was to survey our members to see how many people were affected by PBA and to what degree it impacted their lives. The results were surprising in both areas.

A total of 5,229 people completed the online survey. Of these respondents, 2,504* or 48 percent reported experiencing symptoms of PBA based on their answers to a scientifically developed measurement scale.** This percentage is higher than the estimated 10 to 15 percent of the MS population that has been cited as potentially being affected by PBA.

Our results suggest that PBA might be more widespread in the MS population than was previously thought. Additionally, the frequency of these episodes and their impact on daily life were also considerable.

Almost 20 percent of those who reported exhibiting symptoms of PBA stated that episodes of involuntary crying and/or laughing occurred "frequently" or "often." In addition, 48 percent of those reporting PBA symptoms found their episodes to be "burdensome," almost one third of whom reported that their episodes were either "very" or "extremely" burdensome. While in most cases PBA was not considered more burdensome than their other MS symptoms, about one in four respondents indicated that PBA episodes contributed to difficulty in keeping friends or contributed to becoming housebound. Additionally, one in six indicated that PBA episodes contributed to difficulty in maintaining employment. 

Read MORE. Click HERE



If you think you may have PBA, then please leave a comment to this article. Thank you
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MS proves life-changing, but doesn't defeat "Patient' and her family


New Bern, NC
Sept 1, 2012


In 1984, Renee Barnwell was a bright, beautiful college student bound for a career in medicine.
Fast-forward to 2012, she is still bright and beautiful, but Multiple Sclerosis has robbed many of her dreams.
Within the past year, her speech and ability to walk have been affected most.
She is one of the faces behind the upcoming weekend MS Bike Ride in New Bern, which has grown to attract thousands of cyclists raising money for research each year.
MS does not play favorites with its victims. But, in Renee’s case, her own medical background, which includes a graduate degree in biology and a parent in the medical field, has helped.
Her father, Dr. Sidney Barnwell, and her mother Mary, make up the trio of the Barnwell family at home, where they look out their back windows and see CarolinaEast Medical Center.
During her high school years at New Bern High, Renee was a 1977 honor graduate and compiled a sports career as a tennis player.
Today, her father and mother assist her from a couch to a wheel chair, then to another room where she has an exercise bike that she rides daily.
Her speech is slow and deliberate, but she offers encouragement to others, who haven’t dealt with MS for more than three decades.
“Don’t be depressed and sad,” she said slowly, sitting at a table, holding hands with her parents.
Dr. Barnwell said family support is key for those suffering from MS — because it can include 24-hour devotion. He said that groups like the MS Society and a giving community such as New Bern are a great aid to the family caregivers.
Renee went to Davidson College after high school, and while there, began to exhibit some of the MS symptoms — numbness and tingling in the neck and problematic speaking and memory problems. She transferred to ECU after her sophomore year to be closer to home, entering medical school with a goal of being a physician.
Again, MS intervened.
It was 1984 when Renee’s MS diagnosis was finalized during a hospital visit in Winston-Salem. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, helped diagnose her MS with the images of lesions on her brain.
She didn’t relent in her pursuit of higher education. She went to North Carolina A&T State University, completing graduate work in education and biology in 1988.
Mary Barnwell said her daughter has been an inspiration to her and Dr. Barnwell.
During her time at A&T, Renee drove her own car, used a cane and maneuvered the large campus to attend classes.


the writer of this article call the patient in his title, a victim (see original story). I changed the title to read Patient.  I know that "I" do not want to be labeled a Victim... By the way - this is a good Story, I just did not like the title  -Stuart
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