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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sanofi multiple sclerosis pill wins U.S. approval



Sep 13, 2012 11:20am EDT
(Reuters) - Sanofi SA has won U.S. approval for its multiple sclerosis (MS) pill Aubagio, one of the two treatments for the chronic disease that could return the French drugmaker to growth after several blockbuster drugs lost patent protection.
The drug is less effective than rival pills but has milder side effects and analysts say it could be popular among newly diagnosed patients. Around 35 to 40 percent of MS sufferers prefer to take no medication rather than face unwanted side effects.
Sanofi is also expected to highlight the convenience of a once-daily pill against injectable drugs that are widely prescribed as a first-line treatment for MS.
"If you look at the multiple sclerosis market, which is worth $12 billion and is currently dominated by injectables, and introduce a pill with similar efficacy, the prospects are very bright," Bill Sibold, head of MS at Sanofi's rare disease unit Genzyme, told Reuters.
Aubagio is expected to launch on the U.S. market in a few weeks, a spokeswoman for Sanofi unit Genzyme said.
The medicine will cost $45,000 for a year's treatment, making it cheaper than rivals and indicating Sanofi is ready for a commercial battle to win market share.




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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Oral pill that treats multiple sclerosis to be made available to Scots on NHS



Sept 11, 2012
THE world’s first pill to treat multiple sclerosis is to be given to patients in Scotland on the NHS, it was announced today.
• Pill that treats multiple sclerosis, called fingolimod, is to made available on the NHS
• Scotland the last country in UK not to offer drug on NHS despite having highest rate of MS in the world
• Drug was found to be twice as effective as interferom, the most commonly used drug currently available
The Scottish Medicines Consortium approved the drug fingolimod to treat patients in Scotland - which has the highest rate of MS in the world.
Until today Scotland was the only country in the UK not to offer the ground-breaking drug to patients on the NHS. It comes just months after the SMC refused the same drug saying it was not cost effective.
Experts had told how in tests the found to be twice as effective as the most commonly used drug to treat MS, interferon, which patients inject, in treating symptoms. Fingolimod was also found to be effective in preventing relapses in people with the chronic and disabling condition.
Dr Belinda Weller, a consultant neurologist at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital, said: “Scotland has the highest incidence of MS in the world, so the availability of an effective oral treatment for people whose injections are no longer working is fantastic news. Not only is fingolimod very effective, but also more convenient, which is very important considering the geography of Scotland.”
More than 10,000 people in Scotland have MS and doctors are unsure why rates are so high but believe it may be due to the poor weather or a flaw in the ‘celtic gene’.
A SMC spokesman said: “We are pleased to announce fingolimod for the treatment of MS can now be routinely prescribed within the NHS in Scotland. Fingolimod was accepted because it offers value for money due to a financial scheme proposed by the manufacturer which improves the cost-effectiveness of the medicine.”

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Popular cosmetic treatment benefits MS patients



Botox resolves incontinence

Updated: Friday, 07 Sep 2012, 6:23 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 07 Sep 2012, 5:18 PM EDT
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Botox is now being used to treat people with multiple sclerosis coping with incontinence.
Lisa Fine walks with confidence and little pain. Three months ago that was not the case. 

"You're walking somewhere and thinking everything is fine and urine just starts streaming down your leg," Fine said.   

No bladder control is one of the silent symptoms Fine has living with multiple sclerosis: a chronic condition that affects the central nervous system. 

That was before she was injected with the popular cosmetic treatment, Botox. 

Dr. Marlene Murphy says, "Botox is a neuro toxin.  It stops spasms in muscles whether they are in your face, whether they are in your shoulder or neck or leg or your bladder." 

Dr. Murphy is a urologist at the Mandell Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mt. Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in Hartford. 

"Basically the way it works, by injecting it into the bladder, it paralyzes a muscle and allows the bladder to hold just like my bladder," Dr. Murphy said. 
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Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) Study update



Opexa Initiates Late Stage Clinical Study of Tcelna in Patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)

First Ever Personalized Immunotherapy for MS Being Studied in Phase IIb Abili-T Trial; Tcelna Has Fast Track Designation in Significantly Underserved SPMS Patient Population
September 12, 2012
THE WOODLANDS, Texas--()--Opexa Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing Tcelna, a novel T-cell therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), today announced the initiation of a Phase IIb clinical trial of Tcelna in patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS). Several patients have already been enrolled in the study and enrollment is expected to increase rapidly as additional sites begin screening and enrolling patients in the coming weeks. Tcelna is the first ever personalized T-cell therapy for MS patients and has received Fast Track Designation from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of SPMS. The therapy is specifically tailored to each patient’s individual disease profile and has demonstrated superior safety and encouraging indications of efficacy in previous clinical studies in MS that included the treatment of SPMS patients. There is currently only one FDA-approved treatment for SPMS but safety warnings have severely restricted its use.
The newly initiated trial, named Abili-T, is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study in SPMS patients who demonstrate evidence of disease progression without associated relapses. The trial is expected to enroll 180 patients at approximately 30 leading clinical sites in the U.S. and Canada with each patient receiving two annual courses of Tcelna treatment consisting of five subcutaneous injections per year. The study will assess a number of clinical endpoints to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Tcelna in patients with SPMS. The primary efficacy outcome of the trial is the percentage of brain volume change (atrophy) at 24 months. Study investigators will also measure several important secondary outcomes commonly associated with MS including disease progression as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), annualized relapse rate (ARR) and changes in disability as measured by EDSS and the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC).

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An an integrative treatment center for Multiple Sclerosis





An Integrative MS Center

For the past 3 years the staff at CTA has been developing an integrative treatment program exclusively for patients with multiple sclerosis.

The Center for Traditional and Alternative Rehab opened the doors of its new facility on September 1st and is now accepting patients to participate in the program and in particular case studies.

The program exists of 2 sessions per week for 12 weeks, with the opportunity to continue the exercise component at the center. Home programs for the patient and caregivers are provided.

Patients will receive an initial comprehensive assessment followed by an individualized and customized treatment program including physical therapy, acupuncture, exercises, manual therapy, lifestyle counseling, relaxation techniques, ergotherapy (therapeutic activities such as crafts) and a variety of alternative treatment techniques.

Participants must commit to the full 12-week program through “perfect” attendance and by following the lifestyle changes discussed.

For more information please visit our website at www.ctarehab.com

Or contact
Monica Sinnett, AP - Program Director

or call 321-972-8976

You can also visit our center at 710 Miami Springs Drive Suite 120 in Longwood, FL



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Disclaimer:
 CTA Rehab is not endorsed by MS Views and News
 nor of Stu's Views and MS News

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

With help from faith, friends, family, young lady maintains positive outlook after MS diagnosis


Sept 2012


CHAMPAIGN — A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis hasn't changed Kelsey Lee Kaiser all that much.

The smile has rarely left her face.

"She's been like that since she was a little girl, always a smile on her face," mother Missy Kaiser said.

And Shannon Roberts, her aunt (and her boss at The Fitness Center in Champaign), said: "She's never known a stranger. She's so outgoing."

Kaiser has had bouts with depression, common in people with MS.

"I hate it when the depression comes," she said. "I hate it because it's not me. That's not the way I am. I'm the girl with the smile."

For a 19-year-old to face her diagnosis, when she'd rather be hanging with her girls, collecting boyfriends, shooting photos and taking college classes, she had to lean a little on her faith and her friends as well as her parents.

Still, "I handle the MS (diagnosis) better than a lot of the people around me," Kaiser said, including some friends who decided to drift away from her after the diagnosis.

Said Missy Kaiser: "People outgrow that sort of behavior. Young people think something is contagious. It isn't."

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Ginkgo Biloba Doesn’t Improve Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis




ScienceDaily (Sep. 11, 2012) — A research study conducted by Dr. Jesus Lovera, Assistant Professor of Neurology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and colleagues has found that the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba does not improve cognitive function in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS.) Cognitive impairment affects 40-60% of people with MS, most commonly affecting their processing speed, memory, and executive skills.

The research findings were published online ahead of print in Neurology on Sept. 5, 2012.

This study followed up on a promising earlier small study by Dr. Lovera and his colleagues that had shown improvement in cognitive function with Ginkgo biloba in people with MS. Some studies have also shown improvement after treatment with Ginkgo biloba in people with Alzheimer's disease.

"Ginkgo biloba supplements are frequently used by people with MS. Ginkgo appeared beneficial in a prior small pilot study we had done," said Dr. Jesus Lovera, a neurologist at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans who specializes in MS.




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Talking with the Kids about Multiple Sclerosis (MS)



How do you talk to children about MS?

If you're a parent or family member living with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may have some concerns about talking to kids about your condition. You might wonder how much you should tell them or if telling them about your MS will confuse or scare them. It's natural to want to protect them, but when it comes to talking to kids, honesty may be the best policy.
Sometimes, children can sense when something is wrong, and what they may imagine can be something far worse than reality.1 It can help to share your own feelings with them. Expressing sadness, anger or frustration shows children that these emotions are normal and acceptable. Of course, how and when to tell a child about your MS is a decision that should be made with his or her parents. Together, you can decide what is best for you and your family.. If you choose to talk about MS, encourage the child to be open and honest about their feelings and any questions they may have. It may also help to have his or her parents there for support.

Answering their questions

Children are bound to have lots of questions about MS. What is MS? Can I catch MS from you? How will MS affect me? Try to answer truthfully in an age-appropriate way. For example, to explain what MS is, try using an analogy. It may help if you ask them to think of the body as a bunch of wires that carry information. If we want to move our hand, a message travels across the wires from our brain to our hand. With MS, the covering around the wires is damaged. That can prevent messages from the brain getting to the right place.
You may also want to reassure the kids that you can't "catch MS." It's not like a cold. If children want to know how MS will affect them and your family, be honest. MS is different for every person; so although you can't tell kids exactly what to expect, you can still prepare them for possibilities. You can let them know you may get tired more easily, or you may need help getting around or with chores.
Try to remember that kids are adaptable. The key is open communication. As long as they have the facts and feel reassured, most children can adjust to just about anything.

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Wellness and MS



What does wellness mean to you? The definition of wellness can change over time, depending on the experiences you have throughout your life. Has your concept of wellness changed since you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Whether you're living with MS or not, wellness is part of a lifelong pursuit to enhance your well-being. It can involve physical, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of your life. Striving to live well can be a daily practice of adopting or maintaining healthy habits that can help keep your life full and satisfying.
Some healthy living habits can include exercising regularly (with guidance from your health care professional), eating healthymanaging stress and openly communicating with those you love.

Each day starts anew

Making healthy living a daily practice is just that—practice. You may not get it right every day. But the good news is that every moment in every day represents another chance to incorporate aspects of wellness into your life. With practice, you may find that it gets easier over time.
This section is devoted to information and tips that may help you learn more about wellness and MS.


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MS and Intimacy, treatment decisions and other teleconferences


To join a Teleconference, dial 866-644-8540 and use the code: "MS Teleconference." 
Be sure to call in at least ten minutes before the start time.

Upcoming Teleconferences

MS and Intimacy
8:00 PM EST
Teleconference.... 

Enjoyin the Holidays while Living with MS
8:00 PM EST
Teleconference...

Speaking with Your Loved Ones about Treatment
8:00 PM EST
Teleconference.... 

For Caregivers: Helping My Loved One with MS Make Treatment Decisions
8:00 PM EST
Teleconference....

You can hear MS news, information about MS therapies, and lifestyle solutions from participating in an MS ActiveSourceteleconference from the comfort of your home. You will also have the opportunity to submit questions anonymously and have them answered by the panel during the live teleconference.
These FREE live teleconferences can give you the opportunity to:
  • Ask MS experts and people living with MS any questions you may have
  • Listen to people talk about their experiences living with MS
  • Learn about ways to help manage your MS
To join a Teleconference, dial 866-644-8540 and use the code: "MS Teleconference." Be sure to call in at least ten minutes before the start time.


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Memory Games



Memory Builder Games

Many people with MS are affected by problems with memory, attention, and concentration. What can you do about it? Exercise your mind and memory. Our online memory games can help you keep your mind sharp and have fun at the same time.
Memory builder


At the MS ActiveSource website, there are various memory games to play.

Take a look by clicking here:
 https://www.msactivesource.com/memory-builder.xml


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Monday, September 10, 2012

Patient Angst: When You Just Have To Say ‘No’ To The Doctor



Dr. Annie Brewster, who has MS, struggled over the decision to reject her own doctor’s advice.
By Dr. Annie Brewster
Guest Contributor
Like most doctors, I am an overachiever and I have always been a “good” student. Throughout my education, I perfected the art of making my teachers happy. I made it through prep school, college at Stanford University and Harvard Medical School with high honors. I am used to doing what’s expected of me, and doing it well. I thrive on the rewards associated with such behavior.
But now, as a patient with Multiple Sclerosis, I find myself in an unfamiliar role. I am deliberately choosing to ignore my doctors advice. He wants me to be on medication, but I quit a month ago. While I trust that I am doing the right thing, I can’t help but feel that I am a “bad” patient, a disappointment. Undoubtedly, part of this is due to my neurotic, overachiever tendencies. My doctor has not reprimanded me. He has simply made his opinion clear, as he should. Still, I sense a subtle disapproval and I feel misunderstood and boxed in, like he doesn’t really see the whole me.
Because I sit on both sides — as doctor and patient — I am especially interested in exploring these feelings. Why do I feel like a disappointment? Is there such a thing as a “bad” patient? When should we listen to our doctors, and when should we not? As patients, are we free to disagree?
As a physician, I would like to say that doctors do not classify patients as “good” or “bad”, but I can’t. Consciously and unconsciously, and of course in varying degrees, we do. To be honest, my job is easiest when a patient accepts the diagnosis I provide, understands my explanation of the disease process and the pros and cons of various treatment options and ultimately follows my recommendations. It is particularly satisfying when patients do what I say, get better and then express gratitude. A neat and tidy package, wrapped up and sealed. A sense of mastery.

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