Please visit our MS learning channel on Youtube, which provides hundreds of topics from our education programs, that were video-recorded and archived here: www.youtube.com/msviewsandnews -- Be empowered with MS news by registering with us: www.register.msviewsandnews.org

joomla ecommerce template -- Scroll left side of this blog for needed resources. Also, use our 'search by topic' tool, to find specific information.

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.

============================================================

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Excess Mortality in MS Largely From Smoking


LYON, France -- Much of the early mortality seen in multiple sclerosis patients is related to their smoking habits, a researcher said here.
In a prospectively followed cohort of nearly 900 MS patients, 68% of those who died in a 40-year period were current or former smokers, compared with 50% of surviving patients, according to Ali Manouchehrinia of the University of Nottingham in England.
After adjusting for sex, age of MS onset, initial diagnosis (relapsing versus progressive MS), and use of disease-modifying drugs, the hazard ratio for death among ever-smokers versus lifetime nonsmokers was 2.13 (95% CI 1.26 to 3.61, P=0.005), he told attendees at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis annual meeting.


The mortality rate in ever-smokers was 5.48 per 1,000 person-years, compared with 2.30 per 1,000 person-years among the lifetime nonsmokers in the cohort.
Of the 66 patients in the cohort who died, 45 (68%) were smokers; 49% of the entire cohort were smokers.
Manouchehrinia noted that deaths among never-smokers in the cohort still tended to be premature relative to the general population. But the difference was less than half that seen among patients with a smoking history.
He also indicated that age of onset of significant disability was slightly younger in the ever- versus never-smokers, but the net result was that the never-smokers lived longer with disability, on average.
Overall life expectancy among MS patients is about 5 years less than in other people, for reasons that are unclear. Smoking, however, is a strong epidemiological risk factor for development of MS, which also means that smokers are over represented in MS patients relative to the general population.

..

Register to receive our weekly MS e-Newsletters. Click here


Patients undergoing cranial venoplasty as a multiple sclerosis therapy rarely showed improvement i


Little Benefit, Some Harm with Venous Surgery for MS


..


If you would like, you can comment to our blog posts
 LIKE this Blog by clicking the LIKE button - top left
 REMAIN up to date with MS News and Education
Visit: www.msviewsandnews.org  to register
.

A Wise Proverb by a Wise Man: "Never Too Old To Be In The Game"

Written by Jim Metzger


Roger Clemens has put together quite the resume over his 24-year Major League Baseball career.  A two time world champion, he received seven Cy Young awards and he currently ranks third on MLB’s all-time strikeout list.  After the 2007 season, the then 45-year-old Clemens finally decided to hang up his uniform to spend more time with his family.
But he couldn’t remain idle.  As with many athletes, Clemens is “married” to the game.  It is who he is as a person.  No matter the level of competition, professional or a pick-up league, athletes such as Clemens just have the game in their blood.
Clemens now is 50 years old, and he decided that he had enough of “retirement.” Agreeing to a one-year contract with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, the “Rocket” recently made a comeback.  In his first start during August, Clemens didn’t allow a run while pitching three and one-third innings.  The most impressive stat was, at Clemens’ age,that he was able to reach 87 MPH on the radar gun.
It is clear Clemens did not come back to the game for the money or the publicity. Neither is found in an independent league. Clemens decided to come back for the passion of the game.  This is his “profession.”  It is what he loves to do.  He felt that he could still compete, and he wanted to try at least one more time.
It never is too late for anyone to get back into his or her game. Whether your career path was sports or business, if the work always had been enjoyable to you, then, with a few adjustments, you can make a comeback and again find satisfaction and success.
You are never too old to compete, even when your skills are out-of-date or a bit rusty. You just may need to reinvent yourself. That is what I did with my passion for lacrosse. While I have been very successful in business for more than 30 years after playing lacrosse in high school and college, a few years ago I decided that I missed the game of my youth. Since then, I have worked with and supported today’s athletes through programs at my alma maters of Hofstra and Half Hollow Hills High School East in Dix Hills.
If you have retained the passion for what you once did, and if the flame of desire keeps burning inside you, there always is the opportunity for you to find a way to remain in the game.
Jim






Friday, October 12, 2012

Sun Exposure, Age Related in MS Risk

An ECTRIMS report

By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
Published: October 11, 2012
Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner



LYON, France -- The relationship of multiple sclerosis risk to patterns of sun exposure is more complicated than earlier research has indicated, a study in Norway and Italy found.
In both countries, individuals with little sun exposure during childhood and adolescence were at increased risk for developing MS later in life, according to Kjetil Bjørnevik of the University of Bergen in Norway. That's in line with previous studies around the world.
But examination of sun exposure at certain ages during winter versus summer showed that the relationship to subsequent MS differed substantially between the two countries, and in ways that did not appear to reflect merely the difference in latitude, Bjørnevik said in a platform presentation at annual meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
Cultural factors, sunscreen use, and genetics most likely played roles in shaping participants' risk for MS, he suggested.

Read more
..


If you would like, you can comment to our blog posts
 LIKE this Blog by clicking the LIKE button - top left
 REMAIN up to date with MS News and Education
Visit: www.msviewsandnews.org  to register
.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Now, Life Insurance is available Post MS Diagnosis


Read and contact Outlook Life directly, if you need further information


Outlook Life is online life insurance agency dedicated to helping people with MS and other health conditions to find affordable life insurance. By carrying 50 companies and training our professional staff to be experts in "impaired risk underwriting", we are able to save our clients much time and frustration, and match them up with the best possible life insurance rates for their unique situation. 

For those with MS we offer Term, Whole Life, Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life, and Annuities.  It is extremely difficult to find stand alone Long Term Care and Disability coverage for people with MS, but some of our policies have "living benefits" with LTC features that many of our MS clients can get.

Finally, we offer face amounts of $5,000 to $5,000,000+. We carry No Exam choices in addition to options requiring full underwriting. All the companies we use are rated at least A by AM Best. We never, ever share information; we use secure transactions that do not require any face to face meetings; and we treat our clients with respect. 



Peggy Mace Senior Agent and COO for Outlook LIfe
Phone: 866-866-0242 ext 914




Stem Cell Transplants May Show Promise for MS


By 
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

neural fiber

Oct. 10, 2012 -- New research suggests that stem cell transplants to treat certain brain and nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis may be moving closer to reality.
One study found that experimental stem cell transplants are safe and possibly effective in children with a rare genetic brain disease. Another study in mice showed that these cells are capable of transforming into, and functioning as, the healthy cell type. The stem cells used in the two studies were developed by study sponsor StemCells, Inc.
Both papers appear online in Science Translational Research.
The work, while still in its infancy, may have far-reaching implications for the treatment of many more common diseases that affect the brain and nervous system.
Researchers out of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), looked at the how neural stem cells behaved when transplanted into the brains of four young children with an early-onset, fatal form of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD).
Can Stem Cell Transplants Help Treat MS?
PMD is a very rare genetic disorder in which brain cells called oligodendrocytes can’t make myelin. Myelin is a fatty substance that insulates the nerve fibers of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves (central nervous system), and is essential for transmission of nerve signals so that the nervous system can function properly.
In multiple sclerosis, the myelin surrounding the nerve is targeted and damaged by the body’s immune system.
The new study found that the neural stem cell transplants were safe. What’s more, brain scans showed that the implanted cells seem to be doing what is expected of them -- i.e. making myelin.
Researchers compared treated areas of participants' brains with untreated areas. "The study goes beyond safety and we see some effects in the transplanted region that are consistent with the appearance of myelin, at one year,” says study author David H. Rowitch, MD, PhD. “It is not definitive, but it is suggestive.” He is a professor of pediatrics and neurological surgery at UCSF, and is the chief of neonatology at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
PMD is rare, but other diseases that affect the myelin, such as MS, are more common.
So is it possible that these same stem cell transplants could also benefit these other diseases? Although the possibility exists, Rowitch is noncommittal at this point. “We don’t have data that this could work in MS or other diseases,” he says. 
With PMD, the cells that produce myelin are not doing their job. Other diseases involve multiple causes or pathways. If further research in treating PMD pans out, the next step will be to look at MS and other diseases that affect myelin, Rowitch says.
Nancy L. Sicotte, MD, is the director of the Multiple Sclerosis Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She says that MS may be more complicated to treat with stem cell therapy.
“With MS, we would be trying to introduce stem cells into an inflamed nervous system,” she says. "To be effective, we have to stop the inflammation process, which we haven’t fully been able to do yet.”
Still, “stem-cell based therapies hold a lot of promise and potential,” Sicotte says. “You always have to temper that with the fact that it takes time to bring a great idea in the lab to humans.”

Continue reading from WebMD

Then please return here to leave comments





If you would like, you can comment to our blog posts
 LIKE this Blog by clicking the LIKE button - top left
 REMAIN up to date with MS News and Education
Visit: www.msviewsandnews.org  to register
.

Statin May Slow Progressive MS




..

If you would like, you can comment to our blog posts
 LIKE this Blog by clicking the LIKE button - top left
 REMAIN up to date with MS News and Education
Visit: www.msviewsandnews.org  to register
.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

AMPYRA® Two-Year Safety Data Presented at 28th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS)


- Two-year data from more than 62,400 people with multiple sclerosis highlight AMPYRA safety profile
ARDSLEY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 10, 2012-- Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.(Nasdaq: ACOR) today announced safety data from more than 62,400 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) taking AMPYRA (dalfampridine) Extended Release Tablets, 10 mg during the first two years of availability in the United States. The data showed that the safety profile of AMPYRA is similar to that observed in clinical trials.
This analysis was presented at the 28th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), being held in Lyon, France from October 10-13. AMPYRA is known as prolonged-, modified, or sustained-release fampridine (FAMPYRA®) in some countries outside the United States.
The analysis examined all post-marketing adverse events (AEs) that were reported to Acorda and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from March 2010 through March 2012. As is typical in post-marking data collection, there is a potential for underreporting of AEs. Key findings included:
  • Among the 62,400 patients who were prescribed AMPYRA during the first two years following FDA approval, 160 seizures were reported, or approximately 4.6 per 1000 patient-years of use. This rate is comparable to the rate of seizure seen in the overall MS population. Length of treatment prior to a seizure ranged from first dose to two years, with 20% of the seizures occurring within a week of starting treatment. Because of their disease, people with MS are at a higher risk of seizure than people who do not have MS.
  • The most frequently reported AEs from March 2010 through March 2012were dizziness, insomnia, balance disorder, headache, nausea, urinary tract infection, back pain, and asthenia. These are similar to the AEs most frequently reported during AMPYRA clinical trials.
“AMPYRA has been available for over two years in the United States, providing us with safety data from real-world use by people with MS. These data showed that the safety profile of AMPYRA in clinical practice is consistent with what was observed in clinical trials,” said Enrique Carrazana, M.D., Acorda Therapeutics’ Chief Medical Officer. “The data also indicate the rate of seizure has remained consistent over time, and is within the range that is expected in the overall MS population.”


..


If you would like, you can comment to our blog posts
 LIKE this Blog by clicking the LIKE button - top left
 REMAIN up to date with MS News and Education
Visit: www.msviewsandnews.org  to register
.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Cannabis Extract Eases Muscle Stiffness Typical of Multiple Sclerosis, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Oct. 8, 2012) — Cannabis seems to ease the painful muscle stiffness typical of multiple sclerosis (MS), indicate phase III trial results, published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.


Up to 90 per cent of MS patients endure painful muscle stiffness at some point during the course of their disease, which reduces their mobility and interferes with daily routine activities and sleep quality. But current treatments often fail to resolve symptoms fully, and can be harmful, as a result of which many MS patients have experimented with alternative therapies, including cannabis.
Adult MS patients with stable disease, from 22 different specialist centres across the UK, were either randomly assigned to cannabis extract (tetrahydrocannabinol) daily (144) or a dummy pill (placebo) (135) for a period of 12 weeks.
The treatments were given in gradually increasing doses from 2.5 mg up to a maximum of 25 mg for two weeks, followed by maintenance doses for the remaining 10 weeks. The aim was to see if cannabis extract alleviated or improved muscle stiffness, associated pain, muscle spasms, and sleep quality, using a validated 11 point rating scale.
After the first two weeks of treatment, 87 per cent of those taking the placebo were on the maximum daily dose compared with just under half of those (47%) taking the cannabis extract.
After 12 weeks, one in four patients treated with cannabis extract was taking the maximum daily dose compared with over two thirds (69.4%) of those taking the placebo.
At the end of the study period, the rate of relief from muscle stiffness was twice as high among those given the cannabis extract as those given the placebo. Muscle stiffness was alleviated in just under 30 per cent of those given cannabis compared with just under 16 per cent of those treated with the placebo.
This difference was evident after 4 and 8 weeks, and also extended to pain, muscle spasms and sleep quality, at all time points, the results showed.
The differences were most noticeable among patients not already using antispasmodic treatment, among whom almost 40 per cent of those taking the cannabis extract gained relief compared with just over 16 per cent of those taking placebo.


..


If you would like, you can comment to our blog posts
 LIKE this Blog by clicking the LIKE button - top left
 REMAIN up to date with MS News and Education
Visit: www.msviewsandnews.org  to register
.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ampyra's worth, being questioned by an insurance carrier

Last week  I posted information regarding AETNA insurance company's decision to stop paying for an MS Medication. I also mentioned that if we did not stop this from happening that other companies might begin doing the same thing... And today I read this:


Acorda sinks after insurance provider questions MS drug
Theflyonthewall.com via Yahoo! Finance Mon, 08 Oct 2012 08:41 AM PDT


Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR) is retreating after Group Health, which provides health insurance to over 600,000 people in the Northwest, questioned the necessity of the company's multiple sclerosis treatment, ... 



THIS IS B.S.  everybody and we need to Voice our concerns.

IF the FDA approved the medications, then they must have found worth in the drug(s)

Click here to read the blog posting about Aetna and Then, Call Aetna to voice your resentment to their decision. The phone numbers are found at that posting.

..