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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Company initiates trial to evaluate clinical performance of molecular diagnostic to identify patients that have, or are at risk of developing, multiple sclerosis
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
A new study suggests that Progressive Muscle Relaxation Technique (PMRT) may reduce fatigue and improve the quality of sleep in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a long-term, progressive, disorder that affects nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Sleep disorders and fatigue are among the many complications of MS.
PMRT is used to treat muscular tension, a common symptom of stress. In PMRT, a group of muscles is tensed up so they are contracted as tightly as possible. The patient inhales with the muscles contracted and holds for 5-10 seconds. Next, the patient exhales as the muscles are relaxed to their previous state.
The recent study included 32 individuals with MS. Before the study, participants answered questionnaires regarding their fatigue and quality of sleep. All participants then practiced PMRT daily for six weeks.
After the six weeks, the participants showed a significant increase in sleep quality and a significant decrease in fatigue.
Researchers concluded that PMRT was an appropriate therapy for improved sleep and fatigue reduction for MS patients. Further research is warranted.
The New England Journal of Medicine Publishes Pivotal Data Demonstrating Efficacy and Safety of Oral
Monday, November 5, 2012
The discovery could have major implications for multiple sclerosis, complications from premature birth and other disorders and diseases caused by demyelination - a process where the insulation-like sheath surrounding nerve cells in the brain becomes damaged or destroyed. Demyelination disrupts the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other, and produces a range of motor, sensory and cognitive problems in MS and other disorders.
The study was published this week in the online edition of the Annals of Neurology. The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Larry Sherman, Ph.D., who is a professor of cell and development biology at OHSU and a senior scientist in the Division of Neuroscience at the Oregon National Primate Research Center.
"What this means is that we have identified a whole new target for drugs that might promote repair of the damaged brain in any disorder in which demyelination occurs," Sherman said. "Any kind of therapy that can promote remyelination could be an absolute life-changer for the millions of people suffering from MS and other related disorders."
Sherman's lab has been studying MS and other conditions where myelin is damaged for more than 14 years. In 2005, he and his research team discovered that a sugar molecule, called hyaluronic acid, accumulates in areas of damage in the brains of humans and animals with demyelinating brain and spinal cord lesions. Their findings at the time, published in Nature Medicine, suggested that hyaluronic acid itself prevented remyelination by preventing cells that form myelin from differentiating in areas of braindamage.
The new study shows that the hyaluronic acid itself does not prevent the differentiation of myelin-forming cells. Rather, breakdown products generated by a specific enzyme that chews up hyaluronic acid - called a hyaluronidase - contribute to the remyelination failure.
The findings are due to be published online this week in the Annals of Neurology.
Myelin DamageIn MS, the protective sheath or myelin around nerve fibers is damaged or destroyed, disrupting the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other. This process, called demyelination, is what causes the range of sensory, movement and cognitive problems typical of the disease.
Lead researcher of the new study, Larry Sherman, a professor at Oregon Health & Science University, heads a lab that had been studying MS and other disorders where myelin gets damaged for nearly 15 years.
After leaving the hospital, the majority of a stroke patient’s rehabilitation consists of repetitive at-home exercises, says Nizan Friedman, a biomedical engineering student at the University of California, Irvine. "The therapist basically will give the person a booklet of exercises and say ‘Move your fingers like this 100 times, stretch your hand out 100 times.’ And in reality that’s not motivating. Most people don’t complete the therapy and they don’t recover."
Friedman is part of a research group that's trying to make therapy a little more fun. The scientists invented a game, based on Guitar Hero, meant to make rehabilitation therapy more interesting for people recovering from stroke or who have hand impairments due to cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, or multiple sclerosis. "Guitar Hero is the third largest video game created in the history of video games," Friedman says. "This is something that people get addicted to, and we want people to get addicted to our therapy."
To play, the patients match their hand movements to notes falling on the screen. And as in ordinary Guitar Hero, the notes are timed rhythmically with music. But rather than mashing buttons on a fake plastic guitar, the patient touches the thumb to one of their four fingers—each finger corresponds to a different color, or "note".
The MusicGlove uses conductive fingertip sensors to detect whether the player has achieved the correct finger position. By playing six or seven songs, the patients complete between two and three thousand repetitions of their therapeutic exercises, with real-time feedback about whether they’ve performed the right gestures at the right times. They get a score at the end of each song and can work to beat their previous scores.
Read more: Robo-Gloves to Aid Stroke Victims - Popular Mechanics
Sunday, November 4, 2012
(7) Speakers plus (3) Q&A Sessions
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Hotel Space is available
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