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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, March 9, 2013

How typical is cognitive impairment in MS?


Cognitive deficits are not the most typical symptoms of MS. In fact, severe cognitive impairment that makes everyday coping difficult is reported in 10 per cent of people with MS, whereas an estimated 40-50 per cent experience mild to moderate disturbances. This means that about half of those diagnosed with MS never experience cognitive impairment. 

Even mild impairment may require changes in a person’s routine and habits. For example, coping at work may require extra effort and the use of aids or compensatory techniques. If cognitive deficits are not identified properly, they may be a cause for stress and misunderstanding at work and at home. They should, therefore, be recognized as early as possible, so that steps can be taken to ease the situation.

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Friday, March 8, 2013

NEW MS Study: A Study of Ocrelizumab in Patients With Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis


This study is currently recruiting participants.
Verified March 2013 by Hoffmann-La Roche
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Hoffmann-La Roche

  Purpose
This randomized, parallel group, double-blind, placebo controlled study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of ocrelizumab in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Eligible patients will be randomized 2 : 1 to receive either ocrelizumab (300 mg intravenously, 2 infusions separated by 14 days in each treatment cycle) or placebo. The blinded treatment period will be at least 120 weeks, followed by open label treatment for patients in both groups who in the opinion of the investigator could benefit from further or newly initiated ocrelizumab treatment. Anticipated time on study treatment is up to 5.5 years.





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For MS Relapse - there is ACTHAR (aka- ACTH)


Having trouble reading this email? View this email as plain text.
Welcome, Stuart!
Thanks for requesting information from Questcor.
You may have just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and are starting to learn about it. Or you may have had MS for awhile and are exploring other treatment options for your relapses. Perhaps you don’t have MS, but it affects your life in some way. Wherever you are in your journey, we are committed to providing you with the information and support you need.
Learn more about Acthar

As a member of the Questcor Community, you’ll receive:
·         Information about Acthar (repository corticotropin injection), an alternative to steroids
o    Helps speed recovery from MS relapses
o    Helps your body produce its own natural steroid hormones
o    Used for over 30 years—one of the first medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of MS relapses
Ask your healthcare provider if Acthar is right for you.
·         Monthly emails that can help you become MS informed, not misinformed
·         Access to stories, featuring personal journeys of people with MS
·         Tips and tools to help you become relapse-ready
·         Access to a free support service for people starting Acthar
·         Opportunities to attend educational events

Thanks again for joining! We look forward to helping you on your quest for information.
–Your Questcor Team
H.P. Acthar® Gel and Questcor® are registered trademarks of Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
©2012 Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  PM-756-00  08/12
This information is intended only for residents of the United States.



Uses
H.P. Acthar® Gel (repository corticotropin injection) is an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) analogue used for:
  • The treatment of exacerbations of multiple sclerosis in adults.
Important Safety Information
Patients, parents, and caregivers should be aware of the important information about H.P. Acthar® Gel.
Acthar should never be given intravenously (into a vein). Acthar should not be used in patients with a skin condition called scleroderma, bone density loss (osteoporosis), infection throughout the body, eye infection called ocular herpes simplex, recent surgery, history of or a current stomach ulcer, heart problems, high blood pressure, or allergy to pig-derived proteins. Tell your doctor about any health problems or medicines.
Acthar may cause side effects similar to side effects that happen due to treatment with steroid medicines. Not all of these side effects have occurred with Acthar but they may occur. Acthar is a medicine that affects a patient's immune system, and therefore patients may be more likely to get new infections, or inactive infections may become active. Acthar has effects on the adrenal gland. When a patient is taking Acthar, their adrenal gland may produce too much of a hormone called cortisol. This can cause symptoms of Cushing's syndrome (upper body fat, rounded face, thin skin), which is more common in patients who take this medicine for a long time. When a patient stops taking Acthar after a long time, the body may not produce enough cortisol on its own (adrenal insufficiency). The doctor may prescribe a steroid medicine to protect the body until the adrenal gland recovers. Do not stop administering Acthar without talking to your doctor first. Your doctor may check your blood pressure during treatment and may instruct you to make some dietary changes. Patients should not receive certain vaccines during treatment with Acthar. Talk to your doctor about which vaccines are safe for use.Acthar may hide (or mask) symptoms of other conditions or diseases and it may be more difficult for your doctor to diagnose other conditions or diseases in you or your child during treatment. The person receiving Acthar has an increased risk for bleeding from the stomach or having a stomach ulcer. Inform your doctor about any pain in the stomach area, bloody vomit, or bloody or black stools. While on Acthar changes in mood and behavior such as irritability, depression, or trouble sleeping, may occur.
Other side effects are possible. Acthar may make certain other medical conditions worse, such as diabetes (may increase blood sugar); cause eye problems, such as cataracts, increased pressure in the eye (glaucoma), and possible damage to the optic nerve; and cause allergic reactions to Acthar (seen as skin rash, swelling of the face, tongue, lips, or throat, and trouble breathing). Acthar may affect growth and physical development after long term use. Long term use of Acthar may cause an increase in the size of the heart, but this condition usually goes away after Acthar is stopped.
The most common side effects of Acthar in infants include: infections, increased blood pressure, irritability and changes in behavior, changes in appetite and weight, diarrhea, and vomiting. Other adverse reactions reported in adults and children over 2 years of age included: abdominal bloating, anxiety, asthma, chest discomfort, congestive heart failure, dizziness, shortness of breath, redness of the face, fluid retention, flushing, headache, injection site pain, tiredness, muscle weakness, nervousness, rapid heart rate and lack of energy. Tell your doctor if there is any side effect that bothers you or your child or that does not go away.
These are not all of the possible side effects of Acthar. For more information, ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, go to www.acthar.com, or call 1-800-465-9217. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
For a full list of indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and adverse events related to Acthar, please refer to the full Prescribing Information.

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Mental Deficit in MS Tied to White Matter Damage






Significant differences were seen in sophisticated MRI brain scans between multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with cognitive impairments and those without, apparently unrelated to classic MS lesions, researchers said.
Among impaired patients only, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) revealed damage to white matter in multiple brain regions, many of which were already known to be important for cognitive function, according to Hanneke Hulst, MSc, of VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, and colleagues.
Unlike standard MRI scans, diffusion tensor imaging "allows for quantitative measurements of the microstructural integrity of white matter tracts both in the normal-appearing white matter and in areas with MS lesions," they explained in the March 12 issue of Neurology. "DTI might be a powerful tool when monitoring cognitive impairment in MS."
Up to 65% of all MS patients develop cognitive impairment, Hulst and colleagues noted. Although previous studies have linked this complication to standard MRI measures such as T1 and T2 lesion volume and overall brain atrophy, these associations do not account for all the variation between patients.
In particular, conventional MRI does not pick up small-scale alterations in white matter, which also could contribute to cognitive problems in MS patients.
To explore the question further, Hulst and colleagues performed conventional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging scans in 55 MS patients and 20 healthy controls. Patients and controls were mostly middle-age (means in the three groups ranged from 46 to 50) and, in line with the distribution of MS in the general population, were mostly female. Disease duration in the patients was about 12 years.
All participants underwent neuropsychological testing in such domains as verbal memory and learning, spatial memory, working memory, semantic memory, and processing speed. Patients with total scores at least two standard deviations below the mean for healthy controls were classed as cognitively impaired.
Hulst and colleagues classified 35 of the patients as cognitively normal and 20 as impaired.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Electrical stimulation and MS:

Article provided by Marc F


Can nerve endings in the tongue help us treat traumatic brain injury?

PITTSBURGH — The human tongue is an extraordinary bit of flesh. It's alternately squishy and tense, at times delicate and others powerful. It helps us taste, talk and tie cherry stems, all the while avoiding two interlocking rows of sharpened enamel that know only how to gnash. Now, it seems the tongue may even serve as a gateway to the human brain, providing us with the opportunity to treat serious afflictions from multiple sclerosis to combat-induced brain injuries.
The tongue is a natural candidate for electrical stimulation, thanks in part to a high density of sensory receptors and the concentration of electrolytes found in saliva. This has allowed researchers at the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to develop a pattern of electrodes that can be placed on the tongue and attached to a control box. All together, the system is called a Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS).

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Integrative Healing Therapy



Michelle celebrates the moment... 

Hi! My name is Michelle Alva. So excited to connect and share my passions and healing work with you all on MS VIEWS AND NEWS!  

I love to empower and educate people on how to de-stress, maximize self-healing, release tension, and pain.  My whole life I have been interested in learning ways to self-heal, grow spiritually and create more love and peace to make this world a healthier place.

My background as a licensed physical therapist yoga therapist, belly dance teacher and energy medicine practitioner over the past 17 years has enabled me to create a highly effective approach to wellness and healing bridging modern science with ancient wisdom practices.

I share the message of the importance of self-empowerment and self-love through my work as a healer, speaker, and writer.

Individuals with a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis benefit greatly through one-on-one healing sessions with me called Integrative Healing Therapy which teach people how to learn to maximize their ability to release tension and stress, boost their immune system functioning, and increase their heal-ability and love-ability.

Integrative Healing Therapy is a combination of healing massage, aromatherapy, crystal sound healing, bodywork and breath work designed to bring you to an experience of what I call “whole-being integration”. This is a state of balance and profound inner peace, where healing accelerates. Individuals clear past emotional traumas, feel lighter and connected to their natural energy during the sessions. Read Testimonials on how individuals benefit from Integrative Healing Therapy HERE.

In recent years, my clients would ask me to record my voice for them so they may listen to the exercises at home that I would lead them through during their healing sessions. This frequent request made me realize the need to create a CD of 6 powerful guided meditations to empower and guide people to de-stress, self-heal and energize naturally. The CD is called Free Yourself: Guided Meditations To Relax, Release, Heal and Energize. You can listen and download the FREE YOURSELF Guided Meditations HERE. Read about the benefits of guided meditation HERE.

For more information, to schedule a one-on-one session, listen to my guided meditations, or download my free e-guide called “Top 10 Tips For A Stress Free Day” go to www.michellealva.com.

I look forward to connecting with you soon! Thank you!

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Multiple sclerosis is Lyme disease: Anatomy of a cover-up

Stu's Views: I was asked to provide this information to our  viewers and so, I am doing this. But if I was asked if I believe this story, I would say "No".



Perhaps the biggest ongoing medical scandal of the past hundred years is the fact that it has been known since 1911 that Multiple Sclerosis is caused by a bacterium, and that the Big-Pharma-controlled medical-industrial complex covered this up in order to make money selling symptom relievers to MS patients. At the lower levels there is no cover-up at all, but simply human nature at work, as we wrote about here, to dispel the notion that we are “conspiracy theorists”. Since 1911, overwhelmingly much medical research has been conducted where living Borrelia bacteria were found in the brains of people who were diagnosed with MS.

Time and time again. By at least a dozen medical researchers. In at least ten countries. Since 1911 – the past one hundred years. Several older but also recent autopsy findings linked to in this article found that all deceased MS patients’ brains harbored living Lyme spirochetes. Even when tests, notorious for their large percentage of false negatives were used on living MS patients, staggeringly many tested positive for active Lyme borreliosis.
Then why isn’t this common knowledge? Surely, those thousands of MS experts and MS researchers can’t be all wrong?
Let’s examine the reality on the ground.



Please come back top this blog posting and leave your comment to this article.    Click to come back

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Fog Lifting in MS Gender Enigma

Information provided by: Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN


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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

First Patient Enrolled in Third Phase III Study of Oral Laquinimod for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis


JERUSALEM and LUND, SWEDEN--(Marketwire - Mar 6, 2013) -

CONCERTO Study Enrolling Patients Globally to Evaluate Impact of Laquinimod on Disability Progression
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSETEVA) and Active Biotech (NASDAQ OMX NORDIC: ACTI) announced today enrollment of the first patient in the CONCERTO study - the third Phase III placebo-controlled study designed to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of once-daily oral laquinimod in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The primary outcome measure of CONCERTO will be confirmed disability progression as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
"Previous Phase III studies in more than 2,400 people with RRMS suggest a unique profile of laquinimod, directly affecting the neurodegenerative processes that lead to disability progression, the main concern in the treatment of RRMS," said CONCERTO principal investigator, Dr. Timothy Vollmer, Professor of Neurology, University of Colorado Denver, Medical Director of the Rocky Mountain Multiple Sclerosis Center, and Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz. "We are currently enrolling patients in this third pivotal study to further examine the clinical benefits of laquinimod on disability progression, the primary endpoint of the CONCERTO trial, and brain atrophy, at both the previously studied 0.6 mg dose, and now a higher 1.2 mg dose."
The multinational, randomized, double blind placebo-controlled study will aim to enroll approximately 1,800 patients at more than 300 sites globally (http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01707992). Along with the primary endpoint of time to confirmed disability progression, the study will also examine the impact of laquinimod on endpoints such as percent change in brain volume and other clinical and MRI markers of disease activity.
"For nearly 30 years, Teva has been focused on improving the lives of people with multiple sclerosis by delivering innovative treatment options that address this complex disease," said Dr. Michael Hayden, President of Global R&D and Chief Scientific Officer at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. "The CONCERTO study demonstrates our commitment to collaborating with MS communities worldwide to further develop laquinimod and address unmet patient needs."
ABOUT LAQUINIMOD - click to read more

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Yale researchers identify salt as a trigger of autoimmune diseases





For the past few decades, health officials have been reporting increases in the incidence of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Now researchers at Yale Medical School, Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute have identified a prime suspect in the mystery — dietary salt.
In the March 6 issue of the journal Nature, Yale researchers showed that salt can induce and worsen pathogenic immune system responses in mice and that the response is regulated by genes already implicated in a variety of autoimmune diseases.
In accompanying papers in the same issue of Nature, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard identified the key molecular pathway involved in the response to salt, and the Broad Institute sketched out the regulatory network of genes that governs this autoimmune response.
“These are not diseases of bad genes alone or diseases caused by the environment, but diseases of a bad interaction between genes and the environment,” said Dr. David Hafler, the Gilbert H. Glaser Professor of Neurology, professor of immunobiology, chair of the Department of Neurology, and senior author of the Yale paper.


The research was inspired, in part, by an observation that eating at fast-food restaurants tended to trigger an increase in production of inflammatory cells, which are mobilized by the immune system to respond to injury or pathogens but which, in autoimmune diseases, attack healthy tissue. Researchers at Yale and colleagues in Germany led by Dominik Mueller wanted to know whether high salt content in diet might induce the destructive immune system response that is the hallmark of autoimmunity.
They found that adding salt to the diet of mice induced production of a type of T cells previously associated with autoimmune diseases and that mice on salt diets developed a more severe form of an MS animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
The research at the Broad Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University, and Yale University expands the understanding of how one type of immune cell — known as a T helper 17 or Th17 cell — develops, and how its growth influences the development of other kinds of cells involved in the immune system. Reconstruction of this molecular circuitry confirmed the surprising role of salt, said the researchers.
“The question we wanted to pursue was: How does this highly pathogenic, pro-inflammatory T cell develop?” said Vijay Kuchroo, a senior scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Broad Institute associate member. Kuchroo is also the Wasserstrom Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Biomedical Research Institutes. “Once we have a more nuanced understanding of the development of the pathogenic Th17 cells, we may be able to pursue ways to regulate them or their function.”
“Humans were genetically selected for conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where there was no salt,” Hafler said. “Today, Western diets all have high salt content and that has led to increase in hypertension and perhaps autoimmune disease as well.”

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Biogen Idec to Present New Data on Diverse Neurological Portfolio at 65th AAN Annual Meeting

– Biogen Idec's MS Franchise Strengthened with Data for Novel Treatment Options –
– Encouraging Data on Early and Late Stage Pipeline Therapies Presented –

WESTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 6, 2013 - Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) will present more than 50 company-sponsored platform and poster presentations on data supporting its multiple-marketed and pipeline therapies for neurological diseases at the 65th American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16-23, 2013. The breadth of data presented demonstrates Biogen Idec's robust neurology research and development programs, and affirms the company's decades-long leadership in multiple sclerosis (MS).

“Biogen Idec is dedicated to addressing unmet medical needs of people living with neurological diseases through innovative science,” said Douglas E. Williams, Ph.D., executive vice president, Research and Development at Biogen Idec. “We are proud to have the deepest MS pipeline in the industry, supplied by a strong R&D neurology program. We will continue to focus on improving the lives of patients through novel scientific discovery, as well as by providing first-in-class treatments, unsurpassed patient support and educational services.”

Highlights include data on Biogen Idec's currently marketed products, TYSABRI® (natalizumab), AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) and FAMPYRA® (prolonged-release fampridine tablets). The company will also present results from the investigational trials of its late-stage MS pipeline, including TECFIDERA™ (dimethyl fumarate), peginterferon beta-1a and daclizumab high-yield process (DAC HYP).

As part of the company's overall commitment to improving the lives of people living with neurological diseases through education and support, Biogen Idec is proud to be a sponsor of the American Brain Foundation's 2013 Brain Health Fair, a day-long event that will take place on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in San Diego, CA. This event connects thousands of patients, families and caregivers affected by a brain disease. The Brain Health Fair will provide health screenings, educational activities for kids and teens, as well as “Brain Health Classes,” led by expert neurologists. Registration is free at BrainHealthFair.com.
Notable data from Biogen Idec at AAN 2013:



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