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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Experts answer questions on multiple sclerosis

Jamila Al Jawhariah 

MUSCAT Experts answered questions of patients on the sidelines of the forum on multiple sclerosis organised by the Neurology Association of Oman Medical Association.

Dr Jaber Al Khabouri, senior consultant of neurology at Royal Hospital, who gave a presentation on global experience of the disease, answered questions on the disease, its symptoms, and methods of diagnosis and treatment.

Speaking on the prevalence of the condition in GCC countries, he said Kuwait recorded the highest number of multiple sclerosis patients at more than 1,200. The Sultanate has 150-170 cases recorded by SQU hospital and Royal hospital. Statistics show that more women than men suffer from multiple sclerosis.

One of the patients, Saba, who has been suffering from multiple sclerosis for the past 12 years, narrated her experience of living with the disease, which has no known cure. She exuded optimism and spoke with a smile as she narrated her story. 

Mohamed Al Rahbi and Namiq Al Balushi called for forming teams and groups on social networking websites to discuss about the disease. 

They also called for creating an association to spread awareness on multiple sclerosis and to interact with patients and support to help them to deal with the disease.

Source

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Singer battles back from multiple sclerosis, releasing new album

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -
A country music singer that has faced an assortment of obstacles in the past few years is making a comeback with a historic music label.


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Multiple Sclerosis and Diet: Vitamin D, Swank and Wahls Diets, and More

By 
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD



Many foods have been touted as helpful for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Do they work?
"There are strong reasons to think that diet could affect MS symptoms and even help treat it," says neurologist Ellen Mowry, MD, of Johns Hopkins University.
But although a healthy diet is always a good idea, there is no proof that any diet or food, on its own, treats MS.
If you want to try changing your diet to see if it helps your MS, do your homework. Make sure you've got good information from a reliable source, that you'll get all the nutrients you need, and talk with your doctor before making major changes
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What Does the Research Show?

You may have heard about certain nutrients or diets for MS. One thing to keep in mind is that there hasn't been a lot of research done in this area, and there aren't solid results showing benefits.
For instance:
Oil change. Some early studies showed promise in a diet low in saturated fat and supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. But 2012 review of research did not find any benefit for omega-3s and omega-6s. So for now, the findings are mixed.
Vitamin DLow levels of vitamin D are linked with more severe MS symptoms. The body makes  vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, and MS is more common in parts of the world that get less direct sun. 
Does that mean that taking vitamin D supplements will help? That's not certain. "I think the evidence that vitamin D supplements could help is pretty strong, but we don't know for sure," says Mowry, who is leading two studies of vitamin D and MS. Before trying vitamin D supplements, ask your doctor to test your vitamin D blood level and ask their advice on how much you should take.
Diets that people have promoted for MS include:
  • Gluten-free diet. Cutting out gluten is popular. But there's no evidence it helps people with MS, says Allen C. Bowling, MD, PhD, medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Service at the Colorado Neurological Institute and author ofComplementary and Alternative Medicine and Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Swank diet. This diet, developed over 60 years ago, has very low levels of saturated fats. Though some studies have shown promise, none has shown a convincing benefit, Bowling says. "I don’t think the Swank diet is harmful, but it’s hard to stick to," he says.
  • Wahls diet. This diet emphasizes fruits and vegetables -- 9 cups a day - but no studies have shown a clear result.  Bowling believes its emphasis on certain nutrients leads some followers to “use high doses of many supplements.” He cautions that the safety of such high doses has not been proven. Discuss any supplements you're taking with your doctor, even if the products are natural.

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Multiple Sclerosis: Planning for Your Future

Fri, 21 Jun, 2013

Planning ahead, including for insurance and finances, is key when you have a chronic condition like multiple sclerosis (MS). Get tips to get started from WebMD.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Highlights from the CMSC and ACTRIMS Cooperative Meeting (2013)

Please read MSAA's article summarizing highlights from this year's Fifth Cooperative Meeting of The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS).

National and International MS experts attended this exciting conference, where the latest findings in MS research, treatments, symptom management, and patient care were presented.

Topics highlighted in this article include:
  • new and experimental treatments for MS
  • pregnancy information for women with MS taking disease-modifying therapies
  • emotional and physical findings in MS
  • and much more!
Please be sure to take a look at this article that covers many important topics presented at this unique meeting.


Read the full article on highlights from this year's Fifth Cooperative Meeting of The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) and Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS)


If links are disabled in this email - to read the full article, copy and paste the following into your web browser:

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Explanation: How Brain Training Can Make You Significantly Smarter


As many people hit middle age, they often start to notice that their memory and mental clarity are not what they used to be.  We suddenly can't remember where we put the keys just a moment ago, or an old acquaintance's name, or the name of an old band we used to love.  As the brain fades, we euphemistically refer to these occurrences as "senior moments."

While seemingly innocent, this loss of mental focus can potentially have a detrimental impact on our professional, social, and personal well-being. 

Explanation: How Brain Training Can Make You Significantly Smarter

It happens to most of us, but is it inevitable? 

Neuroscientists are increasingly showing that there's actually a lot that can be done.  It turns that the brain needs exercise in much the same way our muscles do, and the right mental workouts can significantly improve our basic cognitive functions.  Thinking is essentially a process of making neural connections in the brain.  To a certain extent, our ability to excel in making the neural connections that drive intelligence is inherited.  However, because these connections are made through effort and practice, scientists believe that intelligence can expand and fluctuate according to mental effort.
Now, a new San Francisco Web-based company has taken it a step further and developed the first "brain training program" designed to actually help people improve and regain their mental sharpness.  Called Lumosity, it was designed by some of the leading experts in neuroscience and cognitive psychology from Stanford University.

Lumosity, is far more than an online place to exercise your mental skills.  That's because they have integrated these exercises into a Web-based program that allows you to systematically improve your memory and attention skills.  The program keeps track of your progress and provides detailed feedback on your performance and improvement.  Most importantly, it constantly modifies and enhances the games you play to build on the strengths you are developing--much like an effective exercise routine requires you to increase resistance and vary your muscle use.

Does it work?  -- Click here to read more

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New MRI Technique Improves Visualization of Lesions in Brains of MS Patients

June 18, 2013

Conventional MRI relies on measuring the amplitude of electromagnetic waves coming off of excited protons as they return to their equilibrium inside the magnetic field. Although the frequency of these signals also contains a good deal of information, it has proven difficult to create algorithms that can make sense of the data.

MRI imaging of brain New MRI Technique Improves Visualization of Lesions in Brains of MS Patients

Researchers from the University of British Columbia led by Alexander Rauscher have been studying MRI scans of brains of multiple sclerosis patients with an eye toward spotting mathematical signatures within frequency data that can identify specific tissue types. In the journal Neurologythey are now reporting that they managed to spot lesion formation in the brain using their new analysis technique. Because the new methodology doesn’t require any physical upgrades to MRI scanners, it can be easily integrated into existing systems with a software update.
Source: MedGadget
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Living with Advancing Multiple Sclerosis: Series Overview (10-part Video series)

Living with Advancing Multiple Sclerosis: Series Overview

This 10-part video series delves into the stories and perspectives of real-life multiple sclerosis patients, as well as an expert neurologist, as they explore the latest treatments, advancements in medications, and tips for maintaining the best possible quality of life.


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Study looks at family influences in multiple sclerosis

By , June 16th, 2013

Family members may share onset age of multiple sclerosis, but not disease severity.
Sometimes multiple sclerosis (MS) runs in families. It has not been clear how similar the disease is between family members, however. MS is very variable in its symptoms and progression. Researchers at the University of Cambridge report a study which shows how the course of MS varies within families.
The team looked at data on 2,310 individuals from over 1,000 families in which two or more members had MS. They looked at data on age of onset, disability and disease severity. Age of onset tended to be similar between affected members of the same family. This was so whether parents and children or siblings were being compared. Siblings also tended to have similar patterns of progression. But there was no such relationship between parents and children.
There was also no correlation between the severity of the disease in one family member and its severity in another member. The cause of these observations is unknown – the underlying factors could be genetic or environmental. The findings have important implications for counseling patients with MS – they should not look to their relatives with MS for clues to the outcome of their own disease.
Source: NewsFix
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Stem Cells Hold Potential to Repair Immune Responses in MS Patients (Video)

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Muscle
Mesenchymal stem cells (green) accumulate in skeletal muscle following exercise and release growth factors to spur regeneration. (Photo : Marni Boppart)
Multiple Sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease in which the immune system is broken down, can be difficult to treat. Damages to the myelin sheath due to the disease can interfere with communication between the brain, spinal cord and other areas of the body. This can create wreak havoc in someone's daily life who is suffering from the problem.
Yet, some researchers believe they have found new treatments that could stop the progression or continuation of the disease.
Dr. Saud Sadiq, MD, who is the director at the Tisch MS Center of New York, believes that stem cells could be the key to repairing and possibly regenerating immune responses broken down by MS.
According to Sadiq, who recently presented his research on stem cells during the Second International Adult Stem Cell Conference at the Vatican in April, believes these new treatments could offer great hope for those suffering from MS.
"We're hoping that stem cells turn on resident stem cells in the brain and can stimulate repair damage in multiple sclerosis patients," Sadiq told Science World Report.
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Mother diagnosed with MS and facing life in a wheelchair is cured - after she discovered her symptoms were due to a TICK BITE


Julia Marshall-Wessendorf, 37, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2010
An MRI scan showed lesions on her brain and spinal cord consistent with MS
Was on expensive drug regime and thought she faced future in a wheelchair
Developed other symptoms inconsistent with MS so did some research
Went to doctor and asked for test for tick-borne Lyme disease
It came back positive so she was treated with a simple course of antibiotics
A mother-of-three who spent two years being treated for multiple sclerosis has been cured with a simple course of antibiotics – after it was revealed that her symptoms were actually caused by a tick bite.

Julia Marshall-Wessendorf, 37, was facing life in a wheelchair after being mistakenly diagnosed with MS, a condition which attacks the central nervous system.

But when her symptoms deteriorated, she carried out her own research and discovered she may have been infected with Lyme disease following a bite from a parasitic tick.

Now, after years of expensive drug therapy and injections for MS, a simple course of antibiotics has cleared all of her symptoms.

Mrs Marshall-Wessendorf's troubles first started in 2010 after she went to her GP complaining of a numb finger two months after the birth of her daughter, Peggy.

She initially thought she had trapped a nerve carrying newborn Peggy around, but when she was sent to a neurologist she began to worry.

An extensive MRI revealed lesions on her brain and spinal cord, consistent with MS.
‘Initially, I was really glad of the diagnosis because MS was a well-recognised illness and a lot of money had been put into researching it and providing medication,’ Ms Marshall-Wessendorf, from from Bath, Somerset.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2343062/Mother-diagnosed-MS-facing-life-wheelchair-cured--discovered-symptoms-TICK-BITE.html#ixzz2WVhjHhzo
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