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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Multiple Sclerosis and Deep Brain Stimulation

Deep brain stimulation (or DBS) is a variation of an old surgery that may be used to treat tremors in people with conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, and essential tremor. In the 1960s, surgery was used to destroy a small area deep in the brain called the thalamus (thalamotomy) or another part of the brain called the globus pallidus (pallidotomy).

These surgeries are still done today, although less frequently because of the availability of deep brain stimulation. These surgeries carry significant risks: both thalamotomy and pallidotomy require purposeful destruction of the brain. If the surgeon is off by even a fraction of an inch, the surgery may not be effective and severe complications such as paralysis, loss of vision, or loss of speech can result.

Deep brain stimulation is a way to inactivate parts of the brain without purposefully destroying the brain. Therefore, the risks are much lower. In deep brain stimulation, the tip of an electrode is placed in the thalamus (for tremor and multiple sclerosis) or in the globus pallidus or subthalamic nucleus (for Parkinson's disease).

BrainStimulation

The electrode for deep brain stimulation is left in the brain. It is connected by a wire to a pacemaker-like device that is implanted under the skin over the chest. The device generates electrical shocks.

What Are the Advantages of Deep Brain Stimulation?

Deep brain stimulation offers many advantages. The electrical stimulation is adjustable, whereas surgical destruction is not. The electrode has four metal contacts that can be used in many different combinations. Even if one electrode contact is not in the exact location, it is likely that one of the others or some combination of the electrical contacts will be closer to the proper target. As the patient's response to surgery changes over time, the stimulation can be adjusted without requiring a repeat operation.
Another significant advantage of deep brain stimulation relates to future treatments. Destructive surgery, such as thalamotomy or pallidotomy, may reduce the patient's potential to benefit from future therapies. With deep brain stimulation, the stimulator could be turned off if other therapies were to be tried.

How Does Deep Brain Stimulation Help Multiple Sclerosis?

The main purpose of deep brain stimulation for people with multiple sclerosis is to control the tremor related to the disease. In the case of multiple sclerosis, other problems such as loss of vision, sensation, or strength are not helped by deep brain stimulation.

Can Deep Brain Stimulation Cure Multiple Sclerosis?

READ MORE, CLICK HERE

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Look Good and Feel Good With MS


Secrets to Staying Stylish










Having MS doesn’t mean giving up nail polish and cute hairdos. 

Get the secrets to staying stylish -- including a special tip just for high heels.


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FDA likely to delay decision on Genzyme MS drug

(THIS IS NOT RIGHT -- I KNOW TOO MANY MS PATIENTS THAT HAVE BEEN WAITING ON THIS MEDICATION BEING APPROVED -- Stu S)


By Robert Weisman |  GLOBE STAFF     NOVEMBER 16, 2013


Lemtrada was once seen as key to the future of Genzyme.

An inconclusive series of votes by a medical advisory panel could prompt US regulators to delay deliberations and demand further work from Genzyme before deciding whether to approve the Cambridge biotech’s multiple sclerosis drug, Lemtrada, once seen as key to its future.
That was the view of some analysts briefing investors late this week after an all-day meeting of a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee Wednesday left many in the biomedical field scratching their heads. The panel concluded that the drug worked, but posed risks ranging from rashes and bleeding to thyroid cancer. At the same time, it concluded that Genzyme’s clinical trials were not adequate.
“More likely than not, I would bet the FDA would want to see more details from Genzyme on safety precautions,” said pharmaceutical analyst Seamus Fernandez, managing director at Boston health care investment bank Leerink Swann. “We’ve seen instances when the FDA delays approval of a product until a company presents a risk evaluation and mitigation strategy.”
In a research report titled “Yes Probably Means No for Lemtrada,” analyst Jeffrey Holford at the securities firm Jefferies LLC in New York, wrote that the panel’s “gut feeling” was that the MS drug helps patients despite safety concerns. But he warned that findings of clinical study design flaws reduced the probability of approval to 20 to 30 percent. Even if the FDA signs off on Lemtrada, he said, it will probably restrict use to patients who have tried other medicines.

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Testosterone Halts Gray Matter Atrophy in MS

Nov 15, 2013  - By Cole Petrochko, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

SAN DIEGO -- Testosterone treatment was associated with reversal of gray matter atrophy in a population of men with multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers reported here.
In a small pilot study of male multiple sclerosis patients, treatment with 100 mg of testosterone was associated with diminished atrophy of gray matter over a 6-month window and reversal to pre-study levels with significant increase in the right middle frontal gyrus after 12 months of therapy, according to Florian Kurth, MD, of the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues.
However, there was no association with lesion volume or newly occurring lesions with testosterone treatment, Kurth said during an oral presentation at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.
Kurth also acknowledged the risks of myocardial infarction associated with testosterone therapy, but noted that treatment should be delivered on a patient-by-patient basis that should not overshadow the need for further randomized, controlled trials with larger populations to study this association, adding that the differences from therapy were "not merely cosmetic."
Kurth and his colleagues conducted a pilot clinical trial to study the effect of testosterone on cerebral gray matter in 10 men with relapsing-remitting MS, having noted that gray matter atrophy "correlates better with disability than [white matter] lesions do" in multiple sclerosis.
They also noted that past research has shown that testosterone has neuroprotective properties in men.
Current MS treatments predominantly affect relapse and white matter lesions.
Participants were 29 to 61 and had not received disease-modifying treatment. Over the 18 months of the study, they underwent voxel-based morphometry in MRI scans at baseline, month 6, month 12, and month 18 to measure changes in gray matter volume.
During the initial 6 months, there was an observation phase during which participants received no treatment. Over the next 6 months, they underwent a "wash-in" period where they were observed for efficacy of treatment. The final 6 months was the "treatment phase" during which it was expected that the full effects of testosterone treatment would be visible on brain scans.
Over the observation period, there was a significant widespread decrease in gray matter. This loss was strongly tempered during the wash-in period, and gray matter volume had returned to baseline levels after 12 months of treatment.
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Mouse studies reveal promising vitamin D-based treatment for MS

November 16, 2013
A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is a hard lot. Patients typically get the diagnosis around age 30 after experiencing a series of neurological problems such as blurry vision, wobbly gait or a numb foot. From there, this neurodegenerative disease follows an unforgiving course.
Many people with MS start using some kind of mobility aid — cane, walker, scooter or wheelchair — by 45 or 50, and those with the most severe cases are typically bed-bound by 60. The medications that are currently available don’t do much to slow the relentless march of the disease.
In search of a better option for MS patients, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemists has discovered a promising vitamin D-based treatment that can halt — and even reverse — the course of the disease in a mouse model of MS. The treatment involves giving mice that exhibit MS symptoms a single dose of calcitriol, the active hormone form of vitamin D, followed by ongoing vitamin D supplements through the diet. The protocol is described in a scientific article that was published online in August in the Journal of Neuroimmunology.
“All of the animals just got better and better, and the longer we watched them, the more neurological function they regained,” says biochemistry professor Colleen Hayes, who led the study.
MS afflicts around 400,000 people nationwide, with 200 new cases diagnosed each week. Early on, this debilitating autoimmune disease, in which the immune system attacks the myelin coating that protects the brain’s nerve cells, causes symptoms including weakness, loss of dexterity and balance, disturbances to vision, and difficulty thinking and remembering. As it progresses, people can lose the ability to walk, sit, see, eat, speak and think clearly.
Current FDA-approved treatments only work for some MS patients and, even among them, the benefits are modest. “And in the long term they don’t halt the disease process that relentlessly eats away at the neurons,” Hayes adds. “So there’s an unmet need for better treatments.”
While scientists don’t fully understand what triggers MS, some studies have linked low levels of vitamin D with a higher risk of developing the disease. Hayes has been studying this “vitamin D hypothesis” for the past 25 years with the long-term goal of uncovering novel preventive measures and treatments. Over the years, she and her researchers have revealed some of the molecular mechanisms involved in vitamin D’s protective actions, and also explained how vitamin D interactions with estrogen may influence MS disease risk and progression in women.
In the current study, which was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Hayes’ team compared various vitamin D-based treatments to standard MS drugs. In each case, vitamin D-based treatments won out. Mice that received them showed fewer physical symptoms and cellular signs of disease.
First, Hayes’ team compared the effectiveness of a single dose of calcitriol to that of a comparable dose of a glucocorticoid, a drug now administered to MS patients who experience a bad neurological episode. Calcitriol came out ahead, inducing a nine-day remission in 92 percent of mice on average, versus a six-day remission in 58 percent for mice that received glucocorticoid.
“So, at least in the animal model, calcitriol is more effective than what’s being used in the clinic right now,” says Hayes.
Next, Hayes’ team tried a weekly dose of calcitriol. They found that a weekly dose reversed the disease and sustained remission indefinitely.
But calcitriol can carry some strong side effects — it’s a “biological sledgehammer” that can raise blood calcium levels in people, Hayes says — so she tried a third regimen: a single dose of calcitriol, followed by ongoing vitamin D supplements in the diet. This one-two punch “was a runaway success,” she says. “One hundred percent of mice responded.”

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Friday, November 15, 2013

New data show Novartis' Gilenya® reduced brain volume loss by one third and confirm brain volume loss link with disability in MS patients

October 04, 2013

  • New four-year data showed that continued Gilenya treatment reduced brain volume loss by one third when compared to delaying Gilenya by two years.
  • MS patients with higher rates of brain volume loss were more likely to experience disease progression.
  • Patients who remained free of disease had consistently lower rates of brain volume loss compared to patients who experienced disease activity.
The digital press release with multimedia content can be accessed here:
Basel, October 4, 2013 Novartis announced today new data indicating that continued treatment with Gilenya® (fingolimod) led to a reduction in brain volume loss in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), and was associated with a higher proportion of patients remaining free of disability progression [1],[2]. These data were presented at the ongoing 29th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Brain volume loss is emerging as one of the best indicators of disability progression over the long-term in MS, and is a topic of much interest within the MS medical community[3]. Increasingly, research focus is on treatments that will reduce the rate of brain volume loss. Gilenya is the only oral treatment for MS that has shown early and consistent slowing of brain volume loss, and the new data presented at ECTRIMS add to the growing evidence base of Gilenya's efficacy in MS and reinforce the correlation between brain volume loss and disability progression over the long-term[1].
"The data presented today are very encouraging because they are from studies that took place over four years and show that Gilenya both reduces brain volume loss and slows the pace of disability progression for patients with MS," said Dr. Timothy Wright, Global Head Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "These are key treatment goals for patients with this chronic and debilitating illness."
Key findings
  • Collective four-year results from the pivotal FREEDOMS and FREEDOMS extension studies showed that patients who were treated continuously with Gilenya 0.5 mg experienced up to one-third less brain volume loss than patients who switched to Gilenya after receiving placebo for two years. Thus, delay in starting treatment with Gilenya by two years was associated with more brain volume loss[2].
  • Overall, patients who remained free of disease had consistently lower rates of brain volume loss compared to patients who experienced disease activity and MS progression. However, the benefit of Gilenya on brain volume loss was seen irrespective of whether patients were disease-free or had active disease[2]. (Disease activity was evaluated by assessing measures that give a broad evaluation of MS: disability progression, relapses and new brain lesions detected on magnetic resonance imaging scans.)
  • A separate analysis of three key studies (FREEDOMS, FREEDOMS II and TRANFORMS) showed a correlation between disability progression and increased brain volume loss, and this correlation increased over time[1].
  • Higher baseline MRI lesion volume and baseline active lesions both predicted subsequent loss of brain volume during the studies but patients treated with Gilenya had less brain volume loss than those treated with placebo or IFN beta 1a IM, irrespective of baseline lesion volume and count[4].
  • MS patients with higher brain volume loss were more likely to experience disability progression[1].
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

NASCAR's Trevor Bayne says he has multiple sclerosis

November 13, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Determined to learn exactly what caused his mystery illness in 2011, Trevor Bayne made repeated visits to the Mayo Clinic over the last two years, asking questions about his health and medical history.

The youngest winner in Daytona 500 history wasn't sick and he wasn't suffering from any of the symptoms - nausea, fatigue, double vision and numbness in his arm - that had sidelined Bayne for five races in 2011.

He just wanted an answer.

Bayne finally got it in June when doctors confirmed that the 22-year-old Bayne has multiple sclerosis, a diagnosis he revealed publicly Tuesday.

"I think MS takes time to diagnose and, as a doctor, you don't want to jump right in and give a diagnosis to somebody," Bayne said. "I think a smart doctor is going to continue to do things. Obviously, it's a different kind of condition than something where you can just see it immediately, so over time they just evaluate you and the doctors just run a bunch of different tests."

Bayne, who was 20 when he won the Daytona 500 two seasons ago, will compete as scheduled at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series finales. He will also run a full Nationwide schedule next season for Roush Fenway Racing and a partial Cup schedule for The Wood Brothers.

Bayne's younger sister, Sarah, also has MS, but he said the disease wasn't something doctors were particularly looking for when he was hospitalized in 2011.

"MS is not a hereditary or family kind of condition, so it's something that is an individual basis," he said. "They don't connect them at all because it's not a family kind of thing."

Bayne first felt numbness in his arm during a race at Texas in 2011, six weeks after his Daytona 500 victory. At the time, he assumed it was related to an insect bite on his elbow that had become irritated and developed a rash.

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BRAVO !!!!!! --- FDA panel supports approval of Sanofi's MS drug Lemtrada


BRAVO says Stuart for the recommendation that this medication gets approved as many patients who have failed with the use of other medications, this medicine Might be beneficial for them. Who knows right?! -- And Boo otherwise too as this med has been on the market already for quite some time, under the name of Campath. 


By Deborah Zabarenko
SILVER SPRING, Nov 13 (Reuters) - A federal advisory panel recommended approval of Sanofi SA's experimental multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada on Wednesday, but said the drug should be reserved for patients who have failed other therapies.
In a surprise decision, an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration voted 14 to 0 that the drug should be approved despite its potential to cause cancer and other serious conditions.
"Do I want to take this drug? No way!" said Dr. Nathan Fountain of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the panel's chairperson. But for some patients, he said, it could be appropriate. "I wouldn't want to deny those people," he said.
The panel's recommendation follows an initial report last week by reviewers for the FDA, who raised grave concerns about the drug's potential to cause an array of autoimmune conditions,in which the body mistakenly attacks its own cells, as well as its potential to cause thyroid, skin and breast cancer.
Advisory panelists, who met in Silver Spring, Maryland, said the risks could be worth it for some difficult-to-treat patients.
"The risks are very substantial, but this is a really bad disease," said Dr. Paul Rosenberg of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide and up to 500,000 in the United States, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. It can cause muscle weakness, pain, and speech and cognitive difficulties.
Lemtrada is designed to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease, in which flare-ups are followed by periods of recovery.
The drug, which was approved in Europe in September, was at the heart of Sanofi's lengthy, $20.1 billion takeover battle for Genzyme Corp., which developed the drug. Sanofi finally acquired Genzyme in 2011.
The FDA is not bound to follow the advice of its advisory committees but typically does so.
Two late-stage clinical trials showed that patients taking Lemtrada were significantly less likely to experience a relapse over the course of two years than patients taking Rebif, a standard therapy made by EMD Serono, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA and Pfizer Inc.
But patients and investigators knew which treatment they were getting, raising questions as to whether the results could have been biased. Sanofi argued that it was difficult to disguise who was taking which treatment given the differences in how they are dosed.
Lemtrada is a monoclonal antibody that is thought to selectively deplete T and B cells, while sparing other infection-fighting elements of the immune system. It is given intravenously for five days and then for three days a year later.
If the drug wins approval it would likely compete most closely with Biogen Idec Inc's Tysabri, which is one of the most effective drugs for multiple sclerosis on the market but can cause a potentially fatal brain infection known as PML.
That risk has limited Tysabri's usage to patients who have failed other treatments -- a group which Lemtrada, if approved,would also target.
Most MS drugs are either injected or infused. The market is increasingly moving toward oral treatments, of which Biogen's recently launched Tecfidera is expected to be the market leader,with peak annual sales of more than $3 billion.
Oral drugs are expected to eventually take market share from injectibles, which also include Teva Pharmaceutical's Copaxone.
(Reporting by Deborah Zabarenko in Silver Spring, Maryland;writing by Toni Clarke; Editing by Leslie Adler)
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance


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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Increased number of Britons having multiple sclerosis reported

By Martin Gibbons,

(TeleManagement) A new study at the University of Dundee discovered that the number of people being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in the UK is falling but the population of those living with the disease is growing as patients are living longer.
Dr Isla Mackenzie, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Medicines Monitoring Unit (MEMO) at the University of Dundee, led the study. She said: “Our research covers four million patients from a representative sample of GP practices spread throughout the UK. This study provides an up to date national picture of the epidemiology of MS in the UK”.
Dr Jonathan O’Riordan, Consultant Neurologist at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, said: “There are probably genetic and environmental factors at play to explain why it is more common in Scotland”. The vast majority of newly diagnosed patients will have the relapsing remitting form of the disease and will be eligible for consideration of disease modifying therapies”.
Mr David Pullar, who was diagnosed with MS when he was 20 years old, is a member of the MS Therapy Centre Tayside in Dundee. His diagnosis coincided with the opening of the Tayside Centre and in fact Mr Pullar was the first person to use the Centre in 1982. He has been attending there at least once a week ever since. “I would be lost without the Centre”, said Mr Pullar. “I use oxygen treatment and physiotherapy and feel that both benefit me enormously. I find that if I go away on holiday and don’t go to the Centre for a week or more I begin to feel lethargic, but once I have oxygen treatment I pick up. I also can’t speak too highly of the benefits of physiotherapy. Not only does it help me physically but it also has mood enhancing effects”.
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Veterans and Multiple Sclerosis - an MS Patient's story

Published Nov 11, 2013

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh year…” the simple elegance of the phrasing brings one back to the time when the end of a war was marked by an Armistice.  Back to a time so naive as to name what we now know as a prequel “The war to end all wars”.  But today, call it Veteran’s Day or Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, we stop to honor those who have served their countries in time of war and in time of peace.
Unfortunately, many of the ranks of our veterans are also members of our ranks; people living with multiple sclerosis.
There have been some studies showing veterans at higher risk for MS than the general population.  Some legislation has been written to address, but MS in vets isn’t a very sexy topic… so it has always died in the process.
I am a veteran living with MS.  Though I exhibited symptoms of the disease during my service and within the few years directly after – symptoms that my MS team confirms were indeed symptoms of the disease – I was diagnosed too long after my service to avail myself of very good medical care at a VA MS Center of Excellence.
One of the components of MS appears to be an environmental factor which has yet to be identified.  It appears that service in the military – the US military at least – may expose more people to that (or, perhaps, “those”) factors.
This Veteran’s Day is different for me than those in the past; far from the shores of lakes, seas and oceans I once sailed on US Coast Guard ships, I look at my time as a serviceman and of the battle with my disease differently.  But I still remember those who have gone before us – in service and in MS.
If there is a way to make a connection between “environmental triggers” and military service, we’d all benefit from knowing.
Today, I wish everyone a moment to reflect, a moment of peace and of sorrow and a moment of hope.  But remember: Hope without a plan is just a dream.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
Cheers
Trevis




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Monday, November 11, 2013

Clinic speak: headache in MS

Headache in MS: is it a bigger problem than expected? 
#MSBlog #MSResearch #ClinicSpeak

"In this study more than half of MSers reported headache. Wow! This is a much higher self-reported prevalence of headache than I would have expected from my own clinical experience. What is your experience?"

"In the introduction the investigators suggest that headache may be due to inflammation, in particular B cell follicles, in the meninges (membranes covering the brain) of MSers. Why? Interestingly, the actual brain substance is devoid of pain fibres or pain receptors. The pain sensitive structures in the brain that cause headache or the blood vessels (arteries, veins and venous sinuses), meninges (membranous coverings of the brain), cranial nerves, paranasal air sinuses, skull and scalp. These investigators suggest that inflammation in the meninges and around blood vessels is causing headaches in MSers. However, they provide no evidence that this is the case. If this was the case then treatment with anti-inflammatory agents to reduce inflammation should reduce headaches. This data may be available in trial databases, but as it hasn't been collected systematically it won't be very useful."


"The MS inflammation-headache hypothesis may be a subject to study in more detail using questionnaires given pre and post DMTs and using MRI and CSF analysis to quantify inflammation and to see if it correlates with headache. if this was  the case then headaches could be another sign of MS disease activity. In other words if you develop headache, or your headaches get worse, this may indicate that your MS is active."

"Migraine in MSers is very common as I have previously commented on. I usually treat migraine in MSers as I would treat it in people without MS. You have to maintain a headache diary to ascertain how frequent and disabling the headaches are. Don't rely on your memories to provide you with the information; you will simply forget and over- or under-report your headache frequency and severity. The treatment strategy for migraine is based on three principles; prophylaxis, abortive and symptomatic treatments. Prophylactic treatments for migraine include drugs such as propanolol (beta-blockers), anti-convulsants (topiramate, valproic acid), anti-depressants (amitriptyline) and calcium channel blockers that reduce the frequency or prevent migraine. Abortive therapies are taken at the onset of the headache to stop the migraine getting worse; licensed abortive therapies are essentially the class of drugs called triptans. Finally, there are symptomatic treatments that are given to treat the pain, nausea and vomiting that are common in migraine sufferers. One of the problem in acute migraine is that migraine also affects the function of the gut with delayed gastric emptying; therefore oral tablets may not work or their effects are unpredictable. If oral drugs don't work we have to use other routes of administration; i.e. intranasal, sublingual (under the tongue), rectal suppositories or even subcutaneous or intramuscular injections. In addition to medication there are large number of lifestyle interventions that have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, one of these includes exercise. More recently botox injections and greater occipital nerve block have been shown to work in some people with chronic migraine. If you have severe intermittent headaches that have not been diagnosed or treated you should speak to your neurologist. Migraine, and other headaches, are another unpleasant MS co-morbidity that may need treating to improve your quality of life. This is why MS needs an holistic approach."





Background: Recent studies on MS pathology mention the involvement of "tertiary B cell follicles" in MS pathogenesis. This inflammatory process, which occurs with interindividually great variance, might be a link between MS pathology and headaches.


Aim: The aim of this study was to detect the prevalence of headaches and of subtypes of headaches (migraine, cluster, tension-type headache [TTH]) in an unselected MS collective and to compile possibly influencing factors. 

Methods: Unselected MSers (n = 180) with and without headache were examined by a semi-structured interview using a questionnaire about headache, depression and the health status. Additionally clinical MS data (expanded disability state score [EDSS], MS course, medication, disease duration) were gathered. 

Results: N = 98 MSers (55.4%) reported headaches in the previous 4 weeks. They subsequently grouped MSers with headache according to the IHS criteria and detected 16 (16.3%) MSers suffering from migraine (migraine with aura: 2 [2%]; migraine without aura: 14 [14.3%]), 23 (23.5%) suffering from TTH and none with a cluster headache. Thus, headaches of 59 (60.2%) MSers remained unclassified. When comparing MSers with and without headaches significant differences in age, gender, MS course, physical functioning, pain and social functioning occurred. MSers with headaches were significantly younger of age (p = 0.001), female (p = 0.001) and reported more often of a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and relapsing/remitting MS (RRMS) instead of secondary chronic progressive MS (SCP). EDSS was significantly lower in MSers suffering from headaches compared to the MSers without headaches (p = 0.001). 

Conclusion: In conclusion headache in MSers is a relevant symptom, especially in early stages of the MS disease. Especially unclassified headache seems to represent an important symptom in MS course and requires increased attention.

"To try and replicate this studies findings I would appreciate it if you could complete this short survey. Thank you."


Click here to see the study AND to view the source of this article


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Could warmer weather hamper brain function in people with MS?

 Nov 7, 2013

By Mary Elizabeth Dallas
HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, Nov. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Warmer temperatures might reduce the ability of people with multiple sclerosis to complete mental tasks and process information, new research suggests.
Although heat has long been linked to a worsening of symptoms among people with the inflammatory disease, it wasn't clear exactly how the process worked. The new study used brain-imaging technology to focus on the areas of the brain affected by rising temperatures, the researchers said.
"We found there is a correlation between outdoor temperature and levels of brain activity," said study principle investigator Victoria Leavitt, a research scientist at the Kessler Foundation in West Orange, N.J. "The amount of activity in people's brains increases when the temperature is warm, and lowers when temperatures are lower."
The researchers suggested that their findings could lead to the development of treatment strategies that may help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) cope with the effects of warmer weather on their quality of life.
The study involved 28 people with MS (26 women and 2 men) who had worse mental function on warmer days.
Using functional MRI, the researchers found that higher temperatures increased activity in certain parts of the brain -- the frontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex -- during simple mental tasks. This increase in brain activity was not seen in a comparison group of people who did not have MS.
"These areas of the brain that we've highlighted are referred to very generally as task-related areas of the brain," Leavitt said. "They are involved in our ability to multitask, or process a lot of information and apply ourselves to the most important task at any given moment." Leavitt said people with MS frequently report having trouble doing just that.

The findings were published online recently in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior,


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Negative News from the FDA for a hopeful MS drug

Sanofi Multiple Sclerosis Drug May Have Too Many Risks (4)
November 08, 2013


Sanofi’s multiple sclerosis treatment Lemtrada may not offer enough benefit to patients to outweigh risks including cancer, U.S. regulators said. Securities linked to the drug’s success plummeted.
Lemtrada’s “serious and potentially fatal safety issues,” which include the risk of autoimmune and thyroid diseases, may make the medicine too dangerous to approve unless there is substantial clinical benefit shown, Food and Drug Administration staff said in a report today. Agency reviewers also questioned whether Sanofi conducted adequate trials to prove the annual infusion works.
“That’s like a death sentence,” said Fabian Wenner, an analyst with Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich, “It isn’t what everyone expected, an issue with the safety. It seems to be a more fundamental issue here.”

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Emerging MS Treatment Therapies, MS Relapse, Adherence, Compliance, Symptom Management, Energy Conservation and Adaptive Devices - Atlanta 2013

MS Views and News – Atlanta 2013
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This program on November 9, 2013, in Atlanta, Ga., was MS Views and News' (MSVN's) First Multiple Sclerosis (MS) education program outside the State of Florida.  167 people attended to see an Occupational Therapist (OT) and an MS Nurse Practitioner, both from The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, to listen and learn-from the educational information provided.

We decided to tape and do a webcast of this program for those that could not attend this program, yet to still have access to the beneficial information that was provided.


The Benefit of Watching this program and others that are archived on our YouTube Channel  ( www.youtube.com/msviewsandnews )  is so that you can watch and learn, at your convenience.

Pause where necessary, rewind or go forward. Review again and share with others. Comment and show others our YouTube channel so that you, Your family, and others, can benefit for this enduring material.

Our appreciation and thanks to those that helped to make these programs available for ALL affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

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