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Saturday, December 21, 2013

How YOU Can Learn to Relax ---(Some call this technique, Self-Hypnosis)

Stuart has been doing a similar (Meditation/Self-Hypnosis) technique for years, to help control PAIN. It has worked for him and thousands of others, but you must know and work-within your inner core

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How YOU Can Learn to Relax

There are a number of exercises that you can do to relax. These exercises include breathing, muscle and mind relaxation, and relaxation to music. Three that you can try are listed below.
First, be sure that you have:
  1. A quiet location that is free of distractions
  2. A comfortable body position; sit or recline on a chair or sofa.
  3. A good state of mind.; try to block out worries and distracting thoughts.

Two-minute relaxation: Switch your thoughts to yourself and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly. Mentally scan your body. Notice areas that feel tense or cramped. Loosen up these areas. Let go of as much tension as you can. Rotate your head in a smooth, circular motion once or twice. (Stop any movements that cause pain.) Roll your shoulders forward and backward several times. Let all of your muscles completely relax. Recall a pleasant thought for a few seconds. Take another deep breath and exhale slowly.

Mind relaxation: Close your eyes. Breathe normally through your nose. As you exhale, silently say to yourself the word "one," a short word such as "peaceful," or a short phrase such as "I feel quiet." Continue for 10 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently remind yourself to think about your breathing and your chosen word or phrase. Let your breathing become slow and steady.

Deep-breathing relaxation: Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot and fill your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow breath out, you should feel more relaxed.

source for the above information is found here

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Directory for Stem Cell Resources and Information



Learn more about Stem Cell Therapy

Click: http://www.stemcelldirectory.com/







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4 part series on evolving role of stem cell therapy in American medicine.

Reported by Chelsea Henderson, named University Press editor at Lamar University in 2012, where her work has earned Excellence in Media awards. Chelsea has done a remarkable job of investigative reporting over the the past year on stem cell therapy. Interviews covered all stakeholders, including patients like PFSC members Claire Hooper and SammyJo Wilkinson, to explore the controversy that has arisen following the FDA’s determination that patients cannot utilize their own stem cells in the U.S., forcing them to resort to medical tourism abroad. Chelsea also tracked down regulators, doctors and scientific experts, to examine the scientific facts, and the restrictive regulations that no-option patients see as a death sentence.
The different types of stem cells are explained in clear language and illuminating graphics, starting with embryonic and man-made engineered induced pluripotent stem cells, which haven’t even entered human trials yet. Then autologous adult stem cells are examined, which have been in use for many years. The patient interviews she conducted reveal recoveries from conditions like multiples sclerosis and cerebral palsy, with positive results these patients had never been able to obtain with traditional medicine.
These reports represent the balanced reporting that Patients For Stem Cells has found to be lacking in much of the press stories on stem cells. This series stands as a comprehensive primer for anyone who needs to come up to speed on this important topic.


To Read more click:  

Patients for Stem Cells


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Friday, December 20, 2013

Understanding the Different Types of Multiple Sclerosis

In some ways, each person with multiple sclerosis lives with a different illness. Although nerve damage is always involved, the pattern is unique for each individual with MS.
Specific experiences with MS may vary widely, but doctors and researchers have identified several major types of MS. The categories are important because they help predict disease severity and response to treatment.

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

In primary progressive multiple sclerosis, symptoms continually worsen from the time of diagnosis. There are no well-defined attacks, and there is little or no recovery. Between 10% and 15% of people with MS have primary progressive MS.
Several aspects of primary progressive MS distinguish it from other types of MS:
  • People with primary progressive MS are usually older at the time of diagnosis -- an average age of 40. 
  • Roughly equal numbers of men and women develop primary progressive MS. In other types of MS, women outnumber men three to one. 
  • Primary progressive MS usually leads to disability earlier than relapsing-remitting MS (see below). 
  • Perhaps the most upsetting difference in primary progressive MS is its poor response to treatment. So far, no treatments have been shown to help, although studies are ongoing.

Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Most people with multiple sclerosis -- around 90% -- have the relapsing-remitting type. Most people with this type of MS first experience symptoms in their early 20s. After that, there are periodic attacks (relapses), followed by partial or complete recovery (remissions).
The pattern of nerves affected, severity of attacks, degree of recovery, and time between relapses all vary widely from person to person.
Eventually, most people with relapsing-remitting MS will enter a secondary progressive phase of MS.

Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

After living with relapsing-remitting MS for many years, most people will develop secondary progressive MS. In this type of MS, symptoms begin a steady march, without relapses or remissions. (In this way, secondary progressive MS is like primary progressive MS.) The transition typically occurs between 10 and 20 years after the diagnosis of relapsing-remitting MS.
It's unclear why the disease makes the transformation from relapsing-remitting to secondary progressive MS. A few things are known about the process:
  • The older a person is at original diagnosis, the shorter the time for the disease to become secondary progressive. 
  • People with incomplete recovery from initial relapses generally convert to secondary progressive MS sooner than those who recover completely. 
  • The process of ongoing nerve damage changes. After the transformation, there's less inflammation, and more slow degeneration of nerves.
Secondary progressive MS is challenging to treat -- and to live with. Treatments are moderately effective at best. Progression occurs at a different rate in each person and generally leads to some disability.

Progressive Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

Progressive relapsing multiple sclerosis is the least common form of the disease. Relapses or attacks occur periodically. However, symptoms continue and are progressive between relapses.
Progressive relapsing MS is rare enough that little is known about it. Probably around 5% of people with multiple sclerosis have this form. Progressive relapsing MS seems similar to primary progressive MS in many ways.


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Future of Management of Multiple Sclerosis in the Middle East:

Future of Management of Multiple Sclerosis in the Middle East: A Consensus View from Specialists in Ten Countries

Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 952321, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/952321

Abstract

The prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) is now considered to be medium-to-high in the Middle East and is rising, particularly among women. While the characteristics of the disease and the response of patients to disease-modifying therapies are generally comparable between the Middle East and other areas, significant barriers to achieving optimal care for MS exist in these developing nations. A group of physicians involved in the management of MS in ten Middle Eastern countries met to consider the future of MS care in the region, using a structured process to reach a consensus. Six key priorities were identified: early diagnosis and management of MS, the provision of multidisciplinary MS centres, patient engagement and better communication with stakeholders, regulatory body education and reimbursement, a commitment to research, and more therapy options with better benefit-to-risk ratios. The experts distilled these priorities into a single vision statement: “Optimization of patient-centred multidisciplinary strategies to improve the quality of life of people with MS.” These core principles will contribute to the development of a broader consensus on the future of care for MS in the Middle East.

1. Introduction

MS commonly appears in young adults and requires lifelong management, with significant potential for disability among people of working age. Indeed, the World Health Organisation and Multiple Sclerosis International Federation have estimated that about 60% of patients with MS will no longer have full ambulatory function twenty years following diagnosis of the disease [1]. There is a clear need to optimise the care of MS. A group of European experts in MS care recently used a structured process of information sharing and consensus building to define a new vision for optimal MS care in the 21st century [2]. As therapeutic practices and cultural influences vary between regions, it is important that such initiatives be conducted in other parts of the world where MS has a major impact on public health. Accordingly, a group of physicians involved in the care of MS patients from ten Middle Eastern countries recently considered the current and future management of MS within this region.

2. Methods

The methodology used previously by a European expert group was adapted for use here [3]. The expert group are all coauthors of this paper and drawn from a panel of experts convened for this purpose (on the basis academic and research history in the field of MS and representation of countries across the Middle East and North Africa) at a closed meeting; additionally, KE acted as Chair and PR (who led the European expert group) acted as Moderator. All suggestions for items of interest were contributed by the Middle-Eastern experts.
Firstly, a list of perceived needs in MS care in the Middle East was generated by participants, in terms of how care for MS might develop in the future, what barriers might prevent the achievement of optimum standards of care, and what factors might drive the change required. Following discussion, this initial list was condensed into a series of principles, which were displayed in view of the group. These items were narrowed down using a voting system in which each participant had five votes which could be allocated in any combination among the principles identified above (e.g., each participant could distribute the votes singly among five different items or, alternatively, up to all five votes could be given to a single item that the individual expert considered to be of major importance). Voting was open and the six principles with the highest total of votes were selected. Participants discussed these further and generated a consensus statement encapsulating their vision for future MS care in the region.

3. Overview of the Epidemiology of Multiple Sclerosis in the Middle East

Limited epidemiological data are available from the Middle Eastern countries regarding the prevalence, incidence or natural history (including prognosis and economic impact) of MS, or with regard to the increasing expanding cost of managing the condition. Based on the Kurtzke classification, the Middle East is located in a low-risk zone for MS; however, recent studies suggest a moderate-to-high prevalence in areas within the region (31–55 MS per 100,000 individuals), with an increase in incidence and prevalence in recent years, especially among women [138]. Thus, the countries of the Middle East bear a considerable burden of MS. Reliable epidemiological data will be needed for healthcare planning in particular.
Click here to continue reading AND to see the Footnotes and Article Writers
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EU postpones decision on Teva MS pill

December 20, 2013
LONDON (Reuters) - European regulators on Friday recommended approval of an innovative tuberculosis drug from Johnson & Johnson but postponed a keenly awaited decision on a new multiple sclerosis pill from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.
The European Medicine Agency (EMA) said J&J's Sirturo, which was approved in the United States last December, had been endorsed as a treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
The EMA had also been expected to decide this week on Teva's laquinimod, which the Israeli company is developing for multiple sclerosis with Swedish partner Active Biotech - but, in the event, this verdict was put off.
Active Biotech said it now expected the decision to come in January.
An EMA spokeswoman declined to give further details on the product but said the agency's experts could decide to postpone adoption of an opinion if deemed necessary, even when a drug was slated for a decision at a particular meeting.
Prospects for laquinimod are viewed by analysts as uncertain, since the drug missed its main goal in a late-stage trial in 2011 and U.S. regulators have asked for another Phase III study before considering it.
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Genzyme’s Lemtrada™ Approved in Australia for Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Dec 19, 2013
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Genzyme, a Sanofi company (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY), announced today that the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis for patients with active disease defined by clinical or imaging features to slow the accumulation of physical disability and reduce the frequency of clinical relapses.
“Multiple Sclerosis is a highly complex and often devastating disease that can lead to significant disability in patients, despite availability of standard therapies,” said Associate Professor John King, Senior Neurologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital. “Lemtrada represents a significant advance in the way physicians and patients can think about treating multiple sclerosis. The efficacy data supporting Lemtrada highlight its strong potential to impact disease progression in patients with relapsing forms of MS.”
Lemtrada is supported by a comprehensive and extensive clinical development program that involved nearly 1,500 patients and 5,400 patient-years of follow-up. Approval in Australia follows the recent approval of Lemtrada in Canada and the European Union. Marketing applications for Lemtrada are also under review in other countries.
More than 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS, including approximately 20,000 people in Australia.
Lemtrada 12 mg has a novel dosing and administration schedule of two annual treatment courses. The first treatment course of Lemtrada is administered via intravenous infusion on five consecutive days, and the second course is administered on three consecutive days, 12 months later.
“The approval of Lemtrada in Australia reinforces the significance of this treatment and is an important milestone in Genzyme’s commitment to bring this potentially transformative therapy to patients globally,” said David Meeker, President and CEO, Genzyme. “We’re very pleased with the TGA’s approval and look forward to working with the reimbursement authorities to make Lemtrada available to patients in Australia.”
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Treating Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

Living with multiple sclerosis means living with uncertainty. The course of the disease is very difficult for doctors to predict. Some people live with MS for years without suffering serious symptoms. Others may rapidly become disabled. Why the course of the disease varies so widely remains unclear. One thing is certain. Most people with MS experience periodic relapses, also called flare-ups or attacks. These can be mild or severe. They may show up in many different ways. Symptoms can include:
  • Muscle weakness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Balance problems
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
“Between 85% and 95% of MS patients begin with what we call remitting/relapsing MS,” says Anne Cross, MD, professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine. During that phase of the disease, the pattern of relapses varies widely among patients. Some people have frequent relapses. Others have very few. The average is typically one to two attacks a year, according to Cross.  
Doctors can help MS patients live as active and normal a life as possible by treating acute relapses as soon as they occur. Yet there are instances when doctors may recommend not treating a relapse.

Long-term and Short-term Treatment Strategies

Doctors follow two basic strategies in treating multiple sclerosis. To slow the long-term progression of the disease and reduce the frequency of flares, doctors prescribe “disease-modifying” agents. Doctors have many options to choose from, including interferon (Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia, and Rebif ), glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), teriflunomide (Aubagio), fingolimod (Gilenya), dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), and natalizumab (Tysabri).
Research shows that these disease-modifying drugs can decrease the rate of relapses by about 30%. They also lessen the severity of relapses. Not all forms of MS respond to these drugs, however. And even when the drugs work, they do not offer a cure. Most people continue to experience periodic relapses.  
When acute attacks occur, doctors can suppress the underlying autoimmune damage, which is at the heart of MS, with the use of corticosteroids. Studies have shown that corticosteroid treatments significantly reduce the severity and shorten the duration of relapses for most patients. A typical dose is between 500 and 1,000 milligrams of intravenous methylprednisolone, which is gradually reduced over several weeks.
“But there is no clear-cut best way to administer corticosteroids, so doctors usually go on the basis of their own clinical experience with the disease,” says Ben W. Thrower, MD, medical director of the Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis Institute at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

To Treat or Not to Treat

Even when they are untreated, however, acute relapses of MS typically resolve on their own over a matter of days or weeks. For that reason, and because corticosteroids are powerful drugs with some unwanted side effects, doctors may recommend using them only for relapses that significantly affect a patient’s function. Adverse side effects of corticosteroids can include fluid retention, weight gain, elevated blood pressure, and mood swings.
“If a patient comes in with a little bit of numbness in one foot, I may recommend just waiting it out,” Thrower tells WebMD.  “But if a patient comes in with significant problems walking, for example, I’ll recommend corticosteroids.”
One of the most common forms that MS relapses take is optic neuritis, cause by temporary inflammation of the optic nerve. Symptoms include blurred vision and eye pain. Like so many other features of the disease, the severity of optic neuritis varies widely among patients. “If a patient has only mild vision problems, we may decide to watch and wait without treating the relapse,” says Cross. “But if vision is significantly affected or there’s pain, then we’ll usually recommend treatment.”  
In addition to immune-suppressing corticosteroids, which suppress the underlying disease process in MS, a variety of drugs can be used to treat specific symptoms of relapses. These include antidepressants to treat depression, erectile dysfunction drugs to ease sexual problems associated with MS, and a new drug called dalfampridine (Ampyra), which has been shown to help improve walking in some patients.


Quality of Life   -- click to continue reading 

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

EU agency due to give verdict on Teva (ORAL) MS pill this week

December 17, 2013
(Reuters) - European regulators are due to decide this week whether or not to recommend approval of a new multiple sclerosis pill from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, according to a document published on Tuesday.
The European Medicines Agency, which has started publishing agendas for its scientific meetings, listed Teva's laquinimod among new medicines to be considered at the December 16-19 meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

Decisions from the monthly meetings of the CHMP are normally made public on the following Friday, which would be December 20.
Israel's Teva has been developing laquinimod with Swedish partner Active Biotech but the drug missed its main goal in a late-stage trial in 2011 and U.S. regulators have asked for another Phase III study before considering it.
Despite that setback, Teva is still hoping to launch the drug in Europe in 2014. A green light from the CHMP this week would set it up for that, since recommendations are normally formally endorsed by the European Commission within a couple of months.
If it makes it, laquinimod will be entering an increasingly crowded marketplace, with rival oral treatments for multiple sclerosis already approved for companies such as Novartis, Biogen Idec and Sanofi.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman) - 
source: uk.reuter.com 
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5 Ways To De-Stress During The Holidays

Dec 16, 2013 - by Michelle

A recent survey of more than 14,000 people by TripAdvisor revealed that about 40% of people will travel during the holidays?
People are driving, flying and making plans for family from out of town to join. This means added stress for many of us on many different levels.
There is much we can do to make sure this holiday season is pleasurable and peaceful, regardless of what we are doing this holiday season.
5 Tips On How To Reduce Stress Throughout Your Holiday Season
1. Practice Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness
AKA non-judgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment. According to a recent study published in Health Psychology, Mindfulness Meditation literally lowers the stress hormone, it helps us process our emotions in a more healthy way, and it helps us feel more compassionate towards others. All these come in healthy when you are driving in heavy holiday traffic or in case someone steals your parking spot at the mall. Tai chi and Qigong are other forms of mindful movement practices with loads of benefits.

What causes the MOST Holiday Stress?

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