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Saturday, January 11, 2014

A new pathway for neuron repair is discovered

A new pathway for neuron repair is discovered
This image shows a single neuron in a whole animal 5 hours after dendrites were removed with laser surgery (left). The same cell was imaged at 48 hours and 96 hours after the dendrites were removed. At 48 hours (middle) a new dendrite arbor …more


Penn State University molecular biologists have discovered a brand-new pathway for repairing nerve cells that could have implications for faster and improved healing. The researchers describe their findings in a paper titled "Dendrite injury triggers DLK-independent regeneration," which will be published in the 30 January 2014 issue of the journal Cell Reports. These findings demonstrate that dendrites, the component of nerve cells that receive information from the brain, have the capacity to regrow after an injury.

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Mapping reveals 110 multiple sclerosis risk genes


by Anders Malm/else Lie

Mapping reveals 110 multiple sclerosis risk genes



The figure above shows the results of the last large-scale genetic screening of MS in which 110 genes are shown to be linked to the development of the disorder (the greater the link, the further the bar reaches into the centre of the figure). …more


Norwegian researchers have mapped genetic variations associated with an increased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) and myasthenia gravis (MG), bringing science one step closer to understanding these serious autoimmune disorders.

The Norwegian researchers have taken part in an international cooperative effort to map 110 genetic variations that increase the risk of MS and MG. Most of these genetic variations have been mapped in recent years.
"Rapid advances have been made in this area of research," explains Hanne F. Harbo, professor at the University of Oslo and head of the clinical science group at Oslo University Hospital.

She has received funding under the Research Council of Norway's national initiative on neuroscientific research (NEVRONOR) to head Norwegian research projects on MS and MG. The projects have been carried out in close cooperation with an international network of researchers.

Serious neurological and muscular disorders

Autoimmune disorders result from reactions by the body's immune system which in turn attack and destroy healthy cells.

"Our understanding of the causes of these diseases remains limited, but we do know that the immune system plays a key role in the debilitating processes that occur. MS attacks the central nervous system, causing inflammatory processes that lead to a variety of neurological symptoms including paralysis, loss of sensory function, and problems with vision and bladder function. MG affects the transmission of signals between the peripheral motoric nerve cells and muscles, resulting in muscular fatigue in the patient," Dr Harbo explains.

Genetic and environmental factors linked





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Drinking May Decrease Risk of MS

By 

Drinking alcohol halves the risk of developing MS in men, according to a Swedish study, and cuts it substantially in women.

If you raised a glass to toast the new year, you may havealso reduced your risk of developing multiple sclerosis, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

Drinking alcohol can cut multiple sclerosis risk in half for men and by 40 percent for women, according to research conducted by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The results are the first of their kind.

“You can drink alcohol without being afraid that the risk of MS will increase,” Anna Hedstrom, MD, a researcher at the institute and co-author of the study, said in an email. “Most people do not think about [their MS] risk, but they might if the disease runs in the family.”

Two previous studies in the 1990s and the 2000s respectively looked at the link between alcohol and multiple sclerosis (MS) but were inconclusive.

Bottom’s Up: Drinking Suppresses the Immune System

The Swedish scientists used questionnaires to study the drinking habits of745 MS patients and matched them with 1,761 people without MS, controlling for age, gender and residential area at the time of diagnosis. The Swedes discovered that while alcohol type doesn’t matter – results were the same whether the person drank wine or spirits – the amount imbibed does.


Women who drank more than 4 ounces of alcoholic beverages per week – the rough equivalent to 2.5 shots or a small glass of wine – were at the most reduced risk for multiple sclerosis. Men who drank more than 6 ounces of alcoholic beverage weekly – about four shots or a large glass of wine – also saw the benefits.


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MS Patient Fights FDA Over Rejection Of Genzyme's Lemtrada

Jan 10, 2014 


A 49-year-old mother from Waterford, Conn., has become an ally of Cambridge, Mass.-based drug giant Genzyme in its efforts to get U.S. regulators to change their minds about the first-ever once-a-year drug to treat multiple sclerosis.
Melissa Burdick, who was diagnosed with the degenerative disease 13 years ago, has filed a citizen’s petition requesting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Lemtrada. The drug was recently been approved in Canada, Australia and Europe, but was denied late last year by the FDA due to a disagreement over the way the drug trials were conducted.
For Burdick, the drug represents the most promising out of a quickly narrowing range of options for treating the inflammatory disease, which affects the brain and nervous system. Burdick was taking the interferon-based drug, Avonex, for eight years, before it became ineffective. She then took another drug, called Tysabri, for the next five years, saying “it’s been wonderful,” but had to stop last October due to risk of a deadly infection of the brain’s white matter called PML. Both Avonex and Tysabri were created and are marketed by Cambridge-based Biogen Idec.
While there are seven other drugs approved in the U.S. for MS, most of them either won’t work on her or would carry too great a risk of other health problems, she said.
“I have gone through all the different options,” she said. Lemtrada, on the other hand, is “a brand new way of looking at the disease,” she said. The infused drug essentially eliminates all of the body’s T-cells, and then allows them to replenish themselves, and Burdick said she’s known people who have taken the trug in a trial years ago who have never needed it again.
Burdick, who works in the business office of a local hospital, attended a meeting last November in which an FDA advisory panel gave contradictory recommendations as to whether the drug should be approved. The disagreement came down to whether the 1,400 patients in the trial should have been told which drug they were taking to avoid bias. The FDA prefers blind trials, but Genzyme argued that there’s no way it could have prevented patients from figuring out whether they were receiving Lemtrada or the drug it was being compared to, EMD Serono’s drug, Rebif.
“The FDA was just bashing (Genzyme) horribly (at the meeting), because they thought they should have done a blind study,” said Burdick.
She filed her citizen’s petition in late November, after the hearing but before the drug was officially rejected. She knows, however, that hers is an uphill battle. According to FDA documents, out of 20 appeals filed to overturn FDA decisions in 2012, just two were granted. The previous year, 13 appeals were filed and none were granted.
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Friday, January 10, 2014

Inhibition of PH20 Hyaluronidase May Effectively Promote Remyelination in Multiple Sclerosis Lesions

Posted January 9, 2014
Larry Sherman, Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University, and Paul Weigel, Ph.D., 


Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Drs. Larry Sherman and Paul WeigelMultiple sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative disease of the central nervous system characterized by the destruction of myelin sheaths, which are structures that insulate nerve cell fibers for optimal conduction of electrical impulses. Over the course of the disease, MS patients progressively lose the ability to remyelinate the damaged myelin. This is due, in part, to the gradual loss of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells' (OPCs) ability to mature into myelin-producing oligodendrocytes.

In FY09, Dr. Sherman and Dr. Wiegel were awarded an MSRP Synergistic Idea Award, the intent of which is to support synergistic and multidisciplinary approaches to address a central critical problem or question in MS research. Dr. Sherman had already discovered that a high molecular form of hyaluronan (HA), one of the chief components of the extracellular matrix, accumulates in demyelinated lesions in MS patients, which led him to hypothesize that degrading the accumulated HAs via hyaluronidases (enzymes that break down HA) may promote remyelination. Unexpectedly, when the HAs were degraded in this fashion, the byproducts of some hyaluronidases prevented OPC maturation, leading Dr. Sherman to further hypothesize that specific hyaluronidases expressed in demyelinating lesions and their degradation products may be blocking OPC maturation.

With MSRP support, Dr. Sherman teamed up with Dr. Wiegel, a leading expert in the field of HA biochemistry, to assess whether OPCs in demyelinating lesions, gathered from rodents with EAE, express specific hyaluronidases and whether the byproducts of these enzymes are implicated in inhibiting OPC maturation. Results indicated that OPCs expressed several hyaluronidases, including HYAL1, HYAL2, and PH20. Interestingly, HA digestion products formed by PH20, but not the others, inhibited OPC maturation and thus prevented remyelination, signifying PH20 as a promising molecular target for promoting remyelination in MS and other demyelinating diseases. Based on these findings, Drs. Sherman and Weigel aim to identify drugs that specifically inhibit PH20 hyaluronidase activity as a potential therapeutic for promoting remyelination in MS patients.

Link:


Source Link: http://cdmrp.army.mil/msrp/research_highlights/14Sherman_Weigel_highlight.shtml

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Women's Health - What Are Kegels?


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Bladder Control Problems in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Bladder control problems occur in at least 80% of people with multiple sclerosis. Because MS interrupts or slows the transmission of signals to and from the brain, the electrical impulses to the muscles that are involved in emptying the bladder can become disrupted.
These problems can seem overwhelming and often embarrassing. But, there are steps you can take to manage bladder control problems.

Types of Bladder Control Problems With Multiple Sclerosis?

Those with multiple sclerosis can experience the following bladder control issues:
  • Urinary urgency. People with this problem feel the need to urinate frequently and urgently. The small "tickle" and feeling of pressure that help us recognize the right time to head to the restroom is very intense. When urinary urgency takes place, the signals that coordinate urination are disrupted and you experience this uncontrollable urge to urinate which can cause incontinence.
  • Incontinence. This is the loss of bladder control. Sometimes MS will disrupt the nerve signals sent to the body parts that control urine movement allowing urine to come out involuntarily.
  • Nocturia. People with nocturia must awake frequently during the night to go to the bathroom. There are a number of causes for this type of incontinence, but persons with MS may experience nocturia due to the interruption of brain impulses that travel up and down the spine to coordinate urination.
  • Urinary hesitancy. This refers to difficulty initiating urination. With multiple sclerosis, this problem may be caused by interruption of brain impulses that control that part of the urination process.

What Happens if a Bladder Control Problem Goes Untreated?

If left untreated, bladder control problems can cause other health concerns, including:
  • Repeated urinary and bladder infections or kidney damage
  • Personal hygiene problems
  • Interfering with normal activity and leading to isolation

How Are Urinary Control Problems Treated in Multiple Sclerosis?

For those with multiple sclerosis, treatment of urinary control problems is individualized. Many times a doctor who specializes in treating incontinence, called a urologist, will be involved in your care. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
  • Dietary changes to minimize incontinence
  • Behavioral changes
  • Medications
  • Mechanical aids to help control the flow of urine
  • Intermittent or continual catheterization (inserting a thin tube through the urethra and into the bladder to remove urine)

Dietary Changes to Help Bladder Control Problems

Dietary changes you can try that may help to reduce urinary control problems include:
  • Reduce the amount of fluids you drink if you drink more than 2 quarts (1.89 L) daily
  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee, tea, and soda, from your diet
  • Do not drink more than one alcoholic drink per day

Behavioral Changes for Bladder Control Problems

Behavioral treatments used to treat bladder control problems include:
Bladder training: Bladder training (also called bladder retraining) is used to treat motor urge incontinence (uncontrollable bladder contractions that force urine out of the bladder). Bladder training attempts to increase the time interval between urinating. A voiding schedule is established, and the person is trained to resist the first urge to urinate and refrain from urinating until the scheduled time. The interval between scheduled bathroom visits is increased until the person can refrain from urinating (remain continent) for several hours.
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Clearing Away MS Brain Fog

Clear Your Mind: MS 'Brain Fog'

Fuzzy thinking can be frustrating. Try these 8 tips as “work-arounds,” and learn ways to handle brain fog.






By 
WebMD Feature

You’re having a conversation, and suddenly you can't remember the right word -- or the wrong words come tumbling out of your mouth. You're cooking dinner, the timer's going off, but you can't remember why you set it. 
When brain fog clouds your thinking, you may feel frustrated or embarrassed. You may also wonder what it means for your MS. But don’t worry. It happens. With your doctor’s help and some new techniques, you can learn ways to work around it

4 Brain Fog Basics

Brain fog is a catchall term for all sorts of brain changes that can come with MS. Here are four things to know.
  1. It's common. About half the people with MS have these issues at some point, says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, a clinical psychologist and vice president of clinical care at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. For most, the cloudy thinking is mild and manageable. Only 5% to 10% of people with MS have issues with their thinking that seriously affect their day-to-day life or career.
  2. It can affect your short-term memory, attention, and concentration. It can muck up your ability to retain new information and plan.But it doesn't usually affect your intelligence, reading comprehension, or long-term memory.
  3. It may get worse over time, but it may not. Once you have episodes of brain fog, they usually don't go away completely. They are more likely to progress slowly.
  4. It can have many causes. Sometimes the fog is triggered by actual changes in the brain caused by MS. But it can also be brought on by other issues -- like depressionfatigue, and side effects from medication.

Continue reading this article by clicking here


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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Multiple Sclerosis Cure? Study Shows TB Vaccine Could Stem Multiple Sclerosis Development In Patients

TB vaccine for multiple sclerosis cureJan 8 2014
There may be new hope that an unlikely vaccine could someday aid in the development of a Multiple Sclerosis Cure. Researchers have discovered that a tuberculosis (TB) vaccine may help prevent the development of multiple sclerosis (MS).  
TB is a disease of the respiratory system and MS is a disease of the central nervous system.  Italian researchers injected a TB vaccine in individuals who had a first episode of MS symptoms that indicated they might develop MS.  They observed that the TB vaccine lowered the odds of developing MS.
According to Dr. Giovanni Ristori, of the Center for Experimental Neurological Therapies at Sant’Andrea Hospital in Rome and study lead, “It is possible that a safe, handy and cheap approach will be available immediately following the first episode of symptoms suggesting MS”.  However, the researchers cautioned that more research is required before the TB vaccine can be used against MS.
In MS, the immune system attacks healthy cells of the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord.  One of the first symptoms of MS is referred to as “clinically isolated syndrome.”  These symptoms include numbness, tingling sensations and problems with vision, hearing and balance. Ristori notes that around half of the patients who experience clinically isolated syndrome develop MS within two years.
The current study included 73 patients who had clinically isolated syndrome.  Thirty-three of these patients received the TB vaccine and 40 were given a placebo (dummy injection).  The TB vaccine they used was the Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine.  The same vaccine is also being studied as a therapy for diabetes type 1.
MRI scans were done on the brains of participants on a monthly basis for the first six months.  Researchers were looking for lesions associated with MS.  For the next year, participants received interferon beta-1a.  Beyond this, patients received therapies recommended by their own neurologist.  Patients were reexamined after 5 years to see if they had developed MS.

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MS and Alcohol: Study Sheds New Light On Multiple Sclerosis Patients & Problem Drinking

A recent study on the relationship between MS and alcohol consumption is shedding new light on whether or not alcohol truly exacerbates serious emotional and psychological conditions in MS patients, as previous research suggested.
Past research on multiple sclerosis that studied the causes of an increased risk for mood disorders and suicidal thoughts in MS patients concluded that these behaviors were linked with alcohol consumption. However, the correlation between MS and alcohol consumption had not been directly studied, nor had empirical evidence to prove this assumption ever been produced. For example, a previous study from 2004 assessed the drinking patterns in 140 MS patients, focusing on an association with drinking and mood and anxiety disorders.  Lifetime psychiatric diagnoses were ascertained using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV disorders (SCID-IV).  The DSM-IV refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by clinicians and psychiatrists to diagnose psychiatric illness.
The results of this study demonstrated that one in six MS patients drink to excess over the course of their lifetime.  Patients with a history of problem drinking displayed a higher lifetime prevalence of anxiety but not mood disorders.  The study also found associations between problem drinking and a lifetime prevalence of suicidal thoughts. At that time, clinicians were warned about the possibility of problem drinking in MS patients and how this may complicate the course of their disease.  Clues to problem drinking in MS patients include the presence of a positive family history of mental illness and prominent anxiety.
Learn More, click here to continue reading

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fearless marathon runner defies MS - a CNN video

Mother-of-two Annette Fredskov ran 366 marathons in 365 days despite suffering from multiple sclerosis.

She ran 366 marathons in 365 days 

Even the healthiest athlete would struggle to run a marathon a day for a year. Annette Fredskov did it, plus one more for good luck, despite ... 

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Oxygen therapy: Fresh air relief for multiple sclerosis patients

CAN regularly inhaling pure O2 help ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

Every week Brendan Hilton steps into a high-pressure chamber, pulls a mask over his face and breathes in a high dose of oxygen. The 32-year-old, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has found that the treatment eases symptoms of the incurable disease.
In the UK and Ireland about 5,000 patients regularly have oxygen therapy lasting about an hour in chambers holding up to 12 people.
It uses the same technology as in the pressurised cabins of passenger jets and some research suggests that delivering high doses of pure oxygen can reduce inflammation which is a key feature of MS.
The treatment is offered at more than 60 centres throughout the UK, each run as an individual charity.
"I feel energised and sleep better after having oxygen," says Brendan, a former car mechanic who was diagnosed with the disease seven years ago. He initially noticed that he was suffering from double vision but it took six years for the cause to be established.
"I was playing pool on holiday and couldn't see the balls properly," he explains. "I was also suffering from headaches. It happened again at work about a year later." Tests revealed a swelling on the nerve ending behind the eye. It was treated purely as a vision problem but is one of the first signs of MS.
Brendan adds: "It would flare up occasionally, then my mum pointed out that I was crossing my feet when I was walking. I realised it was due to a weakness in my right hip."
Finally following an MRI scan Brendan was called in urgently by a neurologist and told he had MS, a condition that affects the central nervous system including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
"My first reaction was disbelief and I thought they had mixed up my medical records," says Brendan. "I didn't know much about MS and assumed I would end up in a wheelchair but as I learned more, I was determined to get on with life."
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An antioxidant synthesized more than ten years ago has been found to significantly ease symptoms of multiple sclerosis

January 7, 14:25








An antioxidant synthesized more than ten years ago has been found to significantly ease symptoms of multiple sclerosis, in experimental research involving laboratory mice, Newsmax Healthreports.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University were able to demonstrate that the antioxidant — called MitoQ, which has shown some promise in fighting neurodegenerative diseases — helped reduce symptoms in mice with a multiple sclerosis-like disease.

"The MitoQ also significantly reduced inflammation of the neurons and reduced demyelination," said lead researcher P. Hemachandra Reddy, an associate scientist in the Division of Neuroscience at OHSU's Oregon National Primate Research Center. "These results are really exciting

This could be a new front in the fight against MS."

MS occurs when the body's immune system attacks the myelin — the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system — causing nerve damage, blurred vision, loss of balance, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, and problems with memory and concentration.

Reddy's team will now move to understand the mechanisms of MitoQ neuroprotection in different regions of the brain, and how MitoQ protects mitochondria within the brain cells.

Source: news.am

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