Please visit our MS learning channel on Youtube, which provides hundreds of topics from our education programs, that were video-recorded and archived here: www.youtube.com/msviewsandnews

joomla ecommerce template -- Scroll left side of this blog for needed resources. Also, use our 'search by topic' tool, to find specific information.

Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.

=================

CHAMPIONS TACKLING MS - AWARDS Dinner, Honoring Aaron Boster, MD and Jon e. Glaser, DDS - now open for registration. Visit www.events.msvn.org

Friday, April 4, 2014

Multiple Sclerosis: Monoclonal Antibody Tysabri Reduces Brain Inflammation

Jeppe Romme Christensen  MD PhD From the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark.MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jeppe Romme Christensen  MD PhD
From the Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center
Copenhagen University Hospital Hvidovre, Denmark.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?
Dr. Christensen: This study demonstrates that progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have reduced inflammation and tissue damage in the brain after treatment with natalizumab. These findings highlight that progressive MS is an inflammatory disease and furthermore that peripheral circulating immune cells contribute to brain inflammation and tissue damage in progressive MS.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Christensen: It is a common view that progressive MS disease activity is caused by neurodegenerative mechanisms independent of inflammation. In this view, our findings may appear unexpected. However, the findings are in agreement with accumulating evidence from pathology and biomarker studies which have indicated that progressive MS is characterized by continuing widespread inflammation in the brain with accompanying axonal damage and disease progression.
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Christensen: First of all the study emphasizes that inflammation is central in progressive multiple sclerosis and accessible for anti-inflammatory treatment with corresponding beneficial effects on axonal damage and demyelination.
Secondly, the findings are promising for future development of therapies for progressive MS and provide a novel design for progressive MS clinical trials.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Christensen: Future development of treatments for progressive multiple sclerosis is urgently needed. This study demonstrates that peripheral and brain inflammation is associated with tissue damage, and therefore should be one of the first considerations in the future development of treatments for progressive MS.
Furthermore, this study show practicality of the use cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers which should be considered in progressive multiple sclerosis proof-of-concept trials, as these biomarkers provide important information on brain inflammation and tissue damage and allows studies on small populations with short-duration.
Citation:
  

By 

Physician in practice over 30 years. Editor of MedicalResearch.com. All interviews conducted exclusively for MedicalResearch.com by Marie Benz, MD.








……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Secondary Progressive MS Trial of Lamotrigine Tested For Neuroprotection Benefits

secondary progressive ms neuroprotection drug LamotrigineA recently completed study at University College London Hospital suggests that administration of certain drugs can block the entry of sodium ions in nerve cells that in turn can prevent aggressive nerve cell damage. The research team proposed that delaying nerve cell destruction can limit the rate of disability in secondary progressive MS patients. The supporting study, which was completed after two years of testing, was aimed at employing nerve cell blockers like lamotrigine to monitor the rate of worsening disability in secondary progressive MS patients.
The Primary Outcome of this double-blind interventional study was to monitor changes in the volume of the whole brain with the help of the Loseff method using MRI technology (to monitor cerebral atrophy due to loss of axons). Secondary Outcomes for the study included monitoring the changes in the volume of whole brain with the help of Brain Boundary Shift Integral; the rate of atrophic changes in the spinal cord; appearance of new high intensity lesions on an MRI scan; ratio calculation of new T1 and T2 lesions; and the overall rate of changes in the MS Functional Composite and Impact Scale.
The cerebral and spinal volumes and cross-sectional area of the cervical spinal cord were tested at baseline, at 12 months into the study, and towards the end of the study period (24th month). Brain volume was measured more periodically at the 6th and 18 month marks, as well as at the 12 and 24 month marks. The clinical visits were planned for every 3 months.
spine and neuroprotection
Details of the Study:
The research team enrolled 120 patients with a positive history of MS and a progressive course of illness as seen in secondary progressive MS patients (patients with frequent episodes of clinical relapses resulting in disability were excluded). The study sample was divided into a test group and control groups, and the patients were randomly selected to receive either placebo or lamotrigine.
The research team explained that degenerative spinal or cerebral diseases can respond fairly well to neuroprotective treatments. The cause of disease progression in multiple sclerosis is degeneration of nerve axons. Previous research projects conducted by investigators at the University College London Hospitals have concluded that inflammatory mediators like nitric oxide can contribute to axonal degeneration. Various in-vitro studies confirm that blocking the activity of sodium channels can reduce the degeneration of axonal processes. Several pharmacological agents are currently available that are used to block sodium channels in the brain tissue (like phenytoin and flecainide in addition to lamotrigine).
……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Making Buildings More Accessible


When your browser opens, this video might take a few moments to load. Be Patient as it is worth the wait...

Post by 95.7 KJR.











……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Medical Marijuana: What the Research Shows

By Bara Vaida
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

Dustin Sulak, DO, is a doctor on the front lines of medical marijuana.
Sulak has recommended various forms of marijuana to his patients and has seen striking results. Patients with chronic pain needed fewer prescription pain meds. Patients with multiple sclerosis had less painful muscle spasms. Patients with severe inflammatory bowel disease began to eat again.
“These responses are the most impressive to me,” says Sulak, who practices at Maine Integrative Healthcare in Manchester. Maine is one of 20 states, along with the District of Columbia, where medical marijuana is legal. “With irritable bowel syndrome, we’ll see patients who were at death’s door turn around dramatically.”
Sulak’s experience is powerful and adds to the large body of personal stories -- dating from 5,000 years ago -- about the therapeutic value of marijuana.
But the scientific evidence behind the drug’s benefits remains elusive, even as 10 more states consider legalizing medical uses in 2014. The problem: In 1970, the federal government classified marijuana as an illegal, highly addictive drug with no medical value, making research harder to do.

A Marijuana Discovery

Here’s what is known: About 20 years ago, scientists discovered a system in the brain that responds to 60 chemicals in marijuana, also known as cannabis. It’s called the endocannabinoid system. This system plays a role in many of the body’s functions, such as in the heart, along with the digestive, endocrine, immune, nervous, and reproductive systems.  The discovery sparked interest in finding specific chemicals made from marijuana that could be targeted for specific conditions.
Since that time,  -->>  READ FULL ARTICLE Found here
……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

MS and Your Diet: Is There a Link?

Stu's Views:  GREAT article -- GOOD Reading and learning for all affected by MS


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.

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 of Complementary 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.
  • MS and Diet: What Should You Do?

    Though there is no magic MS diet, some dietary changes may be good for your overall health:  
    • Cut fat and boost fiber. Just like people without MS, your diet may have too much saturated fat and too little fiber. Changing that may help you avoid heart disease and other conditions.

    • Avoid extreme, untested diets. Diets that radically change how you eat could be harmful. "If you’re using a diet to treat your MS, it's really like using a medication," Mowry says. You wouldn’t  take an untested drug, so be wary of an untested diet. When in doubt, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
SOURCE : WebMD

……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Body Temperature and Multiple Sclerosis Fatigue

By March 31, 2014


I had no idea that resting body temperature could be different among different groups of people (who did not have an infection, that is). Turns out that it can.
In this study, researchers took the temperature and tested 40 healthy controls, 50 people with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and 22 people with secondary-progressive MS (SPMS) for general fatigue, physical fatigue and cognitive fatigue. Here is what they found:
  • Body temperature (taken with an aural - in the ear - thermometer) was highest in people with RRMS at 37.04 degrees Celsius (98.67 degrees Fahrenheit). Normal temperature is 36.75 (98.15).
  • Controls had an average temperature of 36.83 (98.29) and people with SPMS had a temperature of 36.75 (98.15).
  • Warmer body temperature was associated with general fatigue and physical fatigue, but not cognitive fatigue.
  • While the differences here don't seem like very much, I have heard that a fraction of a degree in core temperature can hugely affect how a person with MS functions. Of course, this is preliminary data, but I know that on hot days, drinking a huge glass of water with lots of ice or taking a cold shower can give me a little more energy.
    What about you? Do you know your average body temperature? What are some of your tricks for keeping cool? Let us know in the comments section below.

……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Multiple Sclerosis Gene Therapy Being Tested By Researchers

multiple sclerosis researcherMultiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease whereby the immune system attacks myelin (fat wrappings) around axons, leaving them exposed.  Destruction of myelin generates poor electrical conduction of ions and a lack of communication in the nervous system. Imagine if researchers could find a way to stop the immune response before the disease becomes debilitating.  Researchers at the University of Florida have received a $40,000 grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to test a gene therapy protocol in mice.  This therapy has been developed to help the body not treat itself as a foreign entity, a process referred to as immune tolerance.  This therapy is meant to treat the earliest stages of MS.  If immune tolerance can be re-established, the immune attack could be stopped.  This may prove useful for a wide number patients.
According to Brad E. Hoffman, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine, “In previous years, we have learned a lot about how to manipulate tolerance using gene therapy.  Tolerance is your body’s way of not responding to substances that would otherwise induce an immune response so you don’t have an immune response to everything. In multiple sclerosis, the body loses that ability to distinguish between self and not-self so it starts to attack its own nervous system cells.”
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society reports approximately 2.3 million people have MS globally.  These patients suffer from vision loss, fatigue, speech slurring, odd sensations and lack of mobility.  Late stage MS can lead to blindness and paralysis.
Gene therapy is often used to correct a bad gene.  In gene therapy, researchers will deliver a gene that codes for a brain protein into the liver by way of the Adeno-associated virus (AAV).  Researchers believe that this gene will be able to induce production of regulatory T cells which will suppress the immune function.
……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Complementary & Alternative Medicines updates

See what is known about the effectiveness and safety of CAM strategies — and how to integrate complementary or alternative medicines into comprehensive MS care.

Overview

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes a wide variety of interventions — from diets and supplements to meditation and T’ai Chi — which come from many different disciplines and traditions. Most are considered to be outside the realm of conventional medicine, although others, including vitamin Dexerciseacupuncture and cooling strategies, for example, are establishing their role in comprehensive care through scientific study and clinical trials.

When used in combination with conventional medicine, these interventions are referred to as "complementary;" when used instead of conventional medicine, they are referred to as "alternative." In the United States today, the vast majority of people incorporate one form or another of CAM as part of their MS management, most often in combination with their prescribed MS treatments. 
The American Academy of Neurology recently released a guideline on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in MS.

Safety & effectiveness

Many people use CAM because they believe that anything sold online or over-the-counter at a pharmacy or health food store is healthy and harmless. But many products that claim to be safe and beneficial may not be. Unlike conventional medical treatments that are thoroughly tested and carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most CAM therapies have undergone very little — if any — scientific study to evaluate their safety and effectiveness. So some forms of CAM may be completely safe for a person with MS while others may actually pose significant risks — by producing significant side effects, over-stimulating the person’s immune system or interacting negatively with other medications a person is taking. Some may provide some benefit for a person with MS while others offer no benefit at all.
Carefully-designed clinical trials are the best way to determine the safety and effectiveness of a particular treatment. Here’s why:
  • Because the course of MS is variable, and each person’s symptoms tend to come and go in an unpredictable way, the only way to determine the effectiveness of a treatment is to test it on a large number of people.
  • Because most people — regardless of the disease they have — will have a positive response to any new treatment they receive (even if it’s an inactive substance or placebo). The effectiveness of a new treatment can only be proven by comparing it to a placebo or to another treatment that has already been shown to be effective.
  • Because every treatment carries with it the risk of anticipated and unanticipated side effects, the only way to evaluate a treatment’s safety is to evaluate it in a large number of people over a sufficient period of time.

Guidelines for considering or using CAM

Questions to ask when considering CAM:
  • What does the treatment involve?
  • How and why is it supposed to work?
  • How effective is it?
  • What are the risks associated with its use?
  • How much does it cost?
Keep your physician informed about everything you are taking. Not sharing this important information is like asking your physician to treat you blindfolded — and knowing everything you are taking will allow your doctor to alert you to possible side effects or drug interactions.
Don't abandon conventional therapy. The treatments your physician prescribes for you are the ones that have been evaluated in controlled clinical trials or accepted by the MS medical community as safe and effective therapies. So stay with your prescribed treatments even if you decide to add CAM to yourcomprehensive treatment plan.
Document the experience. Keep a detailed log of what you take or what is done and any changes you experience. Use this form to track your prescription and over-the-counter treatments (.pdf).

Complementary approaches to taking care of yourself

Food and diet — Although various diets have been promoted to cure or control MS, no diet has been proven to modify the course of MS. MS specialists recommend that people follow the same high fiber, low fat diet that is recommended for all adults.
Exercise — Exercise offers many benefits for people with MS. In addition to improving your overall health, aerobic exercise reduces fatigue and improves bladder and bowel function, strength, and mood. Stretching exercises reduce stiffness and increase mobility. The physical therapist can recommend an exercise plan to fit your abilities and limitations.
Stress management (.pdf) — The relationship between stress and the onset or worsening of MS is far from clear — and different types of stress appear to affect different people in different ways. But none of us feel our best when we’re stressed, so it’s important to find the stress management strategies that work best for you.
Acupuncture — Acupuncture is finding its way into Western medicine, with studies suggesting possible benefits for a wide range of problems.
All of the information shown above, comes from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 24, 2014 - MS Treatments, Compliance, Relapse and Bladder Issues



Listen with: 

Megan Weigel, DNP, ARNP-C, MSCN 
and 
Ali Kasraeian, MD, FACS

as they expertly speak about issues
that affect so many with 
Multiple Sclerosis



……..


To comment - click the comment link shown below
…….
Share our Articles with others
……
Sign-up at:  www.msviewsandnews.org 
To Keep CURRENT  and up to date with MS News and Information
 -------------
Donate Now Please - Click here
Thank you    
…………………….
.