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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stem Cells Better Than Mitoxantrone for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

February 20, 2015

Stem cells were more effective in suppressing the immune system than mitoxantrone, according to research published in Neurology.
 
Researchers from the University of Genoa in Italy examined 21 patients who received bone barrow to determine if their immune system would be suppressed at the same rate as patients who received mitoxantrone. A dozen patients received mitoxantrone, while 9 patients had stem cells harvested from their bone marrow. The stem cells were reintroduced to the patient’s bodies intravenously. Then, the stem cells traveled to the bone marrow and produced new cells which grew to become immune cells.
 
After a follow up period of 4 years, patients who received stem cells had 80 percent fewer new brain damage areas than those patients who received mitoxantrone. The stem cell group had an average 2.5 new brain lesions in comparison to 8 new lesions in the mitoxantrone receiving group.

About half (56 percent) of the mitoxantrone treated patients were discovered to have at least one new gadolinium enhancing lesion, which is another type of lesion. The stem cell treatment group had no new gadolinium enhancing lesions found.
 
 “This process appears to reset the immune system,” study author Giovanni Mancardi, MD explained in a press release. “With these results, we can speculate that stem cell treatment may profoundly affect the course of the disease.”
 
The progression of disability was not different between the 2 groups. The researchers noted the serious side effects that occurred within the stem cell treatment group were anticipated and resolved without further permanent consequences.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

People with multiple sclerosis may have lower levels of key nutrients

AMERICAN ACADEMY OF NEUROLOGY
PUBLIC RELEASE: 19-FEB-2015

WASHINGTON, DC - Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have lower levels of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as folate from food and vitamin E, than healthy people, according to a new study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015.

For the study, researchers identified 27 Caucasian women with MS and compared them to 30 healthy Caucasian women between the ages of 18-60 and with body mass index of less than or equal to 30 kg/m2. Participants reported on their diet and nutrition over the previous year prior to starting vitamin D supplementation.

On average, the women who had MS had lower levels of five nutrients with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties: food folate, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin and quercetin. For food folate, the women with MS had average intake of 244 micrograms (mcg), while the healthy women had an average intake of 321 mcg. The recommended daily allowance is 400 mcg. For magnesium, the women with MS had average intake of 254 milligrams (mg), while the healthy women met the recommended daily allowance of 320 mg with an average of 321 mg. The women with MS also had a lower average percentage of their calories from fat than the healthy participants.

"Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already have MS," said study author Sandra D. Cassard, ScD, with John Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. "Antioxidants are also critical to good health and help reduce the effects of other types of damage that can occur on a cellular level and contribute to neurologic diseases like MS. Whether the nutritional differences that we identified in the study are a cause of MS or a result of having it is not yet clear."

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In pictures: 'What multiple sclerosis means to me'




A woman naked holding cranberries down her back

Three young artists convey their experiences of multiple sclerosis in the hope of helping others with their diagnoses.

To find something good out of something bad was the brief given to three young people. They all have multiple sclerosis (MS) and have been creating artistic works that examine how it has affected them in positive ways.

The final pieces - a combination of portraits, photographs and jewelery - are part of a project being run by multiple sclerosis charity Shift MS.

They show, they say, that "no two people have the same experience of MS".

Perceiving identity
Photographer Hannah Laycock is 32 and works in London. She was diagnosed with MS in 2013 after showing symptoms since February of the same year. Her initial fear was that she had motor neurone disease, which her father has had since 2009. Instead it was confirmed that she had MS.

A woman in the forest, her face is completely covered by mist

"I see my experience of the diagnosis as serendipitist in some ways," she says. "I'm fortunate enough not to have MND, and fortunate enough to have learnt a lot from my dad and his diagnosis, which has given me strength of mind, body and soul."
Laycock initially experienced a creative lull after her diagnosis, but says this particular project has inspired her to do some self-reflection and return to artistic work.
Her pieces are a photographic journey exploring her feelings of uncertainty, fear, loss and liberation.
"Neurology's favourite word is 'deficit'," she says. "Loss of speech, loss of language, loss of memory, loss of vision, loss of dexterity, loss of identity."
In her collection she aims to question the notion of this neurological "loss".


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More about CAMS (Complementary and Alternative Medicines)

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 your comprehensive 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).
Source: National MS Society






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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.
source link found here


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LIVING with MS - Read about Handicapped Parking


By Laura Kolaczkowski

A topic that comes up over and over in a variety of places on the web where people with Multiple Sclerosis gather and compare notes is the handicapped parking placard.  You know the one – it hangs from the rear view mirror and gives us access to the preferred parking spaces. It is one of the few perks we have from living with MS.
From the outside it is hard to look at many of us and understand the unpredictability of MS or how we guard our energies closely and pick and choose how to spend that energy.  Early in the day I may feel charged and ready to go, but often by the time the work hours are coming to a close it is all I can do to make myself put one foot in front of the other and make it out to my car.  The building where I work is about 100 yards from the closest handicapped parking space and if I didn’t have my placard I would have to park even further out.    Many times walking that distance of a football field is manageable – of course at a different pace than everyone else, but it is still doable, but then there are those times when it takes all of my focus to command my legs to go forward.  The reality is I have no idea which walk it will be when I head to my car to go home.
Shopping is no longer so manageable, either.  Fortunately, the shorter distance to the door, thanks to my ‘special privilege’ of using a handicapped placard, gives my legs some extra distance in the store to hang on to the shopping cart and make my rounds up and down the aisles.    I have always advised others that using those parking spaces is smart – it allows us to stretch our physical reserves a bit further.
Using that placard has its hazards when we live with this ‘but you look so good’ chronic disease. If I am not carrying my cane, there is no outward sign that I have these mobility problems until I start walking and the fatigue sets in.  The same goes for many other people with MS.  There is much retelling of stories where people with MS have been confronted by others about using the placard and taking one of those reserved spots.  It seems getting a handicapped spot is harder to come by and some people feel entitled to harass others taking that spot.
A recent story talked about a person coming out to his car, only to find a very nasty note left on his windshield about how he should be ashamed of himself for parking in a handicapped spot.  The person had not seen him enter the office  building and had no way of knowing of his disability – this man drives a very nice BMW and the assumption is the note writer thought that no one with a disability would ever afford such a nice car or even have the ability to go to work.
I have to confess that more than once I have taken a second look at a person getting out of a car in a handicapped spot and wondered if they really belonged there or were they just taking advantage of someone else’s hang tag.  I will catch myself thinking that, and try to give the person the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps they ‘look so good’ just like me.
There’s another growing problem with handicapped parking these days – it has become much harder to find an empty spot during peak times. Here in Ohio,  getting a placard is a very easy process – you need a prescription slip from the doctor saying you need one, and then you take it to the license bureau, give them a few dollars and you are given the placard.  It takes very little effort or money to get that placard and it seems everyone has found the right phrasing to ask their doctor for that note.
There are about 5 million licensed cars in my home state of Ohio.  There are somewhere between 320-400,000 placards that have been issued.  This translates to about one in every 15 cars in Ohio could have a handicapped placard in use, and the statistics show the demand for these special passes continues to grow. Either I live in a very infirm, unhealthy state, or a lot of people have placards just because they want one.
The abundance of so many people in cars wanting to use these limited spots is especially difficult for people who travel in vans and use a wheelchair.  To get in and out of a van with a chair, it requires a ramp that is long enough to maneuver.  Even if you are fortunate to have a lift to get in and out, you still require extra space at the side of the van.  That’s why businesses are required to have handicapped spots marked ‘van accessible’ – it gives more space to exit and enter the vehicle. I have read more than one news report about the problems people in wheelchairs are having these days in getting a close parking spot – they often must park at the far edges of lots so they have adequate space to lower their ramp or lift.  The van accessible spots are being used for other vehicles.
I will continue to use the special parking spots at work, but pledge to be more conscious about using the limited spaces in other lots, especially those marked van accessible.  There is someone out there who needs that spot more than me. As for other people who look so good and are taking advantage of a very lenient handicapped placard system, I hope they will reconsider their use of those placards and give the people who really benefit from them, a chance for those prime parking spots.
Wishing you well,
Laura

Profile photo of Laura Kolaczkowski

Laura is active in the national and local MS community, facilitating patient programs including MS research and an MS Aquatics program. She is also a presence on the internet at MS patient sites and maintains her blog at InsideMyStory.com. Laura has a particular research interest in the use of internet information by people with MS and how that knowledge is shared in the patient-doctor relationship.







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Tips to Staying Organized


By Ashley Ringstaff—February 19, 2015

I know how hard it is to stay organized in general – but throwing MS into the mix of life itself can be downright unattainable. How do I know this? Because I used to try my hardest to be a very organized person but ever since I was diagnosed with MS it just went out the door. Not on purpose, of course, but because there is SO much involved in staying organized and on top of things with just daily life but having to be organized for doctors appointments, medications, remembering ANYTHING at all, is just a struggle.
I think that a lot of the chaos for me, has to do with having way too much on my plate and not enough time or brain power to conquer it all… but I also think a REALLY big part of this problem for myself, is my cognitive dysfunction aka Cog-Fog.
  1. If you have a phone that allows it, put your upcoming appointments into your cell-phone calendar, with an alarm reminder on it. Maybe even two, if it allows.
  2. Dry-Erase Board Calendar (Month) – Put it somewhere that you will see it frequently. This way you can also add your upcoming appointments to the dry-erase board. This will also allow you keep track if you have taken a certain medication that morning and don’t remember. You can make a little symbol that indicates you have taken that certain medication.
  3. If you are the ‘chef’ and ‘grocery shopper’ for you household, make a weekly menu, if possible. This way you don’t have to worry about last minute plans and shopping for meals.
    • Having crock-pot recipes handy are great. There are some that you can just add all of the ingredients to at once and freezer pack it so you can just dump into the crock-pot if needed.(I usually just Google: crock pot meals freezer pack)
  4. Don’t wait until the last minute to get certain things you might need and/or prepare for a doctors appointment that’s coming up. I know that it’s easier said than done, but we often say we will “remember to do it later” and end up forgetting all together.
  5. Doctors Appointments: Have your most recent medication list ready for your appointment. Along with 1-3 questions/comments you want to go over with your doctor. (While getting your medication list completed, make two copies. This way you can have one on hand, just in case) –**This Section of MSWorld’s Resource Center is still growing so check back often**
  6. If you are the person that pays the bills for you household… auto-pay is a great resource to use if it’s offered. This way you don’t have to ‘remember’ to pay those bills on time. You can also use that alarm reminder, I talked about this in the beginning, on your phone for bills that have the same due date per month.
  7. Have an early morning ahead of you? Do as much as you can the night before (shower, get clothes out, etc.) so that you aren’t trying to get everything done the morning of.
  8. Cleaning: Instead of having a ‘cleaning day’… have a ‘cleaning week’. Don’t over-do. Clean a room per day. (Kitchen = Monday, Living Room = Tuesday, etc.) Trust me, I know this is easier said than done because when I start cleaning, I just want to get it all done in one go. But I have learned over the years, to pace myself, and that the cleaning will be there for me to do the next day.
  9. Have a shopping list ready for you when you go to the store. To make things easier and quicker on yourself, list your grocery list by section. (Produce, Dairy, etc.) And as for most things today – “There’s an App for that”. 
  10. One that I use is: AnyList – which I’m thinking is only with the Apple Store – but you can also see it on your computer as well.
  11. If your pharmacy offers this, sign-up for auto-refill for you prescriptions. Some places even offer to have your medications delivered to you. This also depends on your Insurance Carrier.


Anyway, I figured that I would share the things that I use with everyone, so that maybe it can help some of you stay on top of things. Living with MS isn’t easy – it’s a struggle, a battle, a fight… and I feel like helping out each other and working together, we can really make a difference… big or small.
xoxo
Ashley Ringstaff

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

written by Joy Wagner

I truly believe that “we are what we eat” and “we are what our food eats”!

I also believe that an anti-inflammatory diet is key to optimal health and that this concept does NOT mean a one size fits all diet.

It’s important to determine which foods YOU need to eliminate from your diet. Each of us is unique when it comes to foods, supplements, medications that work for us. My food sensitivity tests revealed some expected culprits and some complete surprises. Eliminating the major ones on my list was life changing for me – eliminating my asthma attacks completely and improving all the digestive symptoms I have suffered with for years.

If you are interested in suggestions for improving your diet; check out our previous posts about anti-inflammatory diet and medicinal spices. In addition, we offer nutritional counseling, food sensitivity/allergy testing and counseling, weight loss management and disease management counseling at our center. Email info@fitms.org or call us at 847-800-6162 for information.

The article linked below is a great example of the profound impact diet has on all people and especially those with inflammatory health conditions. I do not support the suggestion in this article that MS patients don’t need their disease modifying medications if they change their diet and feel better! Always consult your healthcare professional before discontinuing a prescribed medication.

http://www.forksoverknives.com/my-journey-from-doctor-to-ms-patient-and-back-thanks-to-plant-based-eating/#.UyYYt2dZC64.facebook

Please also remember that supplements should be discussed as well because everything you swallow impacts your health – “Natural”, “Plant Based”, “Organic”, “Raw” and many other buzz words we see on labels, do NOT guarantee they are safe or beneficial for everyone.

Work as a team with your Doctors. Get on and stay on treatment. Eat healthier, exercise, get enough sleep. Learn how to manage your stress. Surround yourself with positive people. Stay informed!

take care of you,
joy

http://fitms.org/category/staying-informed/







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Scientists identify drug with potential to block multiple sclerosis

Tests reveal remedy could also halt diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and alzheimer’s

Prof Luke O’Neill with flasks of inflamed white blood cells from the immune system in a laboratory in Trinity. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Prof Luke O’Neill with flasks of inflamed white blood cells from the immune system in a laboratory in Trinity. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

February 17, 2015

Researchers in Dublin have led an international study identifying a remarkable drug that may be able to block major diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis and most other inflammatory conditions.
Initial tests show it could instantly block MS and the effects of blood poisoning in mouse models. It also halted a rare inflammatory disease called Muckle-Wells syndrome using human blood samples as a test.
Muckle-Wells syndrome is a disorder characterised by episodes of skin rash, fever and joint pain. Progressive hearing loss and kidney damage also occur with this illness.
The drug, called MCC950, stops a very early trigger that sets off the inflammatory response to infection. While inflammation is good during infections it can cause a wide range of serious diseases if the inflammation remains in place.
“This is exciting, one of the biggest discoveries we have had,” said Prof Luke O’Neill, the chairman of biochemistry based in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute. “It is fantastic, the thing we have been looking for for 30 years. This could be the missing compound.”
Their main discovery is being able to identify the pathway that allows the drug to block the action of a pro-inflammatory substance in the body called NLRP3.
They also confirmed that inflammatory diseases all share a common process, even though the parts of the body becoming inflamed might differ, he said.
This was shown in the treatment of three very different conditions in mice and also when using human samples. “It really showed that it could work in humans,” he said.
Continue reading this hopeful message


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Monday, February 16, 2015

NEMUS Bioscience Developing "Condition-Specific" Cannabinoid-Based Medicines

Cannabis MS drugThe 2012 and 2014 ballots approving legalization of cannabis in four U.S. states have stirred the pot, so to speak, on a wide range of issues and nuances related to the herb — not least marijuana’s clinical use as a therapeutic agent. Medical marijuana remains a topic of debate in the health sciences community, but currently the sale and possession of marijuana is legal for both medical and non-medical use in four states: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, and 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.
As a public health issue, there are many nuances related to the use of cannabis, whether medicinally or recreationally, including its effectiveness — or not — in treating the astonishing range of disorders, including Multiple Sclerosis (MS), for which it is claimed by advocates to be beneficial. However, current scientific research either pro or con cannot be regarded as conclusive if for no other reason than that there is so relatively little of it for a variety of reasons, particularly bureaucratic and judicial roadblocks to legal acquisition of marijuana for research purposes, which inhibits approval and funding of marijuana research.
NEMUS Bioscience Inc. is a biopharmaceutical startup that hopes to help bridge the cannabis clinical research gap. The company’s activities are primarily focused on research, development and commercialization of a diverse range of new medicines and other chemicals derived from cannabinoids, a class of chemical compounds extracted from the Cannabis Sativa herb of the Hemp family, one of which — tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — is the psychoactive constituent in marijuana. In addition to Cannabis Sativa, there are more than 100 cannabinoids — some of which are believed to have powerful medicinal and therapeutic qualities.
NEMUS’s corporate vision is to offer physicians and patients “condition-specific” cannabinoid-based medicines designed to alleviate symptoms associated with a range of diseases, and to become a leading developer of cannabis-based therapeutics to address unmet medical needs on a global basis.


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More Promising Data on Stem Cell Transplant for MS

Megan Brooks
February 13, 2015

Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (AHSCT) proved "unequivocally" superior to mitoxantrone in reducing imaging evidence of disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) refractory to conventional therapy in a phase 2 randomized controlled trial.
Over 4 years, patients who received AHSCT experienced 79% fewer new T2 lesions compared with patients receiving mitoxantrone. Differential treatment effects in favor of AHSCT were also seen for gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+) lesions.
The Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation trial in MS (ASTIMS) study findings "strongly support phase 3 studies with primary clinical endpoints," Giovanni Mancardi, MD, from the University of Genova in Italy, and colleagues conclude.
The study was published online February 11 in Neurology.
Promoting Tolerance
The rationale for AHSCT in MS is to reset the immune system and induce a prolonged tolerance toward self-antigens.
Participants in the ASTIMS study included 21 patients with secondary progressive or relapsing-remitting MS, who had a worsening in the last year on the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) despite conventional therapy (interferon-β, glatiramer acetate, or immunosuppressive therapy), plus one or more Gd+ areas on MRI.
Nine patients were randomly allocated to intense immunosuppression (mobilization with cyclophosphamide and filgrastim, conditioning with carmustine, cytosine-arabinoside, etoposide, melphalan, and antithymocyte globulin) followed by AHSCT and 12 to 20 mg of mitoxantrone every month for 6 months.
The primary endpoint was the cumulative number of new T2 lesions in the 4 years following randomization; secondary endpoints were the cumulative number of Gd+ lesions, relapse rate, and disability progression.
Continue reading this Stem Cell therapy update

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Researchers document pathological progress of multiple sclerosis

The Centre for Brain Research at the MedUni Vienna is regarded as a world leader in researching the mechanisms involved with multiple sclerosis (MS). Now, in a paper published in the highly respected journal Lancet Neurology, an international team of researchers from Edinburgh, Cleveland and Vienna, under the leadership of Hans Lassmann, Head of the Department of Neuroimmunology at the MedUni Vienna, has for the first time documented the pathological progress of the disease from its early to late stage and also shown that inflammatory and neurodegenerative processes have a role to play. This raises the possibility of new treatment options.  

Until now, there have been two approaches to categorising the condition: the first approach regards MS as a disease of the nervous system that is inflammatory throughout, with the inflammation also being responsible for the subsequent neurodegenerative damage. The second approach postulates that the disease ultimately progresses from an inflammatory condition into a neurodegenerative one. In their current paper however, the team of researchers has demonstrated that multiple sclerosis is comprised of both factors - and that the inflammatory process acts as a "driving force" from the onset right to the end, and that neurodegenerative processes also occur in the so-called progressive, late phase that damage the brain.  
Says Lassmann: "The inflammatory process, which can be treated effectively in the early stages, becomes less pronounced with age. However the neurodegenerative damage increases. This also explains why drugs that initially work well later lose their effectiveness."

In the later stages of the condition, "amplification mechanisms" are triggered: the damage becomes amplified - and in a "self-contained" cycle that continues to cause destruction. The neurodegenerative damage in the brain activates microglial cells that also drive the disease forward, along with the formation of oxygen radicals that destroy lipids and proteins in the brain. At the same time, damage occurs to the mitochondria, which act as the power plants and energy providers to cells in the brain. This - coupled with normal brain ageing and the associated deposition of iron - also causes further damage.



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Experimental SPMS Drug From Innate Therapeutics Shows Success in Early Trials


Experimental SPMS Drug From Innate Therapeutics Shows Success in Early Trials


MIS416FEBRUARY 13TH, 2015 
Under development at Innate Immunotherapeutics is a special drug candidate to treatsecondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). Currently, no viable therapies exist for SPMS — only less-effective means to treat SPMS patients through drugs designed for relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis — making the prospect of Innate’s experimental SPMS therapy a promising one for progressive multiple sclerosis patients. So far, one completed phase 1 /2 clinical trial investigated the company’s drug, known as MIS416, in patients with SPMS or primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), and another phase 2B clinical trial is recruiting patients with SPMS in Australia.
As described by Innate Immunotherapeutics’ web page dedicated to MIS416, treatment stimulates signal transduction pathways in myeloid cells central to innate immune responses. According to Chief Executive Officer of Innate Immunotherapeutics, Simon Wilkinson, MIS416 is the only known drug candidate that targets and amplifies regulatory myeloid cell activities.
MIS416 comprises approximately 0.5 x 2.0 microns in size, containing naturally occurring proteins found in the body: TLR-9 and NOD-2 ligands. These particles target naturally anti-inflammatory myeloid cells, which are critical cells allowing the immune system to maintain homeostasis and initiate tissue repair pathways crucial to preventing deterioration in SPMS. A key feature of MIS416 is its specificity of activation, as cell activation occurs only when the microparticles are internalized and degraded within the cell to release the ligands.  This is likely to be one of the reasons that trial outcomes to date have demonstrated a good safety profile for MIS416.
The idea for MIS416 was first imagined by Dr. Frank Gelder in the mid-1990s while working at Louisiana State University. MIS416 was part of his program initiated to develop passive immunotherapeutics to treat late-stage AIDS patients. Existing adjuvant therapeutics were not potent enough, and he wanted to create a microparticle-based adjuvant onto which he could attach anti-HIV antigens.



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