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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.

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Saturday, April 4, 2015

“Will the Real Service Animal, Please Stand Up?”

By: Julie M. Shaw

            Since the civil rights passage of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the use of service animals continues to escalate and despite the numerous service animal schools across the nation, demand far exceeds availability.  Being the creative creature that mankind is; there have been some unexpected, yet entertaining, interpretations of what a service animal is and does. There has been such a creative response to the use of service animals; the Department of Justice released updated rulemaking on the use of service animals which became effective March 15, 2012.  The new regulations clearly defines and provides a boundary for future interpretations of the law. 

The Department of Justice (DOJ) defined a service animal as only a dog or miniature horse specifically trained to mitigate the individual’s disability.  I know what you’re thinking.  Miniature Horse?  Really??  More about that later.  

Gone now are the birds, monkeys, service snakes, “phoo phoo” dogs that ride in strollers, costumed animals that pose for pictures, and more.  Some of these were creative responses to the law, or ignorance, and unfortunately the rest of the zoo was an effort to take advantage of a civil right for individuals with disabilities.  And yes, I am sad to say, all of the examples came from the State of Florida! 

The only animals that are now allowed in public facilities and programs as service animals are those who are individually trained to mitigate the disability or perform a task specific to the disability.  But we need to be clear; companion dogs, emotional support dogs and pets are NOT service animals.  Look again.  They are spelled differently!

Assistance Animals, Emotional Support Animals, Companion Animals and pets belong at home and not in public facilities unless the program is designed to include animals.  These types of animals provide comfort merely by their presence. They do not perform a task to assist specifically to the needs of the person with a disability.  If the animal is NOT specifically trained to perform a task to mitigate a disability; then IT IS NOT A SERVICE ANIMAL!  Did anybody hear me?  Do I need to shout it from a mountain top? With DOJ’s new regulations – hopefully not!  But the ADA does not limit the broader definition of assistance animals found in the federal Fair housing Act (for housing), and the Air Carrier Access Act (for airline travel).

As promised, the long awaited clarification on the miniature horses.  In addition to the provisions about service dogs, DOJ also revised ADA regulations to have a new, separate provision about miniature horses that have been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. (Miniature horses generally range in height from 24 inches to 34 inches measured to the shoulders and generally weigh between 70 and 100 pounds.)  Just as we breed certain types of dogs to be guide dogs or service animals, miniature horse are also bred in America.   They are no larger than a German Sheppard dog. 

I do not believe Florida can take full credit for the miniature horse provisions, but we have had 2 miniature horses in use by individuals with disabilities in Florida.  One even rode the paratransit system outside of Jacksonville.

Specific tasks service animals are trained to perform are endless, but there are some common tasks most service animals are trained to perform.   Service animals are not required to come from a licensed school nor are the owner required to carry any certification or license.  This is because the ADA allows individuals with disabilities to individually train the animal to meet their specific needs.  That is why the potential tasks a service animals can be trained to do are endless.   
Safety of the individual with a disability is one of the primary reasons numerous tasks are performed by service animals in order for the individual to live as independently as possible.  It is important to clarify that an attack dog or guard dog that is specifically trained for those purposes does not meet the definition of a service animal. 

Some common tasks that service animals perform for a person with a mobility or physical impairment can include, but are not limited to the following:  pulling someone in a wheelchair, tugging off clothes, fetching an item or medicine, helping with laundry, paying cashiers, opening and closing drawers and doors, turning on and off lights, picking up items that are dropped, assisting with balance, and more.  For an individual who has a hearing impairment or who is deaf, a service animal would commonly stop and alert the owner whenever an item is dropped, alert the owner to any alarms, knocks, or rings, and in the area of safety, alert the owner when the individual is being approached from behind. 

For an individual who has seizures the service animal is trained to detect a change in the body chemistry, make sure the person is sitting or lying down in order to be safe during the seizure, provide comfort during the seizure by laying the animal’s body against the individual, lick the face or hand to provide a touch with reality, retrieve medicine, and keep the individual safe during the seizure.  For psychiatric service animals, the animal is trained to divert the attention of the individual with the disability and gain their focus in order to deter a panic attack from occurring or to avoid a psychiatric episode.  Sometimes, this task performed by a psychiatric service animal can be interpreted incorrectly because the animal may be trained to jump up in the air to get the owner’s attention. 

Service animals carry emergency medications in their vests specific to their owner’s condition such as seizure medication and nitroglycerin.  Some service animals are trained to dial 911 on a specially designed phone. 

Due to the increasing number of veterans returning home from war with post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), service animal requests for veterans to calm a veteran during an anxiety attack is at an all time high.  As a result, the veteran’s administration is beginning to implement service animal programs and you may have heard of the Wounded Warrior Projects that are also utilizing service animals for a variety of disabilities, not just PTSD.

Animals such as guide dogs and miniature horses are trained to guide visually impaired individuals around objects safely, maneuver terrain changes and cross traffic safely.  Medical alert animals can be trained to alert another “target” person to a medical condition during and after the condition occurs.  Conditions can include but are not limited to: heart conditions, diabetes, blood pressure problems, asthma problems or any condition the dog is able to sense a change in the chemical actions of the body.  Service animals can also be trained to bring medical items to the fallen person, such as a back pack worn by the dog or items from the table, which contain medicines, needles, etc. 


Safety is the key factor that can prevent an individual with a disability from living in the community and pursuing their own interests and desires.  The use of service animals has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for individuals with disabilities and safety is the common thread regardless of the type of disability or the task trained to perform. 


Julie M. Shaw – Executive Director of disability Solutions




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Friday, April 3, 2015

DisAbility Solutions helps to provide Independent Living, for many

Our mission is to empower people with disabilities 
to attain equal opportunities in society.


disAbility Solutions for Independent Living, Inc., (dSIL) is a non-profit 501(C)3 agency in Daytona Beach, Florida, run by a Board of Directors (BOD) where more than 51% are people with disabilities. The BOD promotes the independence of people with disabilities through empowerment and the support of Independent Living Services. dSIL promotes the application of all disability rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

View the disAbility Solutions website to learn and see what a great service they are providing. Click : http://www.dsil.org/index.html




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David Lyons sees The Eye of the TIGER



Published on Mar 10, 2015
March 6, 2015: MSFC Founder, David Lyons, receives the first ever Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award from Arnold Schwarzenegger on stage at the Arnold Fitness Expo for his accomplishments as a bodybuilder with MS and for his dedication to helping others with MS conquer this disease through fitness.

For those that wonder why this is posted? - The Answer is David wanted to show the world that even living with MS, He can make a difference.

Yes, Stu met David and David is real

Learn more of what he does by visiting:  http://msfitnesschallenge.com/

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Women with MS lack certain Antioxidants


Health Day (2/21/15, Preidt) reported that research presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting suggests that "women with multiple sclerosis (MS) have lower levels of important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients than those without the disease".  

In the study, which "included 27 white women", investigators found that "on average, the MS patients had lower levels of five antioxidants or anti-inflammatory nutrients: folate from food, vitamin E, magnesium, quercetin and lutein-zeaxanthin".


New findings by the American Academy of Neurology show that women with multiple sclerosis are deficient in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. 
This study was reported and published 2/12/15.


We were intrigued to learn about this research as we have been proactive in supporting the importance of supplementation for those with MS, especially those shown to be highly absorbed into the system, in a drinkable form and have pharmaceutical grade ingredients. Supplements, along with some vitamins, such as multi, D and B are available in Isotonic form.


With 4000 health care professionals recommending Isotonix to their patients, this is the proof behind the products. Manufactured in the US Isotonix have been regulated by four levels of quality control and overseen by the FDA's GMP practices.


To learn more or to take a positive step towards better health today, follow the link below: www.shop.com/trends/ul-4230789-Isotonix+


To your health,
Carri Chicurel
(561) 239-7063


WWW.ISOTONIX.COM/SEEOURSHOPS
EMAIL: SEEOURSHOPS@GMAIL.COM
www.shop.com/msvn to register for 2-50% cashback on the products you already buy!

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Disclaimer: MS Views and News / Stu's Views and MS News - does not endorse any alternative therapies. The use of an alternative therapy is ultimately your choice. Please always consult with a healtcare provider before use to be sure that the use of one product does not cancel the effectiveness of another,


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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

MS - Anger Management


Marc Stecker-Wheelchair Kamikaze- 

My wife attends a monthly caregiver support group, though I can’t imagine why, since I’m such a prince and always a tremendous pleasure to be around. Be that as it may, Karen tells me that many of the other caregivers in the group talk about the tremendous amount of anger expressed by their MS stricken partners, something that came as a surprise to her, since I’m generally not a very angry person. I’ve always been slow to anger, but if anything could get me angry, having to deal with MS and all of attendant crap that comes along with it... 





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Learn of THE MS SOCIAL WORK NAVIGATOR


The MS Views and News Multiple Sclerosis Social Work Navigator is a Social Worker with a Master's Degree and whose professional focus has been working with the Multiple Sclerosis community.

The MS Social Work Navigator is able to assist the Multiple Sclerosis patient, caregivers, family members and friends, in adapting to the ever changing course that Multiple Sclerosis may present.

As the needs of the MS patient and their loved one’s may evolve and change, the MS Social Work Navigator is able to provide the needed information, connections to community resources and referrals that make the required adaption and transition smoother.



MS Views and News seeks to empower and increase the quality of life for the Multiple Sclerosis community by providing free social services.


Examples of Services Include:
·         Guidance & assistance-with applications for services
·         Patient education
·         Patient advocacy
·         Assistance in facilitating effective physician/patient communication 
·         Connections to prescription assistance programs
·         Social Security /Health Insurance issues & Information 
·         Employment issues
·         Home Safety

Referrals and connections to:
·         Individual, family and marital counseling 
·         Connections to support groups
·         Attorneys specializing in Disability law & ADA laws 
·         Advocacy groups
·         Mental health counselors
·         Physical therapy
·         Occupational therapy

·         Local exercise and Adaptive exercise groups



Currently this Service is Only available in the State of Florida:

                                   


If needing to speak with a Social Worker in Florida: please contact Jennifer Falk our MS Social Work Navigator at:  786-296-8777 or jennifer@msvn.org


information was updated on 08.04.15

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Receptos Completes Enrollment of RADIANCE Phase 3 Trial of Ozanimod in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

SUNBEAM Phase 3 Trial of Ozanimod in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis Continues to Enroll According to Plan; Overall Phase 3 Program on Track to be Completed in 1H 2017
Receptos Well Capitalized to Advance Clinical Development Programs
SAN DIEGO, April 1, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Receptos, Inc. (RCPT) announced today that the Company has completed enrollment in the RADIANCE Phase 3 trial of ozanimod (formerly RPC1063) in patients with Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (RMS). The trial was over-enrolled by approximately 10% due to strong interest among investigators and patients. The Company is continuing to enroll the SUNBEAM trial of ozanimod in patients with RMS. Receptos is on track to complete this Phase 3 clinical development program in the first half of 2017.
"Completing enrollment of the RADIANCE trial represents another major corporate milestone for Receptos, and positions ozanimod as the potential next-to-market oral agent for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis," said Faheem Hasnain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Receptos. "Following positive Phase 2 results in ulcerative colitis, we also plan to initiate a Phase 3 program for ozanimod in inflammatory bowel disease in 2015. We believe that ozanimod represents a potential franchise in immunology, and we continue to explore opportunities in other therapeutic indications where there is strong scientific rationale."
The announcement follows the disclosure in September 2014 of the detailed Phase 2 results of ozanimod in RMS. In that trial, ozanimod met the primary endpoint of reduction in MRI brain lesion activity as well as secondary endpoints measuring effects on other MRI parameters. The overall safety profile of ozanimod was consistent with the results of prior trials and continues to be differentiated from other oral agents for the treatment of RMS.
The RADIANCE and SUNBEAM Phase 3 trials each are randomized, double-blind studies designed to compare 0.5 mg and 1.0 mg of ozanimod against interferon beta-1a (Avonex(R) in 1,200 patients with RMS. The primary objectives of the RADIANCE and SUNBEAM trials are to assess whether ozanimod is superior to Avonex(R) in reducing the annualized relapse rate in patients after two years of therapy and one year of therapy, respectively. Both trials are being conducted under Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) agreements with the FDA.


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New Purification Method Promises Affordable Antibody Production For Diseases Like MS

New Purification Method Promises Affordable Antibody Production For Diseases Like MS

March 30th, 2015                     Patricia Inacio, PhD

The Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) developed a new purification method for pharmaceutical produced antibodies that promises to effectively decrease the high prices of these drugs in the market.
Therapeutic antibodies revolutionized how doctors treat diseases affecting a large number of individuals, such as cancer and autoimmune diseases (like multiple sclerosis) but are also key therapeutics for rare diseases, such as paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria (previously known as Marchiafava–Micheli syndrome). A caveat, however, is that the costs for producing this successful class of therapeutic agents is still costly, which may be a limitation to their use.
For the pharmaceutical industry, decreasing processing costs is contingent on optimizing the purification process of antibody production. Currently, the process is performed through a process called “protein A” affinity chromatography (which purifies and concentrates antibodies out of a mixture into a buffering solution) and accounts for about 80% of all the production costs.
The new purification method, developed by the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), consists of a tubular reactor where a Calcium-Phosphate flocculation is applied followed by precipitation of the purified proteins by cold ethanol. The reactor is built as a double-pipe heat exchanger that works in counter-current flow.




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Statins for Multiple Sclerosis

2015-03-30

A new meta-analysis and review of statins for multiple sclerosis has just been published, and it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at what scientists say about statins for MS. It also would be enlightening to hear from people with multiple sclerosis concerning their experiences and opinions about using these drugs
.statins for multiple sclerosis
Statins (e.g., atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, simvastatin) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for lowering cholesterol levels. These drugs can accomplish this by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is instrumental in the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Statins are controversial drugs for several reasons. One is the apparent push to expand the user population by recommending the drugs for otherwise healthy individuals who are at increased risk for heart disease. Another reason is the side effects associated with use, including muscle pain, abnormal liver enzyme tests, higher risk of diabetes, and muscle damage.
Statins for multiple sclerosis
Some research has suggested that statins may help with multiple sclerosis because they possess neurotrophic and immune system benefits.
A new systematic review and meta-analysis of eight trials has been published, and the eligible studies included five in which statins were used along with interferon in remitting-relapsing MS and one each of statins only for clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), optic neuritis, and secondary progressive MS. The meta-analysis was done on the five trials only, however.
The investigators observed the following trends associated with statin use in the five studies:
  • An increase in the proportion of patients with relapse
  • An increase in disease activity associated with new T2 lesions
  • An increase in whole brain atrophy
Regarding the remaining three studies, the authors noted the following:
    Continue reading





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CLINICAL Trial Will Evaluate Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom are launching a clinical trial to evaluate the effectiveness of new strategies meant to improve and compensate for difficulties with attention and memory in people with multiple sclerosis.
The Cognitive Rehabilitation for Attention and Memory in people with Multiple Sclerosis (CRAMMS) trial, which will begin recruiting patients in April, is being led by Nadina Lincoln, PhD, professor of clinical psychology in the Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing at The University of Nottingham and Roshan das Nair, MD, consultant clinical psychologist at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and honorary associate professor in the University's Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing.
Nearly 50% of patients with multiple sclerosis will have problems with attention and memory at some point during the progression of the disease; however few get treatment for such cognitive problems.
In previous trials, cognitive rehabilitation for people with multiple sclerosis has not been shown to be effective, which is why the researchers are turning their focus to more imaginative strategies, including internal memory aids and external aids to aid in memory recall.
Read complete article here

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The MS Views and News - educational meeting in Indianapolis will continue for May 26th

Although MS Views and News (MSVN) is against the passing of  the state of Indiana's “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”, OUR Multiple Sclerosis educational program scheduled in Indianapolis for May 26th (our first educational program in Indiana) will continue as planned as this is not possible for us to re-schedule.

MS Views and News (MSVN), will also be particpating at the 2015 meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) which also cannot be re-scheduled as shown here

MSVN strongly believes that all Indiana businesses should be serving and servicing ALL.
We do recommend that individuals reading this message to voice your opinions online on Social media and writing to your State Representatives as this Indiana Bill Passing needs to be dealt with, on a higher level.





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CMSC Indiana Meeting to Go On Despite “Religious Freedom” Law

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers will not be canceling its annual meeting, scheduled for May 27-30 in Indianapolis

Last Friday, the state of Indiana passed the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” The act, signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence, will apparently allow individuals and businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians. A florist could, for example, cite the law in refusing to provide flowers for a wedding ceremony involving a gay or lesbian couple.

In response, some organizations are threatening to reduce their presence in the state, and others are canceling planned meetings.

Despite passage of the law, the 2015 meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), scheduled for May 27 to 30 in Indianapolis, will not be canceled. “It is impossible to reschedule a meeting that will attract about 1,800+ individuals and requires large amounts of meeting and exhibit space, audiovisual support, hotel rooms, etc., with 2 months notice,” wrote CMSC President Robert P. Lisak, M.D., in response to an emailed inquiry from MSDF.

Dr. Lisak, who holds the Parker Webber Chair in Neurology at Wayne State University in Detroit, added that CMSC has not yet developed an official position on the new law, “but many of us find the law deplorable. … I will very likely make a personal comment in my opening remarks. [I think this] represents bigotry hidden under the term freedom of religion.”

Dr. Lisak said that CMSC has no current plans as an organization to protest the law, but “Certainly individuals are free to make their position known.”

Some local businesses are reportedly reacting to the law by posting window stickers stating, “This Business Serves Everyone.” One way meeting attendees could make their positions known is by preferentially patronizing businesses displaying such a sticker.

While I agree it’s unreasonable to expect CMSC to cancel its meeting on such short notice, I hope the organization will consider a more forceful and affirmative response. I for one would like to see rainbow flags flying throughout the conference, rainbow lapel pins provided for attendees, prominent signs stating CMSC’s support for its LGBTQ members, and perhaps passage of a resolution stating the organization’s condemnation of discrimination and bigotry under the cover of “religious freedom.”





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