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

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

News for those affected by MS in Louisville, KY


Registration to Open by Wednesday May 20, 2015 for our First Program in Louisville, KY






Jenifer Patterson is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with the Norton Healthcare Multiple Sclerosis Center.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing as well as Masters in Healthcare Administration from Spalding University and her Nurse Practitioner degree from the University of Louisville.  She has worked as a critical care nurse in transplant ICU, trauma ICU, and neurosurgical ICU as well as the emergency room of a level 1 trauma center.  Jenifer joined The University of Louisville Department of Neurology as the Multiple Sclerosis Nurse Practitioner where she cared for MS patients for 6 years until she joined Norton Healthcare in August 2010 to serve as The Norton MS Nurse Practitioner.  Jenifer is very involved in the MS community both locally as well as nationally.  She serves on many MS advisory boards and speakers bureaus.   She has participated in many educational programs for both patients and other healthcare professionals including speaking at the 2011 Consortium of MS Centers annual meeting in Montreal Canada.

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Oral Drugs May Reduce Preference for Injectable Drugs in Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Oral Drugs May Reduce Preference for Injectable Drugs in Multiple Sclerosis Treatment


Frost & Sullivan recently published a report entitled “A Product and Pipeline Analysis of the Multiple Sclerosis Therapeutics Market” providing insight into the global multiple sclerosis (MS) drug market. In this report, a competitive evaluation of MS pharmaceutical drugs currently available in the market and experimental drugs in Phase 3 trials was performed.
MS is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that results from an attack on the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optical nerves) by the body’s own immune system, causing inflammation and damage to the myelin layer that covers and protects neurons, leading to irreversible neurological disability. MS affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide.
Injectable drugs comprise the largest portion of the MS drug market, although several new oral pipeline drugs are helping to establish oral drugs in the United States. According to the study, oral therapies are revolutionizing MS treatment as they offer enhanced dosing along with higher rates of patient compliance.Progressive MS is characterized by a gradual, steady progression of disability, leading to impairment in vision and walking, pain, fatigue, incontinence and cognitive changes. Patients usually have a poor response to treatment and there is little or no recovery. Progressive MS can be either primary, where patients develop this form of the disease from the time of diagnosis, or secondary, where patients initially experience a relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) phase of neurological dysfunction that later evolves into a secondary progressive disease. Primary progressive MS only affects 10 to 15% of MS patients, while the majority develops secondary progressive MS.
The company reports that recent therapeutic developments seek improve the tolerability of existing drugs, especially those based on interferon beta and glatiramer acetate. A focus on the development of anti-inflammatory drugs has also been observed.
Currently, the most effective treatment for MS in terms of controlling aspects of the immune system are disease modifying drugs, or ABCR treatment, where “A” stands for Avonex, “B” stands for Betaferon, “C” stands for Copaxone and “R” stands for Rebif. Avonex, Betaferon and Rebif are beta interferon drugs, while Copaxone has glatiramer acetate as an active ingredient.
“Physicians prefer Avonex, Betaferon, Copaxone, Rebif – or ABCRs – as first line therapy because of the 10 years of clinical data establishing their efficacy and safety,” said the study’s author, Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Industry Analyst Aish Vivekanandan in a news release. “As is evident, clinical data substantiating the benefits of drugs will prove to be the driving factor in enabling rapid approvals from regulatory agencies.”
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MS News in Australia: New SPMS Trial underway


The MIS416 trial is a clinical research trial1 now enrolling patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) in Australia. Full information about the trial can be viewed by clicking HERE

Please click on the pin nearest to your geographic location to learn more about trial sites in your area.

Click here to see this map and learn more of the trials




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Problem Drinking in MS Associated with Anxiety and Family History

Multiple sclerosis (MS) presents many life-altering challenges, but most patients naturally focus most often on the physical challenges associated with the condition: problems with movement, sensation and vision that occur as part of disease progression. Unfortunately, depression and suicidal thoughts are common as well. New research suggests that there could be a relationship between mood disorders, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse and problem drinking in MS.
Previous research has suggested that alcohol consumption issues with MS patients is linked to mood problems. However, studies examining all of these problems and their associations with one another in MS have been lacking in the research community.
Researchers Susan Quesnel and Anthony Feinstein of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook and Women’s College Health Science Centre in Ontario, Canada sought to find out more about problem drinking, depression and suicide in people with MS.
To accomplish this, they studied drinking patterns in 140 multiple sclerosis patients. The researchers sought to determine whether study participants had a lifetime history of psychiatric diagnoses using a standard assessment called 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 research revealed that a shocking one in every six MS patients drinks to excess over the course of their lifetime. Those people with a history of problem drinking also had a higher lifetime prevalence of anxiety, but not mood disorders such as depression. In addition, people with a drinking problem also were more likely to have had suicidal thoughts over the course of their lifespan, as well as other substance abuse problems and a family history of mental illness. The researchers found that all of these associations were statistically significant.

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ADVANCED Multiple Sclerosis (MS)



Advanced MS - National MS Society

Aaron Miller, MD, describes the available treatment options and resources for people living with advanced MS, and highlights the ongoing research efforts to repair the damaged nervous system.

Overview

Although we have treatments to manage the disease course, they are only partially effective, which means that some people’s MS will worsen in spite of everything they and their doctors do to try and prevent it.
Many people ask themselves “Why did this happen? Did I choose the wrong doctor or the wrong medication…did I follow the wrong diet or the wrong exercise program…did I get too stressed out at my job?". But the fact is, MS progresses because that is the natural course of the disease.
While researchers are working and collaborating to identify new and better strategies to stop that progression, people whose MS has become more disabling—and their family members and friends—need information about how to manage the challenges they face.

Planning for the future

Although MS is a progressive disease for many people, the rate of progression differs from one person to another. The hallmark of MS is its unpredictability—which means that the doctor can’t predict with any certainty how far or fast a person’s MS is going to progress or what the outcome is likely to be. However, there are some factors that seem to suggest a better or worse prognosis.
  • Several studies have shown that people who have few relapses (also called exacerbations or attacks) in the first several years after diagnosis, long intervals between relapses, complete recovery from relapses, relapses that are sensory in nature (i.e., numbness, tingling, visual loss), and nearly normal neurological examinations after five years tend to do better.
  • People who have early symptoms of tremor, in-coordination, difficulty in walking, or who have frequent attacks with incomplete recoveries, early development of neurological abnormalities, or more lesions on MRI early on, tend to have a more progressive disease course.
Taking these factors into account can help you and your family plan more effectively for the future.

Identifying options

The key message to anyone living with advanced MS is that there is always more that can be done to make the situation better. If your doctor has “nothing more to offer,” it’s time to find another doctor (.pdf) - who will partner with you and other members of the healthcare team to manage yoursymptoms effectively and maintain your quality of life. The National MS Society (1-800-344-4867) can recommend healthcare professionals with knowledge and competency in MS care, as well as other resources in your area.  

Learning to redefine control and independence

Sometimes MS symptoms can progress to the point that they significantly interfere with daily activities. Changes like this can threaten your self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. When this happens, remember that maintaining control and independence in everyday life doesn’t necessarily mean doing everything the same way you did it before.

By allowing yourself to do things differently, you gain access to the world of assistive technology (AT)—an array of energy- and labor-saving tools and devices that allow you to stay active and productive. Rehabilitation professionals can help you navigate the world of AT and suggest ways to modify your environment at home and at work to optimize control and independence.

Dealing with emotional ups and downs

Depression and other mood changes are common in MS, and grief is a normal reaction to the changes and losses that can accompany advanced MS. Getting the support you need to deal with these emotional challenges is essential to maintaining your quality of life.

Avoiding complications

The information showing above was provided by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society



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SSDI Guidebook for People with MS

a National Multiple Sclerosis Society guidebook

Developed to assist you in deciding whether applying for disability benefits is right for you and in navigating the complex application process.


Download now







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Biogen recently announced that its next-generation multiple sclerosis drug Zinbryta has been submitted for FDA approval

ABSTRACT

The submission clears the way for an FDA decision early next year, and potentially sets the stage for Biogen to strengthen its dominance as a leader in multiple sclerosis treatment.

Targeting a big marketBiogen is the planet's biggest manufacturer of therapies used to treat multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects 2.5 million people globally, including 400,000 people in the United States. In multiple sclerosis patients, the immune system incorrectly attacks myelin, a fatty substance that protects nerves, as well as nerve fibers. Those attacks cause scar tissue that can interfere with messages being sent to or from the central nervous system, resulting in painful and debilitating symptoms.
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis, and because the disease can significantly impact a patient's day-to-day living, patients are typically prescribed medication that is taken chronically during their lifetime. Often, the complexity of those medications means that they carry higher price tags than drugs used for other diseases. As a result, the multiple sclerosis market is worth $17 billion annually.
According to a leading pharmacy benefit manager, multiple sclerosis is the second most costly specialty drug indication, and spending on MS therapies climbed 12.9% in 2014.

Protecting its moatSince its approval in 1996, Biogen's Avonex has been one of the most widely prescribed therapies used to help reduce the number of remissions an MS patient suffers each year. However, new medications taken orally, rather than injected, have recently begun to eat away at Avonex's market share.

In order to outmaneuver competitors, Biogen has responded by launching Tecfidera, its own oral multiple sclerosis therapy, and Plegridy, a longer-lasting formulation of Avonex. And now, Biogen is co-developing Zinbryta.

Improving treatmentZinbryta, which was formerly known as daclizumab, is a monoclonal antibody that is injected every four weeks. The drug works by binding to the interleukin-2 receptor subunit CD25, which is over-expressed on immune systems' T-cells in MS patients.
In clinical trials, Zinbryta significantly outperformed Avonex in both patient relapse rates and disease progression. Specifically, Zinbryta reduced relapses versus Avonex by 45%, and 73% of Zinbryta patients were relapse free at week 96, compared to 59% of Avonex patients.

Looking forwardThere's no guarantee that the FDA will approve Zinbryta, and there's no certainty that, if approved, it would become a top seller. There have been concerns regarding a higher rate of serious infection in patients taking Zinbryta than in Avonex patients, so that could weigh on script volume -- at least at first. However, because all multiple sclerosis drugs carry risks that require constant monitoring, doctors could eventually warm up to Zinbryta. An estimated 23% of MS patients are non-adherent to their existing therapy, and Zinbryta's monthly dosing potentially marks a substantial improvement in patient dosing burden as compared with the weekly Avonex.
If Zinbryta gains FDA approval and its improved efficacy and dosing wins over doctors, then the drug could become a blockbuster.

Read complete article here



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Pure Body Love - INSPIRATIONAL


Mission Statement: My mission is to empower women to be WORTHY NOW and let go of limiting beliefs so they can step into the Authentic version of themselves and discover their vision for their body and mind. My mission is to educate women who are suffering like I was from low self-esteem and body issues This led me to Pure BodyLove to create personalized road maps to show for my clients I would guidance while working on changing your subconscious thoughts and behaviors and pretty closer to loving yourself and your life. When we are out of alignment with our purpose it manifests in our daily lives in the form of eating disorders, drug, sex, and food addictions, anxiety attacks, mysterious illnesses, weight problems, or digestive issues.

Contact Melissa here



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Promising New Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Based on Placenta Cells

A study published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, led by researchers at Mount Sinai in New York and Celgene Cellular Therapeutics revealed that an infusion based on cells derived from the placenta proved to be safe for patients withmultiple sclerosis (MS) and a promising new therapy for the disease. The study is entitled “Human placenta-derived cells (PDA-001) for the treatment of adults with multiple sclerosis: A randomized, placebo-controlled, multiple-dose study.
MS is a progressive neurodegenerative autoimmune disorder that results from an attack on the central nervous system (CNS) by the body’s own immune system, causing inflammation and damage to the myelin layer that covers and protects nerve fibers in the CNS. Myelin loss leads to impairment in signal transmission along the nerve fibers, affecting motor function (such as coordination, balance, speech and vision), causing irreversible neurological disability, paralysis and blindness. MS usually starts as an episodic disorder known as relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and in many patients it evolves into a more severe chronic condition with worsening disability named secondary progressive MS (SPMS). It is estimated that more than 2.3 million people in the world suffer from the disease.
It has been previously shown that therapeutic cell-based infusions have an immunomodulatory and repair action in MS. PDA-001 in particular is a preparation of cultured mesenchymal-like cells derived from healthy human placental tissue and designed for the treatment of MS as these cells have immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, pro-regenerative and neuroprotective properties. As these placenta cells are expanded in cell culture, one healthy donor is capable of supplying enough cells for several patients.
In the study, researchers tested the safety and possible exacerbation of the disease with this new MS treatment approach based on PDA-001. A phase 1b, randomized, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 16 MS patients (10 with RRMS and 6 with SPMS), aged between 18 and 65 years. Six patients received a high dose of PDA-001 (600×106 cells), other six were given a lower dose (150×106 cells), and the remaining four patients received a placebo. Patients were monthly monitored for brain lesions through brain magnetic resonance imaging scans to assess possible disease progression.


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Monday, May 11, 2015

The Healthy Brain

Most of us would like to experience mental sharpness and emotional balance. You can get closer to this goal by incorporating habits that will have a positive impact on your brain. A healthy diet, exercise, and proper sleep are certainly important to the overall functioning of the body and particularly the brain. Reducing and addressing risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, will be helpful to ward off conditions such as stroke/ brain attack. From a neuropsychological perspective, there are a few other variables to consider to maintain a healthy brain.

Rhonda Freeman, PhD Licensed Psychologist

RelaxationTake the time to calm and relax the brain- the goal is to reduce stress. There are many ways this can be done, such as via meditation and/ or yoga. You can learn relaxation strategies to meet your needs via the assistance of a psychologist, therapist, books, or various online resources.
Exercise the Brain: Engage in activities that challenge thinking. Scientific literature suggests that exercises for the brain can improve cognition. Give consideration to tasks that will require that you exert some mental effort as you participate, rather than mental activities that are ‘quick and easy’ for you. Seniors benefit from cognitive exercises as well.
Social Environment: Positive social experiences provide the best environment for our brain.  Exposure to certain populations of people (e.g., personality disordered, bullies, abusers, the highly critical, etc) can be harmful to our emotional well being, as such exposure can shift our brain into survivor mode (flight/fight/ freeze). It is difficult to fully experience joy, love, and trust within such an environment.
Address Emotional Issues: Give your emotional and psychological health the same level of attention that would be given to a physical condition. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, addictions and other such conditions have a deleterious impact on one’s life, which could possibly lead to physical problems in the future.  If you have psychological symptoms seek diagnosis and treatment with a professional.
Emotional Intelligence Quotient: Emotional IQ is associated with one’s ability to not only be aware of, utilize, regulate, and understand your own emotional status, but also to detect, understand, and relate to the emotional status of another in a nonmanipulative/nondeceptive prosocial manner. (There are other components and variations to this definition. For a review of this concept, refer to the works of Drs. Daniel Goleman, Paul Salovey, and John Mayer). Emotional IQ is vitally important as it directly impacts our social relationships, determines our ability to relate to one another and have successful relationships. High cognitive intelligence (the traditional IQ test results) does not necessarily indicate one has a high Emotional IQ. Hence, an individual can be successful occupationally and highly intelligent (“smart”), however have extremely poor moral reasoning, minimal empathy, and deceptive behavior (low emotional intelligence).




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Nutrition: 4 Vitamins That Strengthen Older Brains



Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E are associated with better mental functioning in the elderly, a new study has found.

Researchers measured blood levels of these nutrients in 104 men and women, whose average age was 87. The scientists also performed brain scans to determine brain volume and administered six commonly used tests of mental functioning. The study is in the Jan. 24 issue of Neurology.

After controlling for age, sex, blood pressure, body mass index and other factors, the researchers found that people with the highest blood levels of the four vitamins scored higher on the cognitive tests and had larger brain volume than those with the lowest levels.

Omega-3 levels were linked to better cognitive functioning and to healthier blood vessels in the brain, but not to higher brain volume, which suggests that these beneficial fats may improve cognition by a different means.

Higher blood levels of trans fats, on the other hand, were significantly associated with impaired mental ability and smaller brain volume

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Overcoming the Challenge of Progressive Multiple Sclerosis" Important Topic at CMSC Annual Meeting

Dr. Alan Thompson Delivers Donald Paty Memorial Lecture at MS Conference for Healthcare Professionals

This press release was orginally distributed by ReleaseWire

Hackensack, NJ -- (ReleaseWire) -- 05/08/2015 -- Of the 2.3 million people with MS worldwide, at some point in their lives, over 50% may face the challenges of progressive MS. Addressing their needs is important as there are virtually no treatment options and progression is the main determinant of disability in MS and carries the greatest economic burden.

Alan Thompson, MD, FRCP, University College London (UCL), will address "Overcoming the Challenge of Progressive MS," on Saturday, May 30th at 8:00 a.m., during the Donald Paty Memorial Lecture at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, May 27-30, 2015 in Indianapolis, IN. The 29th Annual CMSC Meeting is the only event in North America that provides health care professionals, from a wide range of disciplines, with the latest information, treatment advancements, and research in multiple sclerosis.

Currently Dean of the UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences, and Program Director for Neurological Disorders, UCL Partners Academic Health Science Centre, one of Dr. Thompson's principal research areas is Progressive MS and the understanding of the pathological mechanisms that result in neurological disability and recovery. "The challenges for developing an effective treatment for Progressive MS are numerous," according to Dr. Thompson, "and during my lecture, I will help define the diagnosis and underlining symptoms, discuss current trial medicines and some opportunities for the future."

Dr. Thompson will also discuss the mission of the International Progressive MS Alliance, an organization that has united MS Societies and clinical academics worldwide and encourages them to focus on and overcome the barriers delaying the much-needed research for Progressive MS.


Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2548413#ixzz3ZkgTFPTw





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Supporting Family Caregivers Through the Lifespan Respite Care Program

Caregivers of people with MS spend about 24 hours a week providing care. Of these caregivers, 64% are emotionally drained, 32% experience depression and 22% have lost a job due to caregiving responsibilities. The Lifespan Respite Care Program helps states better coordinate and deliver quality respite care that improves the health of family caregivers and allows the person living with MS to continue living at home.

Learn more of this program by clicking here



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