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 -- Be empowered with MS news by registering with us: www.register.msviewsandnews.org

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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, June 20, 2015

Tips to Deal With Caregiver Stress

You can ease your stress with a few simple techniques that don't take a lot of time. Try these methods to ratchet down the tension.
Two-minute relaxation. Switch your thoughts to yourself and your breathing. Take a few deep breaths and exhale slowly.
Then do a mental scan of your body to find which areas feel tense or cramped. Quickly loosen up these areas. Let go of as much tension as you can.
Rotate your head in a smooth, circular motion once or twice. (Stop any movements that cause pain.) Roll your shoulders forward and backward several times. Let all of your muscles completely relax. Recall a pleasant thought for a few seconds. Take another deep breath and exhale slowly. You should feel relaxed.
Mind relaxation. Close your eyes. Breathe normally through your nose. As you exhale, silently say to yourself the word "one," a short word such as "peaceful," or a short phrase such as "I feel quiet."
Continue for 10 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently remind yourself to think about your breathing and your chosen word or phrase. Let your breathing become slow and steady.
Deep breathing relaxation. Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, and fill your belly with air.
Let the air fill you from the belly up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow breath out, you should feel more relaxed.
Guided imagery. This is a way to let your thoughts move you to a relaxed state of mind. You use your imagination to build up peaceful images in your mind. For instance, you might reflect on all the details that are part of a comfortable place, like a beach or garden.
Biofeedback. This is a method that teaches you how to make changes in your body that let you relax. You'll need to do this with a professional who specializes in this technique.
During a biofeedback session, you'll be connected to electrodes that measure things such as your blood pressure, heart rate, or muscle tension. With help from the therapist, you'll learn how to control some of these things so you can get relaxed.
Behavioral changes. You can manage tough situations and stress by changing some of your thought patterns and habits.
For instance, you can make changes like:
  • Share your expectations with others.
  • Be more assertive.
  • Exercise more.
  • Eat healthier foods.
  • Focus on positive relationships.
  • Share your feelings.
  • Listen to others.
View this article source at WebMD


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Tame Your Bladder When You Have MS

Take charge of your "urge to go" by trying some simple tips.
Don't sip. Drink a small glass of water (about 6 to 8 ounces) all at once every few hours during the day. That's better than sipping drinks throughout the day, which might give you the urge to urinate more frequently. You'll know when you get enough to drink because your urine will turn light yellow.
Stop drinking before bed. Stay hydrated, but don't drink too close to bedtime or you could wake up during the night to use the bathroom. Have your last drink of water or other fluid at least 2 hours before you go to bed.
Limit caffeine and alcohol. Cut back on coffee, soda, beer, and wine. Caffeine and alcohol can irritate your bladder and increase the urge to go. Alcohol also affects the way your kidneys absorb water, and it can make your bladder fill up more quickly than usual.
Don't smoke. Nicotine is another bladder irritant. If you smoke, ask your doctor for advice on nicotine replacement products, medicines, and other methods to help you quit.
Do Kegel exercises. Just like you tone your biceps and triceps, you can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your bladder. These muscles hold urine in your bladder so it won't leak when you sneeze, cough, or laugh.
To find the right muscles, squeeze like you would to stop the flow of urine, hold for about 4 seconds, then release. Do these exercises a few times each hour. You don't have to set aside a special place or time. Do them wherever and whenever you like.
If you have trouble finding your pelvic floor muscles, see a nurse or physical therapist for help.
Retrain your bladder. Go to the bathroom on a regular schedule, such as every 2 hours. Do this even if you don't feel like you need to. That way you'll prevent your bladder from filling up too much and overflowing.
If you feel the urge to go before the full 2 hours are up, try to hold it in for just 5 minutes more by tightening your pelvic floor muscles. Over time, you should be able to have longer and longer periods of time between bathroom visits.



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Multiple Sclerosis: Manage Your Muscles

Medicine and physical therapy can strengthen your muscles, prevent stiffness, and improve flexibility. There are also a lot of things you can try on your own to make them work better.
Put yourself in motion. Exercise keeps your muscles flexible and strong. It's a good idea to combine three types of exercise:
  • Strength training
  • Range of motion
  • Stretching
You can do these exercises alone, or you can work with a physical therapist who will show you how to do each movement safely and effectively. Here's what's involved:
  • Strengthen. To keep your muscles strong, work them with light weights or exercise bands a couple of times a week. If you get a muscle spasm in the middle of your routine, stop and wait a few minutes for it to relax. Also stop if you feel any pain. Exercise should never hurt.
  • Improve range of motion To prevent stiffness, do exercises that take your joints through their full range of motion. For example, lift your arm up and over your head, or bring your leg out to the side and back.
  • Stretch. Do a series of stretches at least twice a week. Pay special attention to muscles that tend to get tight and spasm, like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. As you stretch, slowly move each muscle into position. Hold the position for up to one minute. Then gently release it.
Exercise as often as you can without tiring yourself out. If your workout takes too much effort, try exercising in a cool pool. You put less pressure on your joints that way, so you'll use less energy.  Warm water also relaxes and soothes your tired muscles.
Rest when you need it. Stay active, but don't overdo it. Balance activity with periods of rest to give your muscles a chance to recover.
To help you sleep better at night, try relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing before bed. Massage is another great way to soothe tight muscles so you can sleep.
Try a new position. Sometimes you can relieve muscle spasms just by shifting position. To ease spasms in your knees and hips, lie on your stomach. Or turn on your side and put a pillow or rolled-up towel between your knees.


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For WOMEN Only -- June 27th in South Florida: Ignite Your Feminine Fire:

The event showing below is NOT one of our events. we are only providing the information for those that may want to attend.  To attend is your option.

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If you will be in South Florida Saturday, June 27, I invite you to join me for a very fun and re-energizing playshop for women, "Ignite Your Feminine Fire: Embrace Sexy, Sacred, Sensual You!"



REGISTER NOW and receive $15 discount HERE.


This mini-retreat will be held at the beautiful Pamuya Healing Sanctuary.
We will learn how to balance, energize and celebrate our feminine and masculine while mastering the art of being strong and soft, full of release and surrender. Get all the details HERE.


WISHING YOU ALL A Joy Filled Weekend!

Lots of love, Michelle Alva


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Michelle has spoken for us at previous programs and while we do see benefit in what she provides, we know that her methods are not for everybody.



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Friday, June 19, 2015

Men's Health Issues with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) - a (3) Speaker program

Recorded 06.09.15 -

Hosted by MS Views and News - This was the first time we provided an MS educational program on Men's Health Issues and Multiple Sclerosis..

  • Program format was created by MS Views and News
  • The Presentations for this event were created by each of the speakers:  Brian Steingo, MD,   Rick Harris, PsyD. and Jeffrey Segal, BS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CPTS
  • This Program was sponsored by Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
  • Please view at your convenience and share with others. Please click the photo showing below to advance to the video presentation.





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Content Topics Developed by:



Women's Health Issues with Multiple Sclerosis - from Altamonte Springs, Florida


Program Date: June 3, 2015

Dear MS Friends,
We have had several locations with this topic and we have had just two specific speakers covering the many different areas where we provided this program series.

  • The Content and Format of this program series was created by MS Views and News

  • The Primary Presentation for the event was created by Patricia Pagnotta, ARNP-C, MSN
  • Second topic (Bladder issues) was created by: Stacy Chad, PA and James Shafer, MD
  • This Program was sponsored by Teva Neuroscience
  • Please view at your convenience and share with others. Please click the photo showing below to advance to the video presentation.


To see our other speaker who presented with this topic, visit our MS Learning Channel on YouTube: www.youtube.com/msviewsandnews

Sincerely,

Stuart Schlossman, President – MS Views and News




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Think of Multiple Sclerosis as a Leaking Swimming Pool [Video]

A new way of looking at the neurodegenerative disorder could lead to more and better treatments


For 20 years neurologists have divided the neurological disorder multiple sclerosis (MS) into four distinct categories—subtypes that are supposed, in part, to help patients get the right treatments. But a new theory erases the distinctions between these groups and suggests that MS is a single disease after all. The idea was developed by Stephen Krieger, a neurologist at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and presented in late April at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. If the theory holds up, it could lead to more effective management for a wider range of patients.

brain scan chart


MS lesions do not always cause observable symptoms, even if these neurological scars are detectable on a brain scan
Credit: Courtesy of Stephen Krieger


In MS the body produces antibodies that attack the central nervous system, i.e. the brain and spinal cord. Specifically these antibodies ravage myelin, a fatty substance that insulates neurons, allowing them to conduct electricity. The nerves develop scars or sclerotic lesions (sclerosis is Greek for hard) in the aftermath of such attacks. As a result, patients can suffer from weakness, pain and walking difficulties—not to mention vision loss and a host of undesirable bowel, bladder and psychiatric ills.
The current classification system arose as a way to describe the various ways MS symptoms tend to unfold. The most common type of MS is called relapsing-remitting disease; patients experience flare-ups—in which, for example, they suddenly lose vision in one eye—followed by periods of neurologic normalcy. Presumably their immune system has gone into overdrive when the flare-ups occur and then the activity subsides for months or even years.
Less common are primary and secondary progressive MS. In the former, symptoms progress from the get-go and never remit; in the latter, patients first experience relapses and remissions but then progress to continuously worsening symptoms. Finally there’s progressive-relapsing MS in which patients experience continuously progressive disease on top of which more severe exacerbations occur. Krieger’s hypothesis is a metaphoric reunion of these four otherwise separate divisions of disease—one that can perhaps best be explained by analogy with a swimming pool in need of repair.
Imagine a pool with mountains rising up from the bottom. The mountains represent scars in the central nervous system; the water surface is the threshold at which symptoms appear. Lesions below the water line do not cause symptoms whereas those jutting out of the water do.
The water surface can also be seen as the body's neurologic reserve capacity. Our brains are astoundingly resilient: If one part of the brain is injured, neighboring neurons can step in and take over. But according to Krieger, as we age and as MS progresses, not only does the scarring worsen (that is, the mountains grow higher), the brain also loses its ability to compensate for injured tissue—meaning water starts draining out of the pool and more lesions and resulting symptoms become apparent.
Krieger calls his view of MS the topographical model (referring to the mountains jutting out of the water). He believes his concept unites the MS categories and demonstrates the relationship between relapsing and progressive disease. Relapsing-remitting patients have mountains that temporarily rise above the waterline but then sink again. In those with the other three forms of MS—the more consistently progressive forms—the mountains emerge above the surface but never recede and the symptoms never go away.
If Krieger’s hypothesis is correct, the four MS divisions could be reenvisioned as different stages or different expressions of the same disease. It’s not that the disease completely goes away during ‘remission,’ Krieger explains. "We can see old lesions there on MRI the whole time." But the brain’s ability to compensate for the effects of the lesions declines.
In other words, after the immune system’s assault has waned and a patient with relapsing-remitting disease is symptom-free, some of the neurons are nonetheless still scarred. The nervous system, however, is somehow able to compensate—until one day it cannot and the disease is considered progressive. This could explain why many patients look and feel better than their brain scans would suggest; and also why some patients, in Krieger’s words, catch up to their MRI."
Continue Reading and see video - found here

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MS in the News


Updates from

Multiple Sclerosis News Today

The Web's Daily Resource for Multiple Sclerosis News

In the 06/18/2015 edition:







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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Sandoz announces US launch of Glatopa(TM), the first generic competitor to Copaxone® 20mg

June 18, 2015

- Novartis International AG / Sandoz announces US launch of Glatopa(TM), the first generic competitor to Copaxone(R) 20mg . Processed and transmitted by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
- Glatopa is the first FDA-approved, substitutable generic version of Copaxone(R) 20mg, a treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis
- Sandoz has begun shipping to US customers following recent FDA approval
- Novartis and Sandoz are driving access to a full range of differentiated, high-quality MS therapeutic options, complemented by a full range of support services
Holzkirchen, Germany, June 18, 2015 - Sandoz, a Novartis company, today announced the US launch of GlatopaTM, the first generic version of Teva's Copaxone(R) (glatiramer acetate injection) 20 mg/ml one-time-daily multiple sclerosis therapy.
"Sandoz, together with Momenta, is proud to announce the US market launch of a fully substitutable generic version of this important therapy, following FDA approval" said Peter Goldschmidt, President of Sandoz US.
MS is a debilitating disease affecting about half a million individuals in the US alone; only half of those diagnosed are currently treated.[1]
Glatopa, developed in collaboration with Momenta and produced entirely in the US, is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS, including those who have experienced a first clinical episode and have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features consistent with MS.
Continue Reading - click here


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Reimagine MySelf (TM) - a special new program for women with Relapse Remitting MS

Reimagine MySelfTM, a Biogen Public Affairs program developed in collaboration with SELF, has launched! This initiative is focused on encouraging women with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) to imagine another perspective on living with this chronic disease by making small but impactful changes.

The program, which can now be viewed exclusively on SELF.com, offers access to a blog series where SELF bloggers and experts offer their best practical advice on navigating challenges related to style, entertaining, travel, healthy eating and more. Personal tips for women living with RMS are incorporated into all of the blogs to ensure their relevance and meaning for the MS community. These tips are drawn from the compelling stories of people living with RMS along with insights from industry experts, including Dr. Ann Cabot, a board certified neurologist from Concord Hospital in Concord, NH, and Nancy Law.


Jeannie Mai, style expert and co-host of daytime talk show, “The Real”, is also lending her expertise to the program. She will contribute to the blog series by providing realistic, helpful style and beauty tips inspired specifically by her Aunt Linh, who is living with RMS, and participate in media interviews to help raise awareness of the program. In addition to the expert blogs, visitors can read personal accounts from women living with RMS.

This resource is now available for the MS community and can be accessed at self.com/reimaginemyself.



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What WE Need to do to Raise MS Awareness

By Matt Allen G—June 14, 2015
I often hear people (myself included at one point) complain that there is not enough awareness about Multiple Sclerosis. You always see commercials for cancer (for example) and they are not even trying to sell anything! They are just trying to raise awareness and get people up and doing something about it. That is what we need right? So why do we not have it? Some people try to blame organizations like the National MS Society, which maybe they could try to do something but I don’t think one ad would make a difference. So why not? What would?
In my opinion, not enough people actually talk about MS. People are diagnosed and they keep it to themselves like there is something to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Well if no one talks about it how does the world even know that there is something in need of raising awareness? We as patients need to talk about it more. We have to be open and not just talk about it all in private forums or groups on Facebook. I always encourage blogging but that is not for everyone but pretty much everyone is on some form of social media so don’t be shy!
Don’t try to hide your “MS life” from your friends! Share your experiences! Doing so makes it “real” to people and empathetic people will want to do something to help which raises awareness. You don’t have to do an actual post specifically about it, I am not saying you need to go and announce it to the world, I am just saying don’t be afraid to mention it! When curious people want to know more again, don’t be shy, share with them! Educate the people in your life rather then coming up with excuses for why you can not do something in attempt to hide the real reason; MS. Maybe it’s hard for you because you don’t want sympathy or you don’t want people to treat you differently? Well if that is the case, don’t make a big deal of it! I know I don’t want pity so in my day-to-day life I often will mention it in a conversation very nonchalant; if they catch it and want to know more I will educate them but again, I don’t make it out to be a big deal. I speak of it very casually, just a matter of fact. I even try to throw some humor in there! In doing so I don’t get the pity I hate to get but instead I just get empathy and understanding which of coarse is much different than sympathy.
If you don’t try to shove it in people’s faces they won’t react with pity but it will instead make them think. People tend to talk about things they think about. Maybe next time they are with someone complaining about how hard their life is they will think about you and say “you know, my friend has MS, and…” which is raising awareness because now other people are talking about something they may not have previously known about. The word is spreading.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Communication Tool to help you to Prepare for your next Neurology Office visit



How many times have you gone to visit with your healthcare provider and left the office thinking you remembered everything, only to then realize the topics/symptoms that you forgot to mention?

Now, MS Views and News, has a method to help you to effectively manage your time with your Neurologist, Nurse Practitioner or other healthcare provider.

Click here, for our specially designed MS Patient/Doctor visit prep form which you can complete and bring with you for your upcoming visit



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What Is a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Relapse?

Simply put, relapses, also known as flare ups, or (MS) attacks are new or worsening MS symptoms. But there is a concrete definition used by healthcare providers to identify MS attacks.

To be considered an MS relapse:


  • Old symptoms of MS must have become worse or new symptoms appeared.Sometimes new symptoms can appear or old symptoms can get worse gradually or suddenly. And not everyone has the same symptoms. They tend to be different for every person. Also keep in mind that most people with MS continue to experience somesymptoms, even when they are in remission—when symptoms have been stable. Being in remission does not mean symptom free. It’s only when symptoms change that you may be having a relapse.

  • Symptoms must last at least 24 hours. If your symptoms have lasted for less than 24 hours, you may have had a pseudo-relapse, or another condition commonly mistaken for a relapse. Relapse symptoms can last days, weeks, or even months.
  • Symptoms must occur at least 30 days after the last relapse. MS symptoms had to have been stable for about 1 month before symptoms became worse or new symptoms appeared.
  • There must be no other explanation for the symptoms. Some other conditions, like the flu, can be mistaken for an MS relapse. In a true relapse, symptoms are not connected with any other cause and do not get better when that cause is identified and treated.

Some MS relapses are obvious—especially when symptoms have more of an impact on your life. Other times, relapses may not be as clear. For example, if you suddenly have trouble seeing, you may realize that you’re having a relapse right away. If you are feeling more tired than usual, it may be harder to know if this is a relapse.

When in doubt, ask your healthcare provider. This is especially true if your symptoms get worse and stay worse for more than 24 hours. Your healthcare provider will help you determine if your symptoms are in fact a relapse and caused by active disease—or if they are caused by scar tissue that formed during an earlier period of active disease. Your healthcare provider will also make sure that your symptoms are not caused byanother condition, which may have been mistaken for a relapse.










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FLARE-UP VS PSEUDO-FLARE: WHAT TO KNOW

Sometimes it's hard to know if you're having flare-ups or what experts call pseudo-flares. But what exactly are pseudo-flares? They're symptoms that are temporary — and typically disappear after you eliminate the trigger. What's more, they don't indicate that your MS is progressing. Avoiding triggers such as heat, stress, and even smoking can really help. Remember, whether you call them flare-ups or relapses, if you're having them or pseudo- flares, you may want to talk to your healthcare provider.

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