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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, August 15, 2015

Stem Cell Update: MS Patient Walks into a Bright Future

THURSDAY, AUG 13 2015
Bit by bit, MS patient Linda Jayaram Barish of Houston, TX found it harder to walk and function every day. She moved around her home by holding onto furniture. She never went any distance without her stand up electric scooter.
MS patient Linda Jayaram Barish of Houston, TX treated with her own harvested stem cells
When Linda and her husband David visited Israel, a Hadassah friend in Houston arranged for them to see Prof. Dmitrios Karussis, Head of Hadassah Medical Organization's Multiple Sclerosis Center and a world authority on stem cell treatment for neurodegenerative diseases. Prof. Karussis ordered an MRI, assessed her condition, and then harvested Linda’s own bone marrow stem cells in a short, 20-minute procedure. He asked the couple to return in two months, by which time the small number of cells would grow in the lab to tens of millions.  Immediately following the procedure, Linda and David knew they had to visit the Kotel. They were overwhelmed by the possibility that the progression of Linda’s MS could be stopped or reversed.
Two months later, Prof. Karussis injected the stem cells directly into her spinal cord—a treatment developed at HMO. Eleven injections and several years later, Linda is walking without a cane and she has given away her scooter.
CLICK HERE to see this original article and links to other articles from Hadassah Hospital



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Wellness Moves to the Forefront at Latest Meeting of MS Researchers

Important research results focusing on finding solutions for people with MS were presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC), held on May 27 - 30 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This meeting brings together health care professionals committed to improving the lives of people with MS. Here is a sample of the research presented, including key findings on promoting wellness and reducing symptoms to restore function for people with MS. The complete book of abstracts is available here.
Testing a diet for MS:  The “Therapeutic Lifestyle Change” (TLC) is a diet created by the National Institutes of Health that emphasizes reducing cholesterol and fat, and has been shown to enhance immune system function. Lacey Bromley and colleagues (State University of New York at Buffalo) are assessing the TLC diet in people living with MS, while monitoring compliance over 3 months using online tools. Preliminary results showed that participants are adhering to the diet and the online recording system, and showed trends toward improvement in quality of life, fatigue, and functional mobility. Learn what you can do now to eat healthy with MS. Abstract CC01
Pain points: Pain is one of the most troublesome symptoms for people with MS, and researchers are trying to find ways to eliminate it.
  • Meditation for pain: “Mindfulness training” is a form of meditation aimed at reducing pain or emotional distress that occurs from health-related changes. Cecilia Wan (St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON) and colleagues tested whether a mindfulness-based meditation group – meeting once weekly for more than 2 hours – could reduce pain in 13 people with MS. Results showed a significant reduction in perceived pain and improvements in quality of life and mental health.  Abstract QL20
  • MS, something else, and pain: Kirsten M. Fiest (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg) and colleagues examined the relationship between comorbidities (conditions that occur alongside MS) and pain in 949 people with MS. Of the participants, 41.5% had at least one comorbid health condition, and 40.5% experienced disruptive pain. Pain was significantly increased in the presence of comorbidities that included fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and hypertension. Examining these associations may help to manage pain in MS. Abstract SX14
Moving fitness efforts forward: Researchers are looking for novel ways to boost exercise and physical activity, so that people with MS can reap the benefits:
  • Exercise at home: Rachel E. Klaren (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) presented results from a Society-funded study in which 20 people with MS and mild disability were randomly assigned to a 12-week home cycling program or a control program involving stretching and muscle strengthening. Participants in both groups had weekly video chats with a behavioral coach. There were significantly greater improvements in cardiac function and mobility in the cycling group. Abstract RH02
  • Exercise -- Phoning it in: Aaron P. Turner (University of Washington, Seattle) and colleagues compared the impact of a home exercise program that employed six telephone motivational sessions to a control program that consisted of exercise advice and a DVD.  Participants receiving telephone counseling reported significantly increased physical activity, and reduced fatigue and depression compared to those in the control group. Abstract CP19
  • Breathing better: Weakness and fatigue in respiratory muscles (that facilitate breathing) can lead to reduced exercise performance. Nadine M. Fisher (University at Buffalo) and team studied the effects of a six-week respiratory muscle training program in 29 people with MS and mild-to-moderate disability. The program improved respiratory muscle strength, exercise endurance, and participants’ perceptions of fatigue. Abstract RH06
  • Shall we dance?: Alexander V. Ng (Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI) and colleagues are investigating whether an 8-week recreational ballroom dance program could improve physical function and quality of life in people with MS. One-hour sessions, twice a week, include rumba, foxtrot, waltz, swing, American tango, push-pull, and salsa. Participants are paired with a partner without MS. Preliminary results in 12 people indicated improved motor performance, gait, endurance, and cognition. Abstract QL13

Continue Reading direct from this National Multiple Sclerosis Society Research Report 


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Could Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers Benefit From Cannabis Chewing Gum?


Could Multiple Sclerosis Sufferers Benefit From Cannabis Chewing Gum? AUGUST 12, 2015,

AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on global research, development and production of pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, food and cosmetic products derived from industrial hemp, has announced commencement of clinical development of its leading patented pharmaceutical chewing gum, MedChew RX, for registration as a drug for relieving pain and/or spasticity in patients suffering from with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Once approvals by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and its European counterpart EMA (European Medicines Agency) are granted, MedChew RX, which is formulated with 5 mg of the hemp-derived cannabinoids cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) respectively, will be marketed as a pharmaceutical drug for treating multiple sclerosis (MS).
AXIM Biotech notes that traditional cannabinoid delivery methods such as smoking, or the oral/GI route have unwanted side effects and a reduced efficacy. Consequently, the company is targeting chewing gum as a functional vehicle for uptake of cannabinoids via the oral mucosal membrane, observing that gum-chewing is a far superior, safer, and more socially accepted delivery method than for example smoking or vaporizing.
“An ideal cannabinoid delivery method should allow for predictable and controlled release of the active ingredients, which should bypass the first-pass liver metabolism thus increasing the bioavailability of the cannabinoid and decrease inactive or harmful metabolites says Dr. George Anastassov, President of AXIM Biotechnologies, Inc. in a release. “It should not be socially stigmatizing, such as using tablets, capsules, sprays, vapes, etc. It should have a pleasant taste and consistency and lack of undesirable side effects such as uncontrollable psychotropic consequences. It should not induce food cravings and should be economically affordable for both producers and consumers. Chewing gum meets all of these criteria as well as provides multiple additional advantages.”   READ MORE

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CLINICAL TRIAL NOTIFICATION PROGRAM

Many readers of MS News Today have reached out and urged us to do more to bring additional awareness about clinical trials applicable to the MS patient community. In response, we have created a new Clinical Trial Notification Program that helps us match individuals directly to relevant clinical trials based off of their profile information. 

For participants in our clinical trial notification program, if your profile is a match, we may reach out directly to inform you of a clinical trial that might be specifically relevant to you.

Click here to read more (direct from Multiple SclerosisNews Today) 
and to submit profile information 



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Vitae Pharmaceuticals to Launch New Study of Therapy For MS, Other Autoimmune Disorders

Vitae Pharmaceuticals to Launch New Study of Therapy For MS, Other Autoimmune Disorders  Clinical stage biotech company Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recently announced the launch of a Phase I multiple ascending dose clinical study of VTP-43742, the company’s first-in-class RORγt inhibitor pipeline drug, indicated for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and several other orphan indications.

Preclinical studies of VTP-43742 exhibited the drug’s superior ability to inhibit IL-17 production from Th17 cells, which play key roles in driving inflammation while maintaining high selectivity compared to other ROR isotypes. The drug has a predicted human oral dosing schedule of once-a-day. Administration in animal models of multiple sclerosis yielded favorable results, compared to an IL-17A monoclonal antibody.
The company aims to conduct the study in two distinct patient populations. The first phase will seek to determine VTP-43742’s safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile in varying doses administered to healthy participants. The second part of the study will be a proof-of-concept trial wherein the company will evaluate the drug’s profile in patients diagnosed with psoriasis. Vitae expects to have top-line clinical efficacy results before the end of 2015. This study will be conducted with an ongoing Phase I single ascending dose study of the same drug, which began June 2015, for which the company expects to complete within the second half of 2015.

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Stem Cells Used to Treat Secondary Progressive Patients in Clinical Trial


Stem Cells Used to Treat Secondary Progressive Patients in Clinical Trial   What may work better than existing drugs to treat severe multiple sclerosis? Stem cells.

A phase 2 clinical study from an international group of research centers compared head-to-head autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) and mitoxantrone in treating patients with secondary progressive or relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. The findings showed that MRI-detected brain lesions were reduced by 79% in patients undergoing AHSCT compared to patients treated with mitoxantrone.
“Intense immunosuppression followed by AHSCT is significantly superior to mitoxantrone in reducing MRI activity in severe cases of multiple sclerosis,” wrote the authors. “These results strongly support further phase 3 studies with primary clinical endpoints.” Results appeared in “Autologous Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Multiple Sclerosis,” published in the journal Neurology.    continue reading

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Benefits of Exercise For Kids With MS Touted in New Study


Benefits of Exercise For Kids With MS Touted in New Study

A recent research study focused on whether regular exercise can benefit children with multiple sclerosis (MS). The article appeared in the August 12, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.


MS is characterized by inflammation, which manifests as an immune attack on the nervous system’s own myelin, a fatty substance that wraps around nerve cells and helps them conduct impulses. When myelin is damaged, problems with movement, vision, sensation and pain can result. MS can also be characterized by fatigue, memory problems and depression.
“Up to three-quarters of children with MS experience depression, tiredness, or memory and thinking impairment,” according to study author E. Ann Yeh, MD, with The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “Our research is important since little is known regarding how lifestyle behaviors may affect the disease.”
The investigators examined a total of 31 children with MS and an additional 79 with a condition called monophasic acquired demyelinating syndrome (mono-ADS), which is measured by a single instance of neurological inflammation. The children filled out questionnaires relating to tiredness, depression and the frequency with which they exercised. Of all the kids in the study, 60 were also given magnetic resonance (MRI) brain scans to look at whether signs of MS (lesions) could be detected in the brain.
Forty-five percent of children in the study regularly performed strenuous exercise, versus 85% of children who had mono-ADS. The kids with MS who regularly exercised had a lower overall amount of brain lesions typical of MS, known as T2 lesions. Kids who exercised also had fewer MS relapses. When compared to kids with mono-ADS, children with MS had more tiredness and depression  (Read More)
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Friday, August 14, 2015

How A Study of 64 Veterans May Help The Multiple Sclerosis Community With Fatigue And Depression



written by Cathy Chester- When I grew up, exercise meant riding my bike and walking or, as I got older, signing up for an aerobics class. Today, technology is changing the face of exercise for people with disabilities, and it may help those battling with the fatigue and depression of MS. Traditionally MS specialists prescribe a myriad of medications to combat fatigue and depression. It’s been my experience that none of these work. So for years I’ve looked high and low for holistic ways to address these issues. What I’ve found is something we’ve known all along: Physical activity makes a difference in more ways... Read more


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Definition of, “I’m Fine” - a patient's story




Ashley Ringstaff- This is something that we say often, and that is spoken about often in regards to the daily conversations we have with other people, asking us how we are doing. Now, I’m not saying that I reply w/ “I’m Fine” to everyone who asks, but there are some people that ask more out of being polite, then actually wanting to get into a conversation about it all. Because in all honesty, what is “I’m fine” to us? To me, it means I’m having an ‘okay’ day. Is my MS still bothering me? Yes, it does everyday… but it just depends... Read more


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Support for Parents of Young Adults Living With MS



Stephanie Butler, RN, MSCN- One of the biggest perks of blogging and advocacy work is getting to interact with people from all over the world. The internet really is a wonderfully supportive tool that is making the world a much smaller place, especially when you are living with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis. 


One of the biggest perks of blogging and advocacy work is getting to interact with people from all over the world. The internet really is a wonderfully supportive tool that is making the world a much smaller place, especially when you are living with a chronic disease like multiple sclerosis.
A unique group of people affected by MS has been reaching out to me more frequently for advice and support- parents of young adults with MS. These mothers and fathers of teenagers and young adults have a unique, and often overlooked, set of challenges. They don’t live with the disease themselves, and they aren’t quite caregivers. Their children are capable of making their own life choices, and are too old to be bossed around by a parent. They no longer live under the same roof, but they often still provide their children with health insurance coverage, or financial assistance while they are in college and getting their careers off the ground. These parents are already trying to navigate their children’s growing independence, and cope with empty nests. Adding a life changing diagnosis into such a huge period of change is tremendously stressful. Their son or daughter may be slightly too old to want their mom tagging along to doctors appointments, and they can definitely make autonomous decisions for themselves, but at the same time they still have significantly less life experience. They may recognize that they need advice, but be too proud or too stubborn to seek it out. Being young, they may have taken their health for granted up until now. They may not necessarily know how to put their health and well being above the ever growing list of demands they are faced with in adulthood.
Read more


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Progressive MS: a Deep Mystery Beginning to Reveal Its Secrets?




written by: Marc Stecker-Wheelchair Kamikaze- 

The words “progressive multiple sclerosis” carry with them a sense of dread and panic for most MS patients. When I was newly diagnosed, I of course immediately hit the Internet, and discovered that there were four primary types of multiple sclerosis: Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS), Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), and Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS). 

It only took an hour or so of reading for me to realize that the progressive forms of the disease (SPMS, PPMS, and PRMS) were very scary indeed. Not that RRMS is any picnic, but patients with progressive MS have few if... Read more



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Remembering how MS Began for you....



written by: Kim Dolce- 

There is no end to the variety of styles we can use to tell the story of how MS entered our lives. I’ve always been a fan of noir story-telling, and the darker the better. Most always a thriller, one popular premise is that a stranger comes to town and changes the lives of good and bad folks alike. In noir, the line between them isn’t all that clear. 

The overall tone is fatalistic; everybody is on the same train, nobody can make it jump the tracks and they know it, though most are in denial. 

They are slaves to their... Read more



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MS Reporter Videos from Shift.MS discuss treatment options for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis


Exciting news! The first batch of our new MS Reporters videos are released this month.

So far, our MS reporters have taken your questions to experts in UK cities London and Edinburgh. And there are still more cities to come.

Check out our first release below.


Got a question for an MS expert? Ask it here

Subscribe to the MS Reporters YouTube channel to be the first to see our new releases. Subscribe here.

The above links will re-direct you to shiftms website

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nutra Pharma Working on Pediatric MS Treatment Based on Venom

Nutra Pharma Working on Pediatric MS Treatment Based on Venom July 2015
Nutra Pharma, a US-based biotechnology a company specializing in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, recently announced that it has filed an application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for orphan drug status for its investigational drug RPI-78M as a treatment for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS).

The company markets Nyloxin and Pet Pain-Away in the over-the-counter (OTC) pain management market, and also develops treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), HIV, adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) and general pain.
If the orphan drug designation is granted to RPI-78M, it would provide the company with a seven-year period of market exclusivity in the US upon receiving FDA approval.
The FDA Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status to drugs and biologics, which are defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases/disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., or that affect more than 200,000 persons but are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment drug.
In the US, it is easier to gain marketing approval for an orphan drug, and there may be other financial incentives, such as extended exclusivity periods intended to encourage the development of drugs, and the waiver of Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) filing fees, which can offer savings of us to $2.5 million.
Read More



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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The MS Views and News Learning Channel on YouTube





www.youtube.com/msviewsandnews 



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CME Program: "Clinical Challenges in MS Care: Family Planning, Pregnancy, and Disease-Modifying Therapies"




MS leaders e-mail logo header 

Dear Colleague,

Can you correctly answer this question:

Of the following disease-modifying therapies, which one is FDA Pregnancy Category X (ie, absolutely contraindicated in pregnancy)?

A. Fingolimod
B. Interferon beta-1a
C. Natalizumab
D. Teriflunomide

Participate in this John Hopkins University School of Medicine educational activity to learn the answer to this and other questions related to MS therapy in women of childbearing age.

EARN CME or CNE Credit!

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing, in cooperation with Medical Logix, LLC, are currently offering this educational program certified for CME and CNE credit, at no charge to participants:


 Video Clinical Dialogue and eCase Challenge:



Jointly presented by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the 
Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing

Release Date: May 7, 2014
Expiration Date: May 6, 2016


Estimated time to complete each part of this activity: 60 minutes for each of the two activities. Each part of this activity has been approved for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ and 1.0 contact hour for nurses. There are no fees or prerequisites.

Supported by independent educational grants from
EMD Serono and Genzyme, a Sanofi Company.

 
Learning Objectives
After participating in this activity, the participant will demonstrate the ability to:
  • Recognize the importance of providing preconception counseling to all patients of childbearing age in order to reduce reproductive risks.
  • Apply the most recent evidence concerning the reproductive safety of approved DMTs when counseling patients with MS who are considering pregnancy or those who are pregnant.
  • Summarize and provide context for the available data (animal and human) concerning the reproductive safety of newer and emerging DMTs.
  • Assess the available evidence regarding DMTs and male reproductive health in order to effectively communicate their potential risks to male patients with MS.
  • Discuss the evidence on the safety of DMTs used during lactation, in order to optimize outcomes for patients with MS who breastfeed their infants.
  • Implement evidence-based treatment strategies to optimize the management of postpartum relapses.

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

Statement of Need
Multiple sclerosis typically affects women of childbearing age and can influence fertility, pregnancy and decisions regarding breastfeeding. Management of a pregnant patient with MS or a patient contemplating pregnancy presents many unique issues and can be quite challenging.

The intent of this Clinical Dialogue, a video-based activity, is to review the most up-to-date evidence on MS, specifically on fertility and pregnancy outcomes, management of MS during pregnancy, the reproductive safety of DMTs, their use when breastfeeding and issues related to postpartum management. We will also address preconception issues, including pregnancy outcomes when it is the male patient who has MS. The eCase Challenge, a text-based activity, will allow the participant to apply the knowledge gained from this Clinical Dialogue in a few real-world clinical scenarios.

It is important to emphasize that the questions and answers discussed in this program must be individualized to the specific circumstances of each patient and their acceptance of risk.

Johns Hopkins Chair and Course Director:
Jack N. Ratchford, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Faculty:
Moderator
Jack N. Ratchford, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD

Patricia K. Coyle, MD
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Neurology
Director, Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center
SUNY at Stony Brook University Medical Center
Stony Brook, NY

Lynn Stazzone, RN, MSN, NP, MSCN
Nurse Practitioner
Partners MS Center
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Boston, MA

Intended Audience
Healthcare professionals, specifically, neurologists, internists, family practice physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses and other providers involved in the care of patients with multiple sclerosis.




This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing. The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Credit Designation Statement
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Credit Reciprocity:

American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) accepts AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts certificates of participation for educational activities certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ from organizations accredited by the ACCME. Physician assistants may receive a maximum of 2.0 credits of Category 1 for completing this program.

Disclosure Policy Affecting CME Activities
It is the policy of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine that the faculty and provider disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, and also disclose discussions of unlabeled/unapproved uses of drugs or devices during their presentation(s). Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine OCME has established policies in place that will identify and resolve all conflicts of interest prior to this educational activity.  Detailed disclosure will be made in the course materials.

 To view the activity, please CLICK HERE 

Please keep in mind that you will need to login with your email address and password to access this program. If you forgot your password, click on the "Forgot Password" link in the top right corner of the site.

We hope you enjoy this informative educational program!

The MS-Leaders Team

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical  Education, Turner 20, 720 Rutland Ave, Baltimore, MD 21205

 
In cooperation with Medical Logix, LLC

Medical Logix, LLC, 130 W. Main Street, Suite 144, Collegeville, PA 19426


Please do not respond to this email directly. Any questions or concerns,  email: support@ms-leaders.org 

  

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