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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, October 24, 2015

Biogen reports negative data on natalizumab in Phase III multiple sclerosis trial

US biotech company Biogen (Nasdaq: BIIB) has reported negative data from the Phase III trial of natalizumab, its blockbuster drug Tysabri, in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
The ASCEND trial evaluated the safety and efficacy of natalizumab to slow the accumulation of disability progression unrelated to relapse in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patients, where the majority of study participants had EDSS scores of 6.0 to 6.5 which indicates a walking aid is required. They were non-relapsing for two years prior to enrolling in the study. The composite primary endpoint of the study evaluated the percentage of patients whose disability had progressed on one of more of three disability measurements comprising the composite endpoint. Natalizumab showed a significant effect on upper limb function unrelated to relapses.


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Services and Programs offered by the National MS Society - Ohio Valley Chapter

 Ohio Valley Chapter

PROGRAMS OFFERED BY THE NATIONAL MS SOCIETY
Educational Scholarships: The National MS Scholarship exists to help highly qualified students who have been diagnosed with MS or who have a parent living with MS achieve their dreams of going to college.
Carol M Peterson Housing Fund: Provides funds for accessibility rehabilitation and emergency repairs for low and moderate income special needs and elderly homeowners in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennesse. Through this Housing Fund, the FHLBank provides grants up to $7,500 per homeowner to fund accessibility and emergency repairs. Program submission occurs in May 2016.
Journey Club: Journey Club is an interactive program for children ages 6-12 and their parents. The program provides education about MS and encourages open communication and expression of feelings about the changes that may happen in a family when the diagnosis of MS is present.
Relationship Matters: 8-hour workshop designed to address the needs of couples living with MS. Topics include: effective communication and listening skills, problem solving and conflict resolution, and managing relationships proactively. Workshop led by Dr. Amy Sullivan from the Cleveland Clinic.
Everyday Matters: The program aims to empower, educate and equip members of the MS community with inspiring examples, tools and resources to help put positive psychology to work in their own lives.
Free From Falls: Program developed to increase awareness of prevalence of falls and factors that may contribute to falls, identify strategies to prevent falls & develop a fall prevention action plan, and engage in and develop a home fitness plan aimed at reducing fall risk
Holiday Cheer: Holiday program that provides gifts, food, and decorations for families living with MS
Support Groups: Life with MS Groups provide opportunities to gain peer support and receive information about the latest research, treatments, and services available to those with MS. The group experience helps members to become more empowered to cope with the challenges of their MS in a supportive and confidential environment
National Telelearning Series: Telelearning series provides information and guidance on current matters essential to living one’s best life with MS. The program offers seven different topics annually. Each free telelearning will feature topic-area expert(s) by phone with online presentations and Q&A session. Presenters are subject to change.
Health and Wellness: The Society currently has two aquatics programs being offered for those living with MS; 1 at University of Dayton and 1 at University of Cincinnati.
Walk MS / Bike MS: Walk and Bike MS connects people living with MS and those that care about them. When you participate in this community event, the funds you raise give hope to those living with MS!

SERVICES OFFERED BY THE NATIONAL MS SOCIETY
IRC: The Information and Referral Center is dedicated to providing the most timely, accurate, and consistent information available about MS. This center is often the first point of contact for those living with MS who decide to reach out to the Society for information and resources. IRC members can assist individuals with intake and assessment, FMLA and disability, Social Security, disease related information, treatment and research updates, referral to community resources, connections to programs and services, crisis intervention, and education materials.
Financial Assistance: Program offers guidance, leverage and resources to help contain the financial impact of MS. The program was developed to bring meaningful financial assistance to people living with MS, with emphasis on helping people maintain their independence, safety, health and quality of life.
Care Management: . CareStar's partnership with the MS Society centers on improving the quality of life for those with high needs related to their multiple sclerosis. The case management services are client centered and the scope of our services change greatly based on each clients specific needs. We provide services to clients of any age in the Ohio Valley and Kentucky suffering from multiple sclerosis.

MORE INFORMATION
Contact: 1-800-344-4867 or visit www.nationalmssociety.org
Ohio Valley Chapter Contact:
Alesha Meyn
Programs and Services Manager

(513) 657 7006



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Protein May Be Involved in MS Subtype

10.21.15
Anoctamin 2 occurred in about 16% of MS cases


CHICAGO -- Although its exact role isn't fully understood, the protein anoctamin 2 (ANO2) may have a role to play in multiple sclerosis, researchers reported here.

In a case-control study, about 16% of MS cases carried the protein, compared with only 3% of controls, Peter Nilsson, PhD, of the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, reported during a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting here.

"Its role remains to be understood, but for sure we can say it's an interesting protein in context of autoimmunity and MS," Nilsson told MedPage Today. "But that's as far as we are today."

The work is part of the Human Protein Atlas, an international collaboration of researchers that has cataloged more than 25,000 antibodies, targeting proteins from more than 17,000 human genes -- about 86% of all human protein-coding genes.

The group also released the Mouse Brain Atlas, which captures 88 genes with in-depth protein profiling and 129 different mouse brain regions and cell types. Many of the mouse proteins have extensive homology with the human counterpart, the researchers said.
continue reading


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How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Taking care of your loved one is rewarding, but you've got to watch for signs that you're getting stressed out. Get the help you need to avoid a full-blown case of caregiver burnout.
Some symptoms that show you're getting close to emotional overload:
  • You find yourself withdrawing from your friends and family.
  • You lose interest in activities you used to enjoy.
  • You feel blue, irritable, or hopeless.
  • You notice you're losing or gaining weight.
  • Your sleep patterns are changing.
  • You get sick more often.
  • You feel like you want to hurt yourself or the person you're caring for.

What You Can Do

Here are some steps to keep burnout at bay:
continue reading   from WebMD

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Tips to Look After Yourself While Caregiving

It's important to keep up your own health while you're taking care of your loved one. You won't be much help to others if you let yourself get stressed and run-down.
Try these tips to help you manage your loved one's care and your own well-being at the same time.
Ask for help. You can't do everything yourself, so don't try. Get other family members and friends involved.
Be specific about what you need. Have your brother do a round of grocery shopping. See if a neighbor can keep an eye on things for half an hour while take a break. Look into community resources and see what sort of help is available.
Get support. If your friends have trouble understanding your situation, join a caregiver support group. You'll meet people who know what you're going through and can offer advice. Try your local area agency on aging to find out about groups near you.
Take care of your body. Make sure you don't ignore your own health. Get regular checkups. Try to eat a healthy diet and get enough sleep.
Stay mentally healthy. Caregiving can be emotionally draining, but you don't want to let that turn into feelings of depression. If you feel overwhelmed, set up an appointment with a counselor or therapist.
Focus on what’s most important. You may sometimes feel like you have more things to do in a day than you have time for. So concentrate on what you have to get done and let the rest go. The world won't end if you put off cleaning out the shed for a few months or if you skip having the New Year's party this year.
Stay connected. 


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Tips to Manage 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, guided imagery. and more. 




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Researchers Move Closer to Alzheimer's Blood Test

Early diagnosis might lead to lifestyle changes that slow disease progression, they say

WebMD News from HealthDay
By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter
MONDAY, Oct. 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they have moved closer to developing a blood test for Alzheimer's disease.
Such a test would enable doctors to diagnose patients at the earliest, most treatable stage so patients could make lifestyle changes that may slow progression of the brain disease, reported the team at the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford, N.J.
"There are significant benefits to early disease detection because we now know that many of the same conditions that lead to vascular disease are also significant risk factors for Alzheimer's," lead researcher Robert Nagele said in an association news release.
The scientists focused on use of autoantibodies in the blood as biomarkers for the presence and stage of Alzheimer's disease. Autoantibodies are immune proteins that mistakenly attack the body's own cells.

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Boosting Nerve Regeneration in Spinal Cord Injury with Axons

Spinal cord injury regeneration may be possible harnessing the brain repair mechanism known as axons, according to findings published in The Journal of Neuroscience.   



Researchers from University of South Carolina examined RNA function in order to test the ability of axons to aid regeneration of nerves. The team set out to find a way to bridge what they called the “regenerative gap” between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system.   

“If you injure a peripheral nerve, it will regenerate, spontaneously,” explained lead researcher Jeff Twiss in a press release. “It moves quite slowly, so it’s one of our objectives to speed it up, but it does regenerate. In contrast, with an injury to your spinal cord, it’s not going to regenerate.” 

Continue reading

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Dietary fatty acids may influence flare-ups in MS, autoimmune disease

THE types of fatty acids in the diet may affect the severity and duration of flare-ups that people with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases experience.

This was the conclusion a team of neurology researchers reached after finding that the length of fatty acids they fed to a type of mouse bred for the study of multiple sclerosis (MS) changed the function of T-helper immune cells in the gut so as to either intensify or alleviate the symptoms of the autoimmune disease.
The researchers - from the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Ruhr University Bochum, both in Germany - report their findings in the journalImmunity.
Autoimmune diseases are conditions - often chronic - where the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue, causing inflammation and pain.
There are dozens of different autoimmune disorders. Examples include lupus (where the body attacks connective tissue), rheumatoid arthritis (affecting the joints) and MS (affecting the central nervous system).
MS is a chronic disorder that can affect the brain, spinal cord and the optic nerve of the eye. As the disease progresses, people experience problems with balance, vision, muscle control and other body functions.
There is currently no consistent reporting and tracking of MS incidence and prevalence in the US, but estimates suggest there are around 400,000 Americans living with the disease.
While the exact cause of autoimmune disease is unknown, researchers are increasingly focusing on the gut and its bacterial colonies - the so-called microbiome - especially in relation to neurological disorders such as MS.
There is increasing evidence that the gut microbiome plays a key role in disease emergence and progression, and an important influencer of this is diet - a factor that has changed significantly in the industrialized world.

Short-chain fatty acids lessened symptoms of MS
Continue reading



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Monday, October 19, 2015

Lesser-Known Ways to “MS-Proof” Your Home

Many patients with MS know the basic things they need to do to make their life easier: move items to waist level, install grab bars, install a ramp if need be, etc. Here are some lesser known tips that have made many patients lives much more efficient and easy:

·         Always have chairs nearby- You’ll never know where you may get tired and feel the urge to take a seat. Chairs in the bathroom and kitchen area will also allow you to wash-up, prepare food or cook while sitting down. A chair in the hall is always a good idea, too. Think of it as giving yourself options.

·         Keyless entry- You won’t know what to do with the time you save by not fumbling around with your keys! In all seriousness, a keypad or even a remote open will make it much easier to get in and out, especially in the cold weather. In this day and age there are many options like this out there, so place a call to a locksmith and see what option best suits you.

·         Don’t use glasses often- Plastic cups and plates that won’t break when dropped are easily the best choice. Keep the glasses and the fine china around for company, but aside from a special occasion the plastic is easier and low-risk. Who wants to clean up a shattered glass or plate anyway? You can even go a step further and use paper plates and cups on a tired day, in order to avoid doing the dishes at all.

·         Watch the wattage on your lightbulbs- To most, a lightbulb is just a lightbulb. However it is important that every bulb is checked and changed often. Having lightbulbs shining dimly could accelerate the loss of vision and cognitive ability. Lightbulbs should be at least 100 watts.

·         Attach a basket to a rope-Obviously this goes for 2-story houses only. It may seem basic and old fashioned, but if you find yourself needing something random from another floor, it is way easier to toss a basket down by rope than trek up/down the steps. It will also make life easier for your caregiver as well.





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Pharmaceutical Financial Assistance Programs

The information showing below is made possible by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in alphabetical srquence

If you are currently taking or considering starting on a multiple sclerosis (MS) medication, use the links below to review the various patient assistance programs that are available. If you are enrolled in a specific program, please check these sites periodically to ensure you have the most current information.
  • Ampyra (U.S.)

    Company: Acorda Therapeutics
    Usage in MS: Walking

  • Aubagio® (U.S.)

    Company: Genzyme, A Sanofi Company
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    MS One to One                                                                                                                                                                                                   www.MSOnetoOne.com
    1-855-MSOne2One (1-855-676-6326)
  • Avonex® (U.S. and Canada)

    Company: Biogen
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Above MS, www.abovems.com or call 1-800-456-2255
  • Betaseron® (U.S. and Canada)

    Company: Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    BETASERON PATIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM                                                                                                                          1-800-788-1467                                                                                                                                                                          www.betaseron.com/betaplus/affordability                                                                                                                                          

  • BOTOX

    Company: Allergan, Inc.
    Usage in MS: Bladder Dysfunction|Spasticity in the Upper Limbs
    BOTOX Reimbursement Program 
    www.botox.com/
  • Copaxone® (U.S. and Canada)

    Company: Teva Neuroscience
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Shared Solutions®                                                                                                                                                                              1-800-887-8100                           www.sharedsolutions.com                                                                                                                                       
  • Extavia® (U.S. and Canada)

    Company: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    EXTAVIA GO PROGRAM
    1-866-925-2333                                                                                                                                                                        http://www.extavia.com/


  • Gilenya (U.S.)

    Company: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Gilenya Go Program
    1-800-445-3692
    www.gilenya.com/c/ms-pill/go-program
  • Glatopa [generic equivalent of Copaxone 20mg]

    Company: Sandoz
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
  • H.P. Acthar® (Repository Corticotropin) (U.S.)

    Company: Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Usage in MS: Acute Exacerbations
    Web: www.actharmsrelapse.com for information about financial assistance                                                                               Phone: 1-888-435-2284
  • Lemtrada™

    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Company: Genzyme
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    MS One to One
    1- 855-MSOne2One (1-855-676-6326)
  • Novantrone (U.S. and Canada)

    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    None available at this time
  • Plegridy®

    Company: Biogen
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Above MS
    1-800-456-2255
    www.abovems.com
  • Rebif®

    Company: EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer, Inc.
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
     MS LifeLines                                                                         1-877-447-3243                                                                      www.mslifelines.com
  • Tecfidera® (U.S.) (teck-fi-DARE-ah)

    Company: Biogen
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Above MS
    1-800-456-2255
    www.abovems.com
  • Tysabri ® (formerly called Antegren)

    Company: Biogen
    Usage in MS: Disease-Modifying Agent
    Above MS
    1-800-456-2255
    www.abovems.com
The following nonprofit organizations also offer programs that may be able to help people who have insurance and still need help with the cost of their disease-modifying therapy:

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Access to High Quality MS Healthcare Principles

 IN THIS ARTICLE - click each link to read 

the above information is found on the National Multiple Sclerosis website



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