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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cannabis-Derived Sativex for MS-Related Spasticity Reported to Be Effective and Safe

Spray is only pharmaceutical derived from cannabinoids approved to treat spasticity symptoms in multiple sclerosis

<span class="entry-title">Cannabis-Derived Sativex for MS-Related Spasticity Reported to Be Effective and Safe</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Spray is only pharmaceutical derived from cannabinoids approved to treat spasticity symptoms in multiple sclerosis</span>

Barcelona, Spain-based, global pharma firm Almirall presented new clinical evidence at the31st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) — held in Barcelona October 7–10, 2015 — supporting the efficacy of its Sativex product, currently the only pharmaceutical medicine derived from cannabinoids to treat spasticity symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS). Experts attending discussed various aspects of the disease, including spasticity’s impact on patients’ quality of life, and the specifics of its treatment with Sativex.

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Autoimmune Flare-Ups in Multiple Sclerosis May Be Influenced by Dietary Fat

Results from a recent study published in the journal Immunity indicate that dietary fat has an influence in the duration and severity of autoimmune flare-ups in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. The team of researchers also showed that adjusting the length of the fatty acids consumed by mice caused an alteration in the function of […]

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2 Forms of Multiple Sclerosis Exhibit Differences in Cognitive Performance Study

In a recent study published in the journal PLOS One, a team of researchers explored the differences in cognitive performance and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) correlates of cognitive deficits in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) to underscore the importance of tailored intervention in these two MS forms. […]

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Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Emphasizes the Role of Physicians in MS Medical Treatment Decisions

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), an organization for researchers and healthcare professionals committed to multiple sclerosis (MS) care and treatment, has recently issued a position statement claiming that prescribers should have the right to make clinical decisions on the best treatments and medications in each individual MS case. According to a press release, the […]

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Multiple Sclerosis Patients Show Real Gains from Group Exercise Program

Results from a recent study published in the journal Rehabilitation Research and Practice showed the positive effects of community exercise programs in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Study participants showed physical improvements like higher energy levels and reduced fatigue, psychological benefits from those improvements and from group support and motivation, and a better understanding of the role of exercise. […]

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Multiple Sclerosis Study Explores Fatigue Management in an Organized Program


In a recent study published in the journal BMJ Open, a research team explored the use of fatigue management strategies in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who attended a group-based fatigue management program. The Multiple Sclerosis Council for Clinical Practice Guidelines defines fatigue as “a subjective lack of physical and/or mental energy that is perceived […]
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Does Breastfeeding Reduce the Risk of Multiple Sclerosis Relapse?


Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who breastfeed their infants exclusively may have a lower risk of disease relapse for up to 6 months postpartum compared to women with MS who do not breastfeed exclusively, according to results of a study published in JAMA Neurology.
 
Researchers from Ruhr University Bochum in Germany studied 201 pregnant women with MS between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2012 and followed up after one year postpartum in order to determine the effect of exclusive breastfeeding on postpartum risk of MS relapse. The researchers wanted to investigate further the effects of introducing supplemental feedings onto that risk.
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Exclusive breastfeeding was defined by the researchers of at least two months of breastfeeding without regular replacement of any meal by supplemental feeding. Nonexclusive breastfeeding was defined as partial or no breastfeeding. - 

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Multiple sclerosis patient walks after taking HIV drugs

  • 28 October 2015
  •  
  • From the sectionSussex

A woman with multiple sclerosis (MS) says her symptoms improved so dramatically she was able to walk again after being prescribed HIV drugs.
Shana Pezaro, 36, from Hove, East Sussex, was given antiretroviral drugs after fearing she may have contracted HIV.
Within days, Miss Pezaro noticed an easing of her MS symptoms.
When a doctor saw her walking up stairs after years of using a wheelchair he set up a clinical trial.
Multiple sclerosis is an incurable condition that can lead to sight loss, pain, fatigue and disability. It affects around 100,000 people in the UK.
Miss Pezaro was a dancer and piano teacher before being diagnosed with MS at the age of 28. The condition affected her hands and feet and she used a wheelchair.
About a year ago, Miss Pezaro thought she may have been exposed to HIV and her doctor prescribed emergency antiretroviral drugs.
"Three days after I took the drugs I walked up a flight of stairs," she said.
"That was an unbelievable, massive change."

Shana Pezaro
"I didn't do steps", Shana says


Prof Julian Gold from the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, saw a video of Miss Pezaro climbing the stairs and a clinical trial was set up to look at the impact of single or combination antiretroviral drugs on MS patients.
An earlier study led by Dr Gold conducted with Queen Mary University, London and the University of Oxford showed an association between HIV and MS.
Read more and watch a video with Shana. Click here

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Sun Exposure in Teen Years May Delay Onset of MS

But researchers only found a connection, not cause-and-effect link

WebMD News from HealthDay
By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- People with multiple sclerosis tend to develop it later if they had regular sun exposure as teenagers, a new study suggests -- adding to evidence linking the disease to a lack of sunlight and vitamin D.
The study found that sun exposure during adolescence seemed to influence the age at which people developed MS: The more summer sun they soaked up, the later their symptoms appeared.
Of nearly 1,200 Danish adults with MS, those who'd spent time in the sun every summer day developed symptoms two years later, on average, versus people who'd gotten less sun.
The findings do not mean that basking in the sun will prevent or treat MS, experts stressed.
But the results do support past research suggesting that vitamin D plays some role in the disease, according to Nicholas LaRocca, vice president of health care delivery and policy research for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in New York City.
Sunlight triggers the body's synthesis of vitamin D, and some studies have linked both sun exposure and higher levels of vitamin D in the blood to a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.
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The Brain and Essential Tremor

Essential tremor (ET) is a nerve disorder characterized by uncontrollable shaking, or "tremors," in different parts and on different sides of the body. Areas affected often include the hands, arms, head, larynx (voice box), tongue, and chin. The lower body is rarely affected.
ET is not a life-threatening disorder, unless it prevents a person from caring for him or herself. Most people are able to live normal lives with this condition -- although they may find everyday activities like eating, dressing, or writing difficult. It is only when the tremors become severe that they actually cause disability.

What Causes Essential Tremor?

The true cause of essential tremor is still not understood, but it is thought that the abnormal electrical brain activity that causes tremor is processed through the thalamus. The thalamus is a structure deep in the brain that coordinates and controls muscle activity.
Genetics is responsible for causing ET in half of all people with the condition. A child born to a parent with ET will have up to a 50% chance of inheriting the responsible gene, but may never actually experience symptoms. Although ET is more common in the elderly -- and symptoms become more pronounced with age -- it is not a part of the natural aging process.

Who Gets Essential Tremor?

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MS and Depression: Tips for Mental Fitness


By 
WebMD Feature
When you have MS, your emotions are in play. While having MS raises your chances of having depression, knowing that fact -- and being aware -- can help you try to prevent it and get treatment. Protect yourself with healthy habits.
Get moving. When it comes to MS treatment, exercise is a two-for-one. Being active improves MS symptoms -- like fatigue and bladder problems -- and improves your mood, says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, vice president of clinical care at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "It's essential," she says.
Many people with MS say they feel better after walking, swimming, and biking. Before working out, talk to your doctor about what kind of exercise is good for you.
Relax. Kicking back in front of the TV likely isn’t enough. Try to relaxconsciously -- set aside time for it.
"I think it’s especially hard for people, especially women, to be in the moment," says Cindy Richman, senior director at the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. "Yogameditation, mindfulness, and other approaches can help with that." Taking breaks works too, she says. “Read a few lines of a poem. Write in a journal. Go smell the flowers in your garden."




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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Document a Record Of Your MS!


Typewriter

Written by a writer/patient from MSUNITES

Documenting your multiple sclerosis might seem like a real depressing thing to engage in but there is good reason for it.  Whether you have been recently diagnosed with MS or have had MS for many years its never too late to start documenting.
First, having a record of MS can be highly beneficial to your health care team in seeing if your MS is progressing and how fast if at all progression is taking place.  While we might forget this symptom happened 3 weeks ago and that one 6 weeks ago your neurologist and health care team see things very different.  Lets face it, some of us have memory issues (I do!).  Some of us have cognitive issues (I do!) and some of us forget to tell our health care professionals when the time comes for a appointment to take place (I do!).
Atop this, our health care teams do not necessarily have the time to sit down with us and enter into discussions of symptoms we are experiencing.  While that might seem rather crass, after all, it is their job, we are not the only patients scheduled for a given day.  In fact just as with any business they try and schedule it.  So if I am yackin’ away as to how my leg has felt weak and I did this and some of that.  It was better last week than this week and I want to know whats going on etc.  I could be speaking for quite sometime.
Most clinicians take work home with them and some set a time daily or weekly to sit down and review patients coming in for the week.  In other words they try and maximize the time they have with you to get as much accomplished as they can.  They may plan to spend an hour with you and a half hour with me depending upon what reasons we are coming into the office related to our MS.
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Benefits Of Aquatic Therapy

Aquatic Aerobics Image
The Fantastic Benefits Of Aquatic Therapy 
Overview: It is a well established fact the people afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis have a much better quality of life when an exercise regiment is in place.  However, exercise can be a real challenge for many people having MS.  The common affects of MS such as weakness, general fatigue, numbness, balance issues, vision to name just a few obstacles can make physical activity difficult if not downright intimidating.  Yet, a good exercise program can ease the symptoms that serve as blockades towards exercise. 

Water therapy is one of the more accessible, easy and most rewarding ways to stay physically more active.  Water’s buoyancy actually helps support weak limbs allowing them to feel lighter.  Additionally water provides resistance which allows for strengthening of muscles.  Patients impacted by MS often find it easier to stand in water for example .vs. dry land.  Nasa Astronauts use pools to simulate a near zero gravity environment. 
Benefits of Swimming In MS People with MS often find they have a greater range of mobility in a pool as the buoyancy  of water takes weight off limbs.  Simply walking across a pool of water takes less pressure off joints yet moving through the water has resistance that is good for strengthen musculature in the legs.  Balance can also benefit, there is less chance of falling yet more acuity placed on balancing.
Swimming improves balance as well as endurance and flexibility, mental acuity in focusing on the act of swimming, coordination and more.
One of the most common issues with MS is fatigue and often one of the most debilitating parts of the manifestation of the disease.  Aquatic aerobic exercise has proven very beneficial to many people with MS and the earlier it is started the better the results.  However, its never too late to begin an aquatic regiment and its almost certainly going to be beneficial to any MS patient.
Pain reduction is another aspect of aquatics.  Back in 2011 a study took place regarding pain reduction and aquatics.  The results were a significant amount of pain reduction and improvements in both disability and depressions and a marked improvement in lower levels of fatigue.
Even if you do not swim most communities offer pool based exercise programs that focus on balance, muscle strengthening, stretching and more equipment. Many hydrotherapy classes are led by licensed physical therapists who specialize in helping people with MS or other disabilities.
Simply grab a piece of paper and note your physical disabilities and limitations.  Then ask yourself what can you do in a pool?  Perhaps at the sametime whether or not you need assistance in utilizing a pool safely with a friend perhaps.  You might not even need a class environment to get aquatic exercise.  If your disability at this stage in your MS allows you to use a pool with the family that may well suit.

Small Portable PoolHeat Sensitivity


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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Mirror Therapy


Mirror Therapy Header


Overview:

Seldom discussed at multiple sclerosis websites are therapies that are less commonly used for people with MS.
In many ways multiple sclerosis and stroke have things in common.  People afflicted by stroke can have memory dysfunction, cognitive dysfunction, motor and muscular dysfunctions, sleeping problems and more.  Sound familiar?  Because stroke also damages neurons in the brain symptoms and thus therapies can be mutually applicable and thus helpful to multiple sclerosis patients.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder affecting movement, sensations, bodily functions and more. It is caused by destruction of the myelin insulation covering nerve fibers (neurons) in the central nervous system(brain and spinal cord). When the myelin is destroyed, nerve messages are sent more slowly and less efficiently. Patches of scar tissue, called plaques or lesions form over the affected areas, further disrupting nerve communication. Symptoms of MS occur when the brain and spinal cord nerves no longer communicate properly with other parts of the body. MS causes a wide variety of symptoms and can affect vision,balance,strength,sensation, coordination,and bodily functions. MS rates are higher in the United States, Canada, and Northern Europe than in other parts of the world. Over 2.4 million people suffer from multiple sclerosis globally.
Mirror therapy is one of the tools used in stroke patients.  While exactly why mirror therapy appears to help people at a clinical level is still somewhat a mystery.  There is a train of thought however that neurons may somewhat mirror one another.  For example, lets say we are having weakness in our left arm, burning sensation or pain.  Yet our right arm is experiencing none of these symptoms.  By visually seeing the right arm make movements that are a mirror image to the eye that the left arm is also engaged in the movement neurons in the brain are essentially trained out of a behavior or retrained into a behavior.
In people who have a limb amputated mirror therapy has been used for to reduce and in many cases remove “Phantom Limb” sensations such as pain, itch and more.

What is a Mirror Box?

Hand Mirror BoxSimply put a mirror box allows for one limb to be hidden inside the box whilst the other limb is visible on the outside of the box.  On the outside of the box is a square mirror that stands upright at a 90 degree angle.  Thus if a person has their left arm outside the mirror box and the right arm within the mirror box the right arm is not visible to their eyes.  Yet when they look in the mirror they will see an image that is a mirror of their left arm.  To the vision and brain, the image in the mirror appear to be the right arm.

How to use a Mirror Box:

It is important and preferable to use a mirror box with a trained physical or occupational therapist familiar with the technique.
But should a person decide to not work with a health care professional do make sure another person is there to verbally guide and also for physical support purposes.



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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

'Bad' White Blood Cells Responsible for Multiple Sclerosis

World | Press Trust of India | Updated: October 27, 2015

'Bad' White Blood Cells Responsible for Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers have identified a type of 'bad' white blood cells that are responsible for abnormal immune responses in patients of multiple sclerosis. (Representational Image)
TORONTO, CANADA:  Researchers have identified a type of 'bad' white blood cells that are responsible for abnormal immune responses in patients of multiple sclerosis, which could help find new treatments for the disease.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered to be a disease controlled by the T cell, a type of white blood cell.

Research has shown that in MS, T cells inappropriately attack myelin, the protective layer of fat covering nerves in the central nervous system, exposing them to damage.
Emerging studies have also discovered that B cells, another type of white blood cells that had previously been overlooked in MS, are significant contributors to the disease.

Recent clinical trials showed that B cell depletion Therapy (BCDT) in people with relapsing-remitting MS led to dramatic decreases in new disease activity.

But how B cells contribute to the disease and the molecular mechanisms involved in the benefit of BCDT has not been fully elucidated.

The new study by researchers of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University provides groundbreaking insight into the role of B cells and their interaction with other immune cells in the context of MS.

















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Monday, October 26, 2015

Neurons in Multiple Sclerosis Patients May be Protected by Vitamin D


A new study from Sweden indicates that vitamin D could help protect nerve cells (neurons) in multiple sclerosis (MS). The report, titled “Vitamin D and axonal injury in multiple sclerosis,“ was published on October 13, 2015, in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal. Scientists have demonstrated, in some studies, that high levels of vitamin D may be associated with […]

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