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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, November 7, 2015

7 Neil Cavuto Quotes About Multiple Sclerosis That Will Leave You Seriously Inspired

Neil Cavuto — Fox News Senior VP, managing editor, and host of multiple acclaimed news shows — is a force to be reckoned with in the media. The journalist tirelessly hosts Fox News Channel's Your World as well as CavutoMonday through Friday, while also providing insight into the world of finances with Cavuto on Business on Saturday mornings. He does so with a smile and seemingly tirelessly, while also battling multiple sclerosis. An equally — if not even more so — tireless advocate of awareness and research, the Fox News anchor has been consistently vocal about his diagnosis. These seven Neil Cavuto quotes about his illness are just a handful of many that point to a seriously inspiring figure.
Cavuto has been an invaluable resource to his colleagues as well. When fellow Fox News journalist Janice Dean received her MS diagnosis a decade ago, Cavuto was one of the first people she talked with. Dean describes him as being incredibly supportive as well as highlighting the many ways that the network would in turn support them, "even if that support included building wheelchair ramps," she writes in an op-ed for FoxNews.com. Cavuto's support is what has inspired Dean to also reach out to others suffering from the disease as a means of support and solidarity.
Continue Reading and watching videos


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Emerging Therapies, Progressive MS, Wellness/Lifestyle and Other Research News from ECTRIMS Meeting


  • Results from clinical trials in new approaches to treating progressive and relapsing MS, wellness and lifestyle research, and myelin repair strategies took center stage during the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) meeting held in Barcelona, Spain in early October.
  • More than 9,000 participants convened to share progress in understanding and treating MS.
  • Read blogs from the meeting
  • Explore scientific summaries (abstracts) on the ECTRIMS Website. Search specific topics of interest or sessions 
Below are a few highlights of presentations focusing on stopping MS, restoring function, and ending MS forever. In most cases, studies presented are considered preliminary. Many will be analyzed more thoroughly, and likely published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Confidence in a study’s findings is reinforced when it is repeated by others, who attain similar results.
Stopping MS - Therapies

Many studies presented showed the continued benefit and safety of available therapies, as well as more evidence that early and ongoing treatment with a disease-modifying therapy has long-term benefits for controlling disease activity, delaying accumulation of disability and protecting quality of life. A new MS Brain Health initiative is promoting the message of minimizing delays in the diagnosis and time to treatment to reduce the risks of MS progression.
Ocrelizumab in Primary Progressive MS: Ocrelizumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets a specific population of immune B cells. B cells make proteins that help fight infections and are thought to also play a role in the immune-mediated damage that leads to MS. Results were presented of a clinical trial of ocrelizumab in 732 people with primary progressive MS. Participants were given either ocrelizumab or inactive placebo by in-vein infusions about every 6 months. Compared to placebo, ocrelizumab significantly reduced the risk of progression of clinical disability (according to the standard EDSS scale) by 24%, and had other positive outcomes. The main side effects were reactions to the infusions, and a slight increase in the risk for infection. A more complete safety analysis is ongoing. (Abstract 228Read more
Ocrelizumab in Relapsing MS: Results from two phase III trials of ocrelizumab in relapsing MS were positive compared to Rebif®(interferon beta-1a, EMD Serono and Pfizer). Ocrelizumab reduced the risk of relapse by 46 to 47% compared to Rebif, reduced the risk of disease progression by 40%, and had other positive outcomes. The main side effects were reactions to the infusions, and a slight increase in infections. (Abstract 190) The sponsor, Genentech (a member of the Roche Group) stated that it plans to apply for marketing approval from the FDA in early 2016.

Minocycline Before MS Diagnosis (CIS): Dr. Luanne Metz (University of Calgary) reported on a Phase III trial of a relatively inexpensive oral antibiotic called minocycline, which is often prescribed to treat acne. In addition to its bacteria-killing action, it reduces inflammation. The trial tested minocycline against placebo in 144 people who had clinically isolated syndrome. Results showed that over 6 months, those taking twice daily minocycline had a 44.6% reduced risk of developing definite MS, compared to those taking placebo. There were no unexpected side effects outside of the most common that occur with this antibiotic, which carries several warnings including that it is not to be taken during pregnancy. (Abstract 227)
5-Year Results from Lemtrada: Reports from two ongoing extension studies of alemtuzumab (Lemtrada,® Genzyme, a Sanofi company), approved for relapsing MS, suggest this therapy continued to show effectiveness against relapses and brain volume loss after 5 years in people who had participated in the CARE 1 and CARE 2 trials, many of whom only received two courses of yearly infusions. Adverse events that have been well documented in the medication guide (.pdf) were reported to be comparable or reduced during the extension period compared with the original studies. (Abstracts 151152)
Lectures Focus on Progressive MS and Treatment Strategies: Giving the Keynote address, Professor Alan J. Thompson (University College London) focused on knowledge gaps and advances in research on progressive MS, which impacts more than half of all the people who have MS. He highlighted the work of the International Progressive MS Alliance as a force that is already driving research forward. Professor Giancarlo Comi (University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan) gave the Charcot Award Lecture focusing on emerging approaches to treating MS. He focused on the need for evidence that will enable a personalized medicine approach, based on disease characteristics and predictive markers that would determine the best treatment course for an individual. He emphasized the importance of early treatment for better outcomes, stating his personal belief that there will be a shift toward the idea of “induction therapy” – hitting the disease hard and early.

Restoring Function: Nervous System Repair




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Friday, November 6, 2015

Medical marijuana UPDATE: Illinois may start selling next week

11.05.15 --- CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - FOX 32 has learned that Illinois' first legal shipments of medical marijuana could depart from grow houses as soon as Friday.
The man in charge of the state's program told FOX 32 News that the first legal retail sales by dispensaries could come early next week, perhaps Monday. But a woman who worked tirelessly for years to legalize medical marijuana in Illinois is turning her back on the program.
Julie Falco has painful, incurable multiple sclerosis. Back when she could still walk, she was well known in the State Capitol as a tireless proponent of medical marijuana. But now with the program at the tipping point, she says she won't be part of it.

information provided by MSVN

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Watch this news video about an MS Patient and of Medical Marijuana found here




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Melatonin Could One Day Treat Multiple Sclerosis




Multiple sclerosis (MS) flare ups are caused by changes in melatonin levels in the spring and summer seasons, according to findings published in Cell.   Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts studied 139 patients with relapsing remitting MS in order to determine the relationship between seasonal changes in disease activity in MS and melatonin levels. The investigators examined improvement in symptoms and seasonal factors as proposed links to MS disease activities, such as vitamin D levels, UV incidence, and upper respiratory tract infections.  

 “We wanted to see what environmental factors would reveal to us about this disease,” study leader Francisco Quintana, PhD, from the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases, explained in a press release. “We knew that MS disease activity changed with the seasons. 

What we’ve uncovered offers an explanation for why that is the case.” - 

Continue Reading from HCPLIVE



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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Alkermes’ Multiple Sclerosis Therapy ALKS 8700 Yields Positive Clinical Trial Data

Alkermes plc, a fully integrated global biopharmaceutical company, recently provided a regulatory update and positive clinical trial data for ALKS 8700, an oral, innovative and proprietary monomethyl fumarate (MMF) compound that is being developed to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).
ALKS 8700 is being developed to quickly and efficiently convert to MMF in the MS patient’s body and to provide differentiated qualities in comparison with the marketed TECFIDERA®(dimethyl fumarate) currently used to treat relapsing forms of MS.
Regulatory update: Following a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company is planning to submit a 505(b)(2) New Drug Application (NDA) using pharmacokinetic results from clinical studies that compared ALKS 8700 and TECFIDERA, as well as from a two-year phase 3 clinical study assessing the safety of ALKS 8700 in about 600 MS patients. This means that the company will not be obligated to conduct another phase 3 study assessing the safety of the drug in MS patients. Alkermes also plans to begin by mid-2016 a head-to-head randomized trial in which ALKS 8700 gastrointestinal (GI) tolerability will be compared to TECFIDERA in about 420 MS patients.
The company anticipates completing these clinical trials and filing the NDA in 2018.
READ MORE



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ReThinking MS - (2) Event Locations - Nov 14th in San Antonio, TX and December 5th in Coral Gables, FL.



CLICK THE ABOVE BANNER to Register for this event
in San Antonio, TX

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CLICK THE ABOVE BANNER to Register for this event
in Coral Gables, Florida







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Psychiatric Comorbidity Among Multiple Sclerosis Patients Reported to Be Common

<span class="entry-title">Psychiatric Comorbidity Among Multiple Sclerosis Patients Reported to Be Common</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Compared to women, men with MS face a disproportionately greater relative burden of depression</span>

November 3, 2015


Psychiatric comorbidity is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and affects the MS community more frequently than a matched control population, although the incidence is stable over time, according to recent findings of a study published in the journal Neurology, the Official Journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In the study, researchers also reported that compared to women, men face a disproportionately greater relative burden of depression when they develop MS.
Depression and anxiety reduce the quality of life in patients with MS, and depression has been found to be associated with reduced persistence to disease-modifying therapy. While such adverse effects of psychiatric comorbidity are recognized in MS patients, its epidemiology remains poorly investigated.
With the goal of comparing the prevalence and incidence of psychiatric comorbidity in patients with MS to age, sex, and geographic area matched controls, in the study entitled “Differences in the burden of psychiatric comorbidity in MS vs the general population,” Ruth Ann Marrie, MD, PhD, and colleagues used data from four Canadian provinces and identified 44,452 MS patients and 220,849 matched controls. The team investigated the prevalence and incidence of bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia between 1995 and 2005.

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Pilot Study shows Promise for Improving brain function, neural plasticity and balance in MS patients

Multiple Sclerosis Pilot Study Evaluating PoNS Yields Promising


<span class="entry-title">Multiple Sclerosis Pilot Study Evaluating PoNS Yields Promising Results</span><span class="entry-subtitle">PoNS found to improve brain function, neural plasticity and balance in MS patients</span>

Helius Medical Technologies, Inc., a company dedicated to neurological wellness, recentlyannounced that the multiple sclerosis (MS) pilot study assessing the company’s investigational Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™) device has met all of the study’s goals.
PoNS is a non-invasive device that allows the delivery of neurostimulation through the tongue. The device is based on the concept that the tongue can be used as a natural, direct entry to stimulate the brain, especially since it is richly innervated by thousands of nerve fibers and interconnected by two major cranial nerves to the brainstem.
The PoNS system is currently being evaluated in Canada, at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital and Concordia University’s PERFORM Center, as a therapy for gait and balance disorder in patients with MS. In total, 14 participants (7 with active MS and 7 control individuals) were submitted to this non-invasive brain stimulation technology along with physiotherapy. The potential clinical benefits of PoNS neurostimulation were evaluated and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was employed to determine the device’s effect while participants performed working memory and mental imagery tasks, with or without stimulation.
fMRI results revealed that the PoNS device seems to facilitate neural plasticity. In fact, after treatment, patients with active MS exhibited a brain function similar to healthy individuals. MS patients also experienced a significant improvement in balance after 14 weeks of treatment. Furthermore, researchers reported a good safety profile for PoNS therapy.
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New Muscle Spasticity Therapy Under Priority Review by FDA

PathMaker's MyoRegulator seen as potential therapy for multiple sclerosis and like disorders

November 2nd, 2015

<span class="entry-title">New Muscle Spasticity Therapy Under Priority Review by FDA</span><span class="entry-subtitle">PathMaker's MyoRegulator seen as potential therapy for multiple sclerosis and like disorders</span>


PathMaker Neurosystems Inc., a clinical-stage neuromodulation company focused on non-invasive therapies for neuromotor disorders, recently announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s MyoRegulator™ PM-2200 system the Expedited Access Pathway (EAP) designation and priority processing status.
The MyoRegulator is the first product of PathMaker and it is being developed for the treatment of muscle spasticity, a muscle control disorder characterized by muscle stiffness or tightness that causes an inability to control the affected muscles. Muscle spasticity is a condition associated with several neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis.
The management of spasticity can be a challenge and it currently represents an unmet medical need. Surgical, physical and pharmacological treatments for spasticity have short-term efficacy, at best, and can cause some adverse effects.
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Potential Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Based on CCR2 Inhibition


New research at the University of Adelaide, Australia, may help pave the way toward the potential inhibition of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases. The study entitled “CCR2 defines in vivo development and homing of IL-23-driven GM-CSF-producing Th17 cells” was published in the journal Nature Communications. In the study, researchers showed that CCR2, a chemokine receptor, is involved […]

Read on »



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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis Coalition Names New Associate Member

MS Views and News joins coalition of leading national MS organizations

HACKENSACK, N.J. - Nov. 3, 2015 - PRLog -- The Multiple Sclerosis Coalition recently voted to admit a new associate member, MS Views and News (MSVN). As an associate member, MSVN will work cooperatively with the eight member organizations of the Coalition – comprised of the leading advocacy, education, and support organizations for multiple sclerosis in the United States – to benefit all individuals with MS

MS Views and News provides live educational programs around the U.S., online educational materials, and social services such as a MS Social Work Navigator who works directly with patients and families free of charge. MSVN President Stuart Schlossman commented, "We are honored to be voted-in as a member of the MS Coalition. We are looking forward to future collaborations with our community partners and are excited about the positive impacts it will bring to the MS community."

Member organizations of the MS Coalition are: Accelerated Cure Project, the Consortium of MS Centers, Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, the International Organization of MS Nurses, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and United Spinal Association. Find the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition online at http://ms-coalition.org or visit MSC on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MSCoalition and on Twitter at @MS_Coalition (https://twitter.com/MS_Coalition).

About MS Views and News:

MS Views and News is dedicated to the global collection and distribution of information concerning multiple sclerosis.  Through partnering relationships, MSVN provides education, advocacy and service to empower and enhance the quality of life of the MS community.

About the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition

The Multiple Sclerosis Coalition was founded in 2005 by three independent multiple sclerosis organizations in an effort to work together to benefit individuals with MS. Since that time, the MSC has grown to eight member organizations and one associate member organization, all of whom provide critical MS programs and services. The Multiple Sclerosis Coalition's mission is to increase opportunities for cooperation and provide greater opportunity to leverage the effective use of resources for the benefit of the MS community.




Contact
Annie Scully
***@ms-coalition.org

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Beating My Assailant

















By Matt Allen G—October 29, 2015

I have only had multiple sclerosis (MS) for about 5 years. Despite that short amount of time I have had an “action packed” experience with this disease as my MS is (from what I am told) very aggressive. I have not had a very “stable” 5 years, and so, people often ask me how I do it. How is it that I have not lost my mind and that I often still maintain a positive attitude? Well that is easy, I am very stubborn.

Yes, I know, being stubborn is usually looked at like a bad thing, a bad characteristic and before I was diagnosed with MS it was probably one of my worst qualities. It can often get you into trouble; someone would tell me I should not do something and I had to do it for whatever reason. After being diagnosed at the early age of 20, I was able to turn that trait into a tool to help fight my MS and get through tough times. I have no issues with admitting that I am fueled little by hope and fate like many others may be. Nope, I am a realist (and I know there is a very fine line between being a realist and a pessimist) and for me it is all about my stubbornness. There are many times where I just want to curl up in bed and just give up but I can’t, I am just too stubborn, if I give in like that I lose against MS and because I am so stubborn I just can’t let myself lose! I was the kid who when everyone else in my group of friends said “that can’t be done, that is just too dangerous/difficult/whatever” I took it as a challenge and said “watch me”. Of course there were times where I did achieve what I was told I could not do (fueling my ego) but there were also many times where I failed, but what is important is that I tried without doubting myself. You could say that my attitude was a bit na├»ve but guess what? It has always worked for me.When times get tough I have to just say “ok, what do I do next?” and just dive into things. Of course I have no idea what that will result in but in my minds eye, if I give up just for a second, MS wins and as far as I am concerned? MS will never get that luxury from me.

So my MS has become a bit of a separate entity trying to hinder every aspect of my life, and if you have ever watched the show “Dexter” you will get this reference, but I decided that I would refer to my MS as “my dark passenger”. Someone along for the ride we call life that I do not want there with me. This dark passenger has one goal and one goal alone; to slow me down in life and try to get me to give up. I suppose you could say I give it too much of a cynical motive but if I look at it as something personal that wants to cause me harm in life it is much easier to get all stubborn. Oh you think you are causing me more pain than I can bare? You think this is too much misery for me? Well in that case it’s not that bad, not even worth complaining about, nice try but no cigar! 

No matter how tough life may get I will always revert to that attitude because I just refuse to let something have control over me, I am just too stubborn for that.

“I will beat you, I will win, I always win” – at least that is my attitude.




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