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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, for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not 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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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Composer Jeff Beal confronts MS diagnosis in new work with LA Master Chorale


POSTED: 
Jeff Beal was reeling from being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when he put on “Cloudburst,” a luminous choral piece by composer Eric Whitacre.
A feeling of calm washed over him.
“I’ve always loved vocal music,” says Beal, the Emmy Award-winning composer behind Netflix’s “House of Cards” and a host of other film and television scores, speaking from his home studio in Agoura Hills. “As a meditative and quiet-your-mind thing, it is extremely powerful and healing.”
Inspired by his experience, Beal mediates on suffering and catharsis in his first original a cappella work, “The Salvage Men,” which has its U.S. premiere Sunday at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Master Chorale as part of the Made in L.A. Concert.
The composition — a joint commission from the Master Chorale and the Eric Whitacre Singers — is one of several works created in the city that Master Chorale Artistic Director Grant Gershon calls “a hotbed for composers who write beautifully and evocatively for the human voice.”
Beal says he experienced numbness down the left side of his body for years, but it wasn’t until he was hobbling around South by Southwest Film Festival in spring 2007 that it struck him something might actually be wrong.



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Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) Therapeutic Pipeline Review, H2 2015

Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) - Pipeline Review, H2 2015
Summary
Global Markets Direct’s, ‘Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) - Pipeline Review, H2 2015’, provides an overview of the Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)’s therapeutic pipeline.
This report provides comprehensive information on the therapeutic development for Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS), complete with comparative analysis at various stages, therapeutics assessment by drug target, mechanism of action (MoA), route of administration (RoA) and molecule type, along with latest updates, and featured news and press releases. It also reviews key players involved in the therapeutic development for Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) and special features on late-stage and discontinued projects.
Global Markets Direct’s report features investigational drugs from across globe covering over 20 therapy areas and nearly 3,000 indications. The report is built using data and information sourced from Global Markets Direct’s proprietary databases, Company/University websites, SEC filings, investor presentations and featured press releases from company/university sites and industry-specific third party sources, put together by Global Markets Direct’s team. Drug profiles/records featured in the report undergoes periodic updation following a stringent set of processes that ensures that all the profiles are updated with the latest set of information. Additionally, processes including live news & deals tracking, browser based alert-box and clinical trials registries tracking ensure that the most recent developments are captured on a real time basis.
The report enhances decision making capabilities and help to create effective counter strategies to gain competitive advantage. It strengthens R&D pipelines by identifying new targets and MOAs to produce first-in-class and best-in-class products.
Note*: Certain sections in the report may be removed or altered based on the availability and relevance of data for the indicated disease.
Scope
Click to continue reading


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Novartis' MS Drug Gilenya Prevents Activation of Key Immune Cells in Study


<span class="entry-title">Novartis’ MS Drug Gilenya Prevents Activation of Key Immune Cells in Study</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Study focus on immunosuppressive actions of the drug fingolimod</span>

In a recent study entitled “Myeloid cells as target of fingolimod action in multiple sclerosis,” a team of scientists investigated the impact of fingolimod (GilenyaNovartis), an approved drug for multiple sclerosis (MS), on the reactivity of myeloid cells, a key group that comprises several immune cells that are activated in MS patients and the underlying cause of the disease. The study was published in the journal Neurology.
MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and afflicts more than 2.3 million people in the world. Currently without a cure, the disease is characterized by the destruction of the myelin layer within nerve cells. This leads to a wide range of neurological symptoms affecting visual, motor, and sensory capabilities.
Fingolimod is one of the few treatments for MS and is an analogue of a cellular key protein called sphingosine. When added to cells, fingolimod binds sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptors and promote their degradation. Since S1P receptors are important for immune cells’ trafficking to the central nervous system, fingolimod reduces this trafficking and is thus associated with reducing MS-disease relapse and disability progression.
Researchers investigated how fingolimod influences the activation of myeloid cells from the periphery to the central nervous system. (Myeloid cells originate in the bone marrow or spinal cord and include several key cells in our immune system, such as monocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, erythrocytes, dendritic cells, and megakaryocytes or platelets.) The team analyzed how fingolimod interfered with the activation of immune cells in vitro and later performed further studies where administration of fingolimod during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (a disease model of human MS) was used to assess its effects on the activation of splenic, central nervous system infiltrating, and central nervous system resident myeloid cells.
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Video: October 20th, 2015 - Empowering an MS Community In Americas' Heartland - with Dr. Aburashed


The above, was video recorded on October 20, 2015 from Novi (Detroit), Michigan

Open the video, scroll past the opening announcements, to reach Dr. Aburashed's candid MS talk



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Video: Social Security Disability Law (SSDI) - The disability insurance process




Lisa to Lisa Discuss Social Security Disability Law (SSDI)


Open the video, scroll past the opening announcements, to reach Lisa's Presentation about Social Security Disability



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A Resource for Caregivers


A CAREGIVER RESOURCE

                                        


If you or someone you know is facing the challenges of Caregiving, this is a resource that may help. A look at understanding the role of the Caregiver and the important points one needs to address prior to a discharge from the hospital or at a doctor's visit.

Explore this website: http://www.nextstepincare.org/

If you have needs or questions remember that you can always contact me:
jennifer@msvn.org  or 786-296-8777 



Sincerely, 
Jennifer Falk MSW,CPHM

MS Social Work Navigator- Projects Manager               



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Live Program Announcement for December 5th in Coral Gables (Miami) - ReThinking MS Together




To Learn More of this program, click the above flyer





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NON-MS related --National Do Not Call registry for Unwanted Calls


Receiving UNWANTED Calls?  If you are registered in the Do Not Call Registry, click the box showing below to provide your complaints fro unwanted calls





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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Affordable Healthcare Open Enrollment again open

Healthcare Marketplace Open Enrollment Begins!

It’s that time of year again when individuals can enroll in a Marketplace health insurance plan. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Affordable Care Act is working and continuing to increase access to healthcare. Insurance affordability has increased also, with the eligibility to qualify for lower premium costs, the expansion of Medicaid coverage and additional plan options to choose from being key factors in this act.


Healthcare.gov Homepage 2016

Important Dates to Remember:

  • November 1, 2015 - Open Enrollment Began:
    • Search for insurance plan options and assistance that may be right for you
    • If you are already enrolled, you can review your coverage and other insurance plans to see if another plan better matches your needs
  • December 15, 2015 - Last day to enroll for coverage beginning on January 1, 2016
  • January 1, 2016 - Coverage begins for everyone who enrolled by December 15, 2015




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Monday, November 9, 2015

New Multiple Sclerosis Study Reveals Protein’s Role in Disease Activation

<span class="entry-title">New Multiple Sclerosis Study Reveals Protein’s Role in Disease Activation</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Findings on interaction between Nr4a1 and T cells could make protein a new therapeutic target </span>

In a new study entitled “Transcription factor Nr4a1 couples sympathetic and inflammatory cues in CNS-recruited macrophages to limit neuroinflammation,” a team of scientists discovered the mechanism by which autoreactive T cells are capable of penetrating a patient’s brain and induce multiple sclerosis. The study was recently published in the advance online issue of Nature Immunology.
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological autoimmune disease characterized by the self-reactivity of T cells (key cells of the immune system) that trigger an attack, after cells have infiltrated the brain and spinal cord, against myelin (the substance that insulates nerve cells). With time, inflammation results in damage to myelin that impairs the normal functioning of the brain. A barrier called blood-brain barrier protects the brain from these autoimmune T cells. In multiple sclerosis, however, these cells can overcome the blood-brain barrier, although the mechanisms underlying this phenotype remain unknown.
A team of scientists at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) tackled this question and discovered that autoimmune T cells are conducted into the nervous system by other cells of the immune system, specifically monocytes and macrophages. As Catherine Hedrick, PhD, a professor in the Division of Inflammation Biology and one of the study’s lead authors, noted in a press release, “Our results show that macrophages and monocytes actively participate in the initiation and progression of multiple sclerosis, which has long been considered a primarily T cell driven disease. They exacerbate the severity of the disease by sending out chemical signals that boost inflammation and attract autoimmune T cells to the central nervous system.”
Iftach Shaked, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of LJI professor Klaus Ley, PhD and study first author, added, “Multiple sclerosis affects millions of people worldwide. But what’s really puzzling is that we all have autoimmune T cells that recognize myelin basic protein but normally they do not infiltrate the central nervous system and cause disease.”
It is known that stress can play a role in the worsening of symptoms of inflammatory diseases, but the link between cellular stress and neuroinflammation remains poorly understood. Here, the team discovered that a protein known as Nr4a1 (an established factor responding to inflammatory and stress signals) prevented autoreactive T cells from infiltrating the central nervous system in mouse models of human multiple sclerosis. The team found Nr4a1 protein inhibited the production of norepinephrine. In the absence of Nr4a1, monocytes and macrophages continually produce norepinephrine, leading to the activation of macrophages and triggering a massive flow of T cells into the central nervous system.
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New Insights Into Immune Cells’ Behavior in MS May Lead To New Therapeutic Approach

Study finds modulating microRNA activity could impact the progression of diseases such as multiple sclerosis

<span class="entry-title">New Insights Into Immune Cells’ Behavior in MS May Lead To New Therapeutic Approach</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Study finds modulating microRNA activity could impact the progression of diseases such as multiple sclerosis</span>


In a recent study entitled “MicroRNA expression profiling of human blood monocyte subsets highlights functional differences,” a team of researchers discovered a pool of 66 microRNAsthat underlie differences in phenotype and function of a group of immune cells with key roles in multiple sclerosis. The study was published in the journal Immunology.
Within human blood, a panoply of immune cells play key roles in defending us from foreign pathogens and also from cells that go wrong, such as cancer cells. Monocytes are a class ofwhite blood cells accounting for 5% to 10% of all immune cells, and are key players at destroying viruses and bacteria, but also at acting as intermediaries to alert other immune cells to potential threats. We have two subsets of monocytes, according to the differential expression of a surface molecule called CD16.
CD16 positive cells are a particularly important group of immune cells with high levels inmultiple sclerosis but also in infectious diseases, such as HIV, and inflammatory conditions like sepsis. Notably, however, the mechanism underlying the two subsets of CD16 cells remains unknown, as Dr. Siew Cheng Wong of the Singapore Immunology Network at theAgency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and study lead author, noted in a press release: “Nobody really knows the function of these cells or the consequence of this cellular expansion during disease processes. Are these cells helping to control disease or does the expansion of these cells contribute to the pathogenesis?”
Read More


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Microchips May Be New Standard in Multiple Sclerosis Studies

Chip technology could replace cell cultures to further disease understanding, researchers


<span class="entry-title">Microchips May Be New Standard in Multiple Sclerosis Studies</span><span class="entry-subtitle">Chip technology could replace cell cultures to further disease understanding, researchers say</span>


In a new article published in the journal Trends in Biotechnology, Korean researchers suggest that diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) might be better studied using compact, accessible chip technology than in current methods. The report, titled Central Nervous System and its Disease Models on a Chip, appeared on Oct. 20, 2015.
The study of multiple sclerosis (MS) may advance via use of microchip systems because these platforms could serve as mini-brains, complete with neurons, supporting cells known as glia, and connected neuronal circuitry. Unlike a traditional “cell culture,” scientists can arrange cells on chips in an organized fashion, instead of simply growing them in a dish.
Chip “systems have been rapidly progressing over the past decade, enabling the development of unique microplatforms for in vitro human central nervous system (CNS) and related disease models,” the researchers note. Such platforms might, for example, help scientists to understand myelin loss and how to prevent it.
In MS, neurons lose myelin, the fatty substance that wraps around nerve connectors (axons) and helps promote  communication within the nervous system. When myelin deteriorates, individuals may experience symptoms such as movement loss, vision problems, coordination loss and sensory problems.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Clinical question: Is there any difference between oral and intravenous methylprednisolone for multiple sclerosis relapses?


Oral Steroids Not Inferior to Intravenous Steroids in Multiple Sclerosis Relapses


Background: When relapses of multiple sclerosis occur, studies have shown that intravenous steroids are the treatment of choice. Prior Cochrane meta-analyses have not found any significant difference between intravenous and oral treatments; however, the studies all have had limitations. This study was designed to provide a statistically significant answer.
Study design: Randomized, double-blinded, noninferiority trial.
Setting: Thirteen multiple sclerosis centers in France.
Synopsis: Patients were selected if they had had a relapse within the previous 15 days; the mean time was seven days. One hundred patients were in the oral steroid group, and 99 were in the intravenous steroid group. Each group received 1 g of methylprednisolone daily for three days. In addition, each group received saline infusions or placebo capsules to keep the study blind.
After 28 days, 81% of the oral group and 80% of the intravenous group had improvements of their symptoms. Side effects from the medications were similar as well.
The study was limited by the fixed dosing (1 g daily) that was not bioequivalent. Also, MRIs, although not always used in relapses, could have added more objective information, as everyone was followed clinically using the Kurtzke Functional System Scale.
Bottom line:   Click here to continue reading 

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