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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Trigeminal neuralgia, type of nerve pain, is an early multiple sclerosis symptom


Trigeminal neuralgia, type of nerve pain, is an early multiple sclerosis symptomA type of nerve pain, called trigeminal neuralgia, can be very hard to cope with and has become known as an early symptom of multiple sclerosis.
Trigeminal neuralgia affects the fifth cranial nerve, trigeminal, which is responsible for the sensation in the face involved with biting and chewing. It is the largest of the cranial nerves and gets its name from the fact that each nerve has three major branches.
People with trigeminal nerve pain can have attacks that last for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Sadly, in some cases, attacks happen literally hundreds of times a day. It is possible for some sufferers to go into remission for long periods, although doctors have noticed that periods of remission in their patients seems to get shorter as time goes on.
This type of neuropathic pain is described as severe facial pain – like a sharp, shooting or electric shock. The nerve pain can last a few seconds or a few minutes and then just end abruptly. In the vast majority of cases, it impacts part or all of one side of the face. Most people with trigeminal pain complain about discomfort in the lower part of the face.

Some people who have suffered this kind of nerve pain for years go on to develop a continuous aching, throbbing or burning sensation, along with the sharp pain.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) trigeminal neuralgia is now known as an early symptom of multiple sclerosis, the autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. In fact, AANS states that MS is “usually the cause” of trigeminal nerve pain in young adults.

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Exploring new paths for the treatment of multiple sclerosis

December 1, 2015

Exploring new paths for the treatment of multiple sclerosis

(Edmonton) Research from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is trailblazing a potential new pathway for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The research, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, examines a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce inflammation in the brain—a key contributing factor to the muscle disability associated with multiple sclerosis.

According to the researchers, most current MS treatments act on the to reduce  on the brain. The downside is that as medications get stronger, they suppress the immune system to the point where patients must cope with significant side effects. In the study, the UAlberta scientists examined an enzyme called granzyme B in cytotoxic cells as a possible therapeutic target for reducing inflammation without significantly suppressing the immune system response.
Cytotoxic cells are typically used by the body to kill virus infected cells. In the case of MS though, they are redirected against the host. The enzyme, granzyme B, acts as a weapon, damaging  and other components in the brain. In the study, researchers found that by suppressing granzyme B through a recently discovered inhibitor called serpina3n, they could significantly reduce the progression of MS symptoms in both human cells and pre-clinical models.
"We can interfere with some of the weapons these cytotoxic cells use to induce damage to the nerve cells in the brain, but without disrupting the other positive functions that these cells have," explains Fabrizio Giuliani, senior author of the study and an associate professor in the neurology division of the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "This molecule, serpina3n, will block the damage caused by granzyme B that induces the neurodegeneration in this disease, and the neurodegeneration strongly correlates with the disability."


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Multiple sclerosis patients receive help with safe form of estrogen

Multiple sclerosis patients receive help with safe form of estrogenRelapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients taking a safe form of estrogen – estriol – along with conventional medications avoided relapse according to a recent UCLA clinical trial. Researchers made observations at the bedside, tested them in labs and brought back the findings to the patients.
During the second half of pregnancy, RRMS patients have reduced relapses but there was no clear reason why. It is also known that the fetus’ placenta produces estriol. Protection of estriol has also been seen in other autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.
The researchers hypothesized that estriol works to suppress the immune system, so it does not reject the fetus, which has half of the father’s protein. Lead author, Rhonda Voskuhl, M.D., said, “The beauty of estriol is that it is not a shot and can be taken in pill form, and also that it’s not a new drug. It has decades of safety behind it. Also, current MS treatments are very complex to manufacture. These findings hopefully will pave the way for oral, safe treatments that are more widely accessible, since estriol is simple and naturally occurring.”

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RRMS Clinical Study of New Antibiotic Therapy Nearing End

First data from Phase 2a study of RedHill Biopharma's RHB-104 expected in early 2016
RedHill Biopharma, Ltd., recently announced the conclusion of the last dosing and patient follow-up visit for its Phase 2a proof-of-concept study to assess the efficacy and safety of the experimental drug RHB-104 as an add-on therapy to interferon beta-1a in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). MS is a demyelinating disease in which the insulating covers […]
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MS Society of Canada Helps Fund Pediatric Study of Gut Bacteria

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis Scientific Research Foundation recently announced the funding of new research on pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS) and on the role played by the gut microbiome in brain and autoimmune diseases.
Although only around 5% of all newly diagnosed MS cases affect children, the study of pediatric MS might best lead to a fuller understanding of the disease.
“This small percentage of MS cases actually represents a critical opportunity to potentially discover what causes MS,” said Dr. Helen Tremlett, Canada Research chair and principal investigator on the gut microbiome project, in a news release. “Through the families, we’re typically able to get a more complete health and lifestyle history, and we’re closer to the onset of the disease; there is less history to sort through with kids, and we’re better able to pinpoint when the disease took hold.”
The project’s goal is to sequence and analyze the genomes of the human microbiome at sites throughout the body to determine whether there is a core microbiota set shared by all humans. 


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A multiple sclerosis drug that works for Huntington's disease: the real deal or too good to be true?

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Fingolimod, a drug used in multiple sclerosis, prevents memory problems in HD mice. Would it work in patients?

By Melissa Christianson on November 24, 2015Edited by Dr Ed Wild

Thinking problems in Huntington’s disease take a huge toll from early in the disease. Now, new work suggests that a drug already approved by the FDA to treat another brain disease – multiple sclerosis – may stave off these problems in HD mice. Could these results be real, or are they too good to be true?
Although movement disturbances are the most obvious symptom of Huntington’s disease, Huntington’s also causes cognitive problems – like changes in memory, planning, decision-making, and communication – that take a huge toll on patients and their families early in the disease. Understanding why these cognitive changes arise and how we might prevent them is really important for treating Huntington’s.

The brain’s game of ‘telephone’

The brain is made up of cells that talk to each other like players in a giant game of telephone.  Thinking problems can arise when messages in this giant game of brain telephone get garbled.
The brain is made up of cells that talk to each other like players in a giant game of telephone. Thinking problems can arise when messages in this giant game of brain telephone get garbled.
Image credit: freeimages.com
In Huntington’s disease, thinking or ‘cognitive’ problems typically arise long before brain cells die. If these problems begin before brain cell death, though, what causes them?
One likely culprit is a change in how well brain cells communicate.
To understand this idea, remember that the brain is made up of a huge network of cells (called neurons) that talk to each other by passing messages back and forth. You can think of brain communication like a giant game of ‘telephone’: one neuron (brain cell) passes a message to another, which passes it to a third, and so on down the line. Because the brain has about 86 billion neurons, however, this game is huge beyond the scale of what you probably played as a kid.
Problems occur when messages in this giant game of telephone get garbled - in other words, when neurons don’t reliably hear or pass along the messages they receive.
This garbling can happen in a few different ways. First, messages can get garbled if a neuron gets sick. Just like it would be difficult for you to play telephone if you lost your voice, being sick makes it difficult for a neuron to pass messages to other neurons.
Alternatively, a neuron’s environment can influence how well it hears or passes along messages. Just like it would be harder to play telephone in a room full of screaming two-year-olds than in a quiet room, certain brain environments make it harder for neurons to communicate. For example, we know that neurons in the brain are surrounded by helper cells that have a bit of a split personality. These helper cells are normally ‘good guys’ that make communication easier; when the brain gets damaged by injury or disease, however, helper cells can become ‘bad guys’ that can interfere with brain communication.
So, to keep messages flowing through the brain’s giant game of telephone in Huntington’s disease, we may need to protect neurons, their helper cells, or both at the same time.

An multiple sclerosis drug for Huntington’s disease?

Wouldn’t it be nice if a drug that’s already in use, could protect both neurons and helper cells, and was already being used in humans?
One possible drug that fits the bill is fingolimod. It’s approved around the world for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a disease where excessive inflammation harms the brain.
Continue Reading


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Multiple Sclerosis Drug Does Not Cause Cancer

Researchers from the Queen Mary University of London are calling on healthcare professionals to reinitiate development of a multiple sclerosis (MS) drug until more evidence about its risk of cancer is published. 

Their piece is published in the journal Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation. The authors wrote that their new evidence contradicts the belief that the drug causes cancer.   

Cladribine is already licensed for leukemia patients – but it can also be used to treat MS as shown in previous studies in the United Kingdom, the authors explained. In one trial, the editorialists outlined, the drug reduced MS relapses by more than 50 percent. In the same study, nearly 50 percent of people who received treatment with the drug did not demonstrate any signs of disease activity for the subsequent two years.   

However, based on previous data, the drug was refused market authorization, they wrote, because of the suspicion that it may cause cancer.


 - See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/medical-news/multiple-sclerosis-drug-does-not-cause-cancer-#sthash.02PFyzxU.dpuf


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Can this treatment become a Clinical Trial for MS?

As the actual cause behind this autoimmune response hasn’t been found, a proper treatment doesn’t exist yet, although there are many clinical trials that focus on reducing the disease’s symptoms, thus improving the daily lives of multiple sclerosis patients. But Ph.D. Chang-Qing Xia’s research on mice with autoimmune encephalomyelitis, made at the University of Florida, promises a lot of hope for future treatments of multiple sclerosis. Although experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice isn’t identical to multiple sclerosis it is similar enough to take into consideration.
By trying out a method already used to treat autoimmune diseases, researcher Chang-Qing Xia managed to reverse the mice’s disease to early stages. He used a chemical shortly called SMCC or sulfo-SMCC, which is approved by US FDA to help bind the autoantigens of the diseases with spleen cells. This method of binding autoantigens, which are protein fragments of myelin with spleen cells using SMCC is a fast and easy process that is also less toxic to cells when used as a treatment.
M.D. Xia considers that “the most important thing is that these findings are highly translatable to the clinic,” meaning that the next step is finding a way of transforming the successful experiments into a human clinical trial. The researcher’s hypothesis is that the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis are similar diseases pathologically and immunologically and by combining human protein fragments of myelin known as autoantigens with white blood cells a transfusion serum could be developed. Hopefully, the same result could be observed in multiple sclerosis, even if the damage cannot be entirely repaired, keeping the disease at an early stage or simply stopping the damaging process could mean a breakthrough for multiple sclerosis treatment.
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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Healing the Soul, Unexpected Stories of Courage, Hope,and the Power of Mind - Inspirational Book


The book, Healing the Soul, Unexpected Stories of Courage, Hope,and the Power of Mind  written by  Dr. Bhupendra O. Khatri  has now received 3 awards ( 2015  USA Best Book Awards, one in motivational & the other in general health categories;  2014 Eric Hoffer Book Award, and has received a "5 star" review from the Foreword Reviews Magazine).

This book has been enthusiastically endorsed by leading MS experts around the World.  MS patients can request a complimentary copy of the book from TEVA pharmaceuticals (makers of COPAXONE)
 or check out his web site: www.healingthesoulbook.com


 And some good news from the National MS Society: "Dr. Khatri is the recipient of the 2015 Life Time Achievement Award by National Multiple Sclerosis Society".


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