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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, December 19, 2015

Fourth PML Case With Tecfidera in MS Calls for Vigilance

December 17, 2015

After a fourth case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) linked to the multiple sclerosis (MS) drug dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera, Biogen), it is becoming more widely accepted that even the "safer" immunosuppressant agents may cause dangerous adverse effects, albeit rarely, and vigilance on this issue is required, experts say.
Tecfidera, an oral agent taken twice daily, has been available for the treatment of MS since 2013. The generic compound, dimethyl fumarate, and similar products containing fumaric acid esters have long been used to treat psoriasis. As well as the four cases of PML in patients with MS, about 10 cases in patients with psoriasis have been linked to such products, Ari Green, MD, from the University of California San Francisco, told Medscape Medical News.
There have also been three cases of PML with fingolimod, another oral MS treatment thought to be relatively safe in terms of opportunistic infections.
PML is a rare but potentially fatal brain infection caused by the JC virus. It is seen mainly in immunosuppressed individuals and has been a particular problem with the potent immunosuppressant natalizumab (Tysabri), an effective treatment for MS.
Biogen acknowledged to Medscape Medical News that a fourth case has occurred but declined to disclose case details.
"We can confirm that we have reported a fourth case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) from October 2015 associated with Tecfidera treatment in an MS patient that had experienced prolonged lymphopenia," a spokesperson for Biogen public affairs noted. "We are not providing case details on this particular AE [adverse event] other than through normal medical, regulatory and safety channels."

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Alkermes enrolling MS patients to assess safety of ALKS 8700 (MMF) compared to Tecfidera

New MS Drug Therapy Based on Monomethyl Fumarate 
Moving Along in Testing

Dec 18, 2015

Alkermes plc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on therapies for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, announced that it has successfully met its 2015 goals for their product and late-stage pipeline drug portfolio, including ALKS 8700, a monomethyl fumarate (MMF) drug candidate for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
Alkermes launched pivotal clinical development programs for two of its pipeline drugs: ALKS 8700, a new, oral MMF drug for MS treatment, and ALKS 3831, a new, oral atypical antipsychotic drug for the treatment of schizophrenia.
MMF is thought to have immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, although its mechanism of action is still not clear. ALKS 8700 is a drug designed to quickly and efficiently convert to MMF inside the patient’s body, offering distinct features from the marketed MS therapy dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera).
ALKS 8700 pivotal program EVOLVE (Endeavoring to Advance Treatment for Patients Living with Multiple Sclerosis) comprises two studies. EVOLVE-1 is a multicenter, two-year, open-label trial to evaluate ALKS 8700 safety in 600 MS patients. This ongoing study is currently enrolling participants. Alkermes is planning to register ALKS 8700 based on data from EVOLVE-1, and on pharmacokinetic bridging results from studies where ALKS 8700 was compared to Tecfidera, and feedback obtained from the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company also plans to conduct a second randomized, head-to-head study (EVOLVE-2) in 2016 to compare the gastrointestinal tolerability of ALKS 8700 to Tecfidera in up to 420 MS patients.
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Friday, December 18, 2015

MS Study Uncovers a Process Leading to Neuroinflammation in the Brain

In a new study, researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada, uncovered the process behind the formation and maintenance of tertiary lymphoid tissues (TLTs), structures found in the meninges in the brains of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Their findings, reported in the article “Integration of Th17- and Lymphotoxin-Derived Signals Initiates Meningeal-Resident Stromal Cell Remodeling to Propagate […]

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New MS Drug Shows ‘Excellent Profile’ in Preclinical Tests Against Approved Therapy

Akaal Pharma, a developer of small molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammation and autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), recently announced highly positive preclinical trial results on the safety and efficacy of its drug candidate AKP-11 when compared to Gilenya (fingolimod, FTY-720), an oral MS drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration […]

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MS May Be Triggered by the Death of Brain Cells

Researchers are proposing for a first time that multiple sclerosis (MS) is triggered by the death of a specific cell population within the central nervous system called oligodendrocytes. The study, titled “Oligodendrocyte death results in immune-mediated CNS demyelination,” was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Oligodendrocytes, together with Schwann cells, are the central nervous system (CNS) cells responsible […]

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MS Nerve Degeneration Triggered by Chain Reaction in Cells

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently discovered that a small molecule triggers the destruction of axons, a phenomenon observed in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is titled “Wallerian Degeneration Is Executed by an NMN-SARM1-Dependent Late Ca2+ Influx but Only Modestly Influenced by Mitochondria” and appears in the journal Cell Reports. Neurons communicate and transmit electrical signals […]

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Study Recruiting MS Patients to Assess Exercise and Behavioral Therapy

Dr. Bradley Bowser, a South Dakota State University (SDSU) researcher and assistant professor, is investigating whether the practice of exercise, either by itself or together with cognitive behavioral therapy, can effectively improve mobility and quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is a neurodegenerative condition that often induces motor disability. Motor symptoms like […]

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Does the Nose Know in MS?

Olfactory dysfunction linked to disease activity and more

Olfactory dysfunction may occur in 20% to 45% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a literature review.


The review also uncovered findings that suggest a relationship between mood disorders, cognition, and olfactory dysfunction in MS, reported Elizabeth B. Lucassen, MD, of the Pennsylvania State University-Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, and colleagues.

Not only can olfactory dysfunction frequently be measured in MS patients, but both threshold and identification deficits can be observed, the investigators wrote online in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

They also noted that olfactory dysfunction in MS correlates with disability, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), and that measurements of olfactory dysfunction may wax and wane with relapses.

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Article provided by: Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN - Clinical Systems Consulting


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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sleeping Late Has a Surprising Negative Impact on Your Life

Sorry, but your chair and your bed may be cutting your life short

Investigators from the University of Sydney examined the lifestyle patterns of 231,048 participants in the 45 and Up Study — Australia’s largest cohort study — in order to determine the most likely risk behaviors that are contributing to premature deaths in middle-aged and older adults. The habits that were highlighted in the questionnaire included smoking, high alcohol intake, poor diet, physical inactivity, prolonged sitting, and unhealthy (short or long) sleep duration. 

During the six-year follow-up period, more than 15,600 deaths were registered. And out of the 96 possible risk combinations, the 30 most commonly occurring combinations accounted for more than 90 percent of the participants. The findings, which were published in the journal PLOS Medicine, revealed the following:

•A person who oversleeps (more than nine hours a night), over-sits (more than seven hours a day), and under-exercises (less than 150 minutes each week) is more than four times as likely to die early compared to someone who doesn’t practice these habits. 
•A person who smokes, has a high alcohol intake, and lacks in the sleep department (less than seven hours a night) is also four times more likely to pass away before their time. 




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How WalkAide Works for electronic stimulation for leg

The WalkAide system utilizes patented tilt sensor technology and functional electrical stimulation (FES) to analyze the movement of the leg and stimulate the appropriate nerves, prompting the foot to lift with every step. The gentle electrical impulses produced by WalkAide activate the muscles to raise the foot at the appropriate time during the step cycle, creating a more natural and efficient walking pattern​​.
 
Although WalkAide is a highly advanced medical device, it is surprisingly small and discreet, and quite easy to use. It consists of a battery-operated, single-channel electrical stimulator, two electrodes, and electrode leads. WalkAide is applied directly to the leg – not implanted under the skin – and can be worn discreetly under most clothing. A cuff holds the system in place. No surgery is required. ​

 
​WalkAide is a sophisticated medical device that can only be prescribed by a physician. As with all orthoses, a thorough evaluation by a credentialed and trained medical professional will determine if WalkAide is right for a particular individual. To find a trained medical professional in your area, go to our Patient Care Center Locator.

See WalkAide website found here



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