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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Reproducibility of Resting State Connectivity in Patients with Stable Multiple Sclerosis

Abstract


Given increasing efforts to use resting-state fMRI (rfMRI) as a biomarker of disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) we here explored the reproducibility of longitudinal rfMRI over three months in patients with clinically and radiologically stable MS. To pursue this aim, two approaches were applied in nine rfMRI networks: First, the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC 3,1) was assessed for the mean functional connectivity maps across the entire network and a region of interest (ROI). Second, the ratio of overlap between Z-thresholded connectivity maps for each network was assessed. We quantified between-session functional reproducibility of rfMRI for 20 patients with stable MS and 14 healthy controls (HC). Nine rfMRI networks (RSNs) were examined at baseline and after 3 months of follow-up: three visual RSNs, the default-mode network, sensorimotor-, auditory-, executive control, and the left and right fronto-parietal RSN. ROI analyses were constrained to thresholded overlap masks for each individual (Z>0) at baseline and follow-up.In both stable MS and HC mean functional connectivity across the entire network did not reach acceptable ICCs for several networks (ICC<0.40) but we found a high reproducibility of ROI ICCs and of the ratio of overlap. ROI ICCs of all nine networks were between 0.98 and 0.99 for HC and ranged from 0.88 to 0.99 in patients with MS, respectively. The ratio of overlap for all networks was similar for both groups, ranging from 0.60 to 0.75.Our findings attest to a high reproducibility of rfMRI networks not only in HC but also in patients with stable MS when applying ROI analysis. This supports the utility of rfMRI to monitor functional changes related to disease progression or therapeutic interventions in MS.

Introduction

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, neurodegenerative disease [13] and the major cause for non-traumatic disability in young adults [4]. Physical and cognitive deficits of MS have been related not only to structural damage but also to functional imbalance in and between brain networks [5]. Therefore, the study of functional changes of the brain by fMRI holds great promise to better understand the pathophysiologic mechanisms of the disease and their modification by therapeutic interventions [6]. Given recent increasing propositions to use resting-state fMRI (rfMRI) as a biomarker of disease progression and to monitor and/or predict motor and cognitive function in MS [79], we here explored the reproducibility of rfMRI over three months in patients with stable MS and compared findings to healthy controls.
RfMRI allows the investigation of changes within and across multiple functional networks without bias of task performance, adherence or subject effort and is increasingly used in patient cohorts [10,11]. Independent component analysis (ICA) has emerged as a powerful tool for exploring rfMRI data in both healthy and brain-diseased populations [12].
A high test-retest reproducibility of fMRI data is a pre-requisite for their application in clinical practice and clinical populations [1315]. Comparing group activation maps is not ideal for establishing reproducibility of fMRI signals [16], as the step of statistical thresholding of images can exaggerate very small differences between maps [17]. Hence, computing intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) is frequently recommended to assess fMRI reproducibility [18,19].




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Rogue stem cell practitioners: calls for regulation to close loopholes

MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Scientists are concerned by the number of providers offering unproven stem cell therapies in Australia.

The Australian Academy of Science says there are at least 60 practitioners currently offering dodgy therapies.

The providers claim that their experimental treatments can cure everything from cancer, to autism and Alzheimer's disease.

Imogen Brennan reports.

IMOGEN BRENNAN: Dr Mel Thomson is a scientist at Deakin University's School of Medicine. 

She also lives with multiple sclerosis (MS).

continue reading this important article


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Monday, March 21, 2016

Online patient research for MS patients NOT on MS Meds

The Find A Cure Panel has some confidential and anonymous online research for patients who have MS who are NOT CURRENTLY on a disease modifying MS treatment.

No personal identifying information is collected. 

All the researcher will see is a 16 digit respondent I.D. that looks like this: 
50010-1234567890.

To qualify for this research, you must:
1)    Live in the US
2)    Have been diagnosed with MS
3)    NOT currently be on a disease modifying MS treatment.
4)    If you were previously on MS treatment but discontinued it or had never been on MS treatment then you qualify.
5)    If you are newly diagnosed but have not yet received your prescription, then you will NOT qualify. This research is focused on discontinued treaters and never been treated patients and not newly diagnosed patients.

PLEASE CLICK the LINK showing below to complete this important survey

If you complete the survey, FACP will donate $100 to MSVN.


To participate, please click on this survey link: 



If you have questions or issues with participating, then please email FACP at info@findacurepanel.com





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Using Adaptive Yoga to Battle Multiple Sclerosis

Yoga has long been considered an effective form of exercise to help the body and mind. But recently it' also become an important part of a comprehensive approach to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and many other chronic diseases. 
Local yoga instructor Mindy Eisenberg founded the non-profit Yoga Moves MS and recently wrote a book exploring her philosophy of healing and the importance of the mind-body relationship. She and yoga instructor Katherine McRae visited the Fox2 Studios Sunday morning to discuss the book and demonstrate a few of the recommended exercises they share with their clients in classes throughout the Metro Detroit area. 
continue to watch a video and more


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MS Views and News 

Bill to Speed Development of Regenerative Medicine has been introduced


REGROW Act Accelerates New Therapies to Help Patients Living with Disease; Stem Cell Therapies Help Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Sickle Cell Patients


March 16, 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) today introduced The REGROW Act, S. 2689, bipartisan, bicameral legislation to reduce barriers to medical innovation and accelerate the development of new regenerative medicine treatments, which have the potential to restore or establish normal function in damaged human cells, tissues and organs.
“As a stroke survivor, I know how much potential new regenerative therapies have for the thousands of other stroke survivors nationwide," Senator Kirk said. “The REGROW Act provides clarity for companies and doctors who are developing breakthrough products and helping their patients. By expanding options for those living with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes and stroke,  we can help more patients live the life they want on their own terms.” 
Read more


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People with MS, Especially Men, Likely to Have Other Chronic Health Conditions

March 15, 2016
People newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) tend to also suffer from other chronic health problems, particularly depression, according to a Canadian study, that also emphasizes the importance of investigating whether the safety of MS treatments differs for these patients.
“These findings are interesting for several reasons,” the study’s author, Ruth Ann Marrie, a member of the American Academy of Neurology, said in a press release. “It raises the question of whether there are shared risk factors for both MS and these other diseases, and if so, whether we could eventually find ways to reduce the risk of both MS and the other diseases. Also, studies have shown that MS may progress faster for people who also have other chronic health conditions, so it’s important for people and their doctors to be aware of this and try to manage these conditions.”
The research team from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, examined the health records of 23,382 individuals with MS (71.9 percent female) at the time of diagnosis, and 116,638 MS-free individuals of the same age and sex. Researchers registered the rates of several chronic conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic lung disease, inflammatory bowel disease, epilepsy, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression.
Findings, published in the journal Neurology, showed that people with MS had higher rates of all the investigated co-morbidities, except for high cholesterol. Particularly, mental disorders were common in MS patients.
Depression was the most frequent condition — 19 percent of the MS study group had depression compared to only 9 percent in non-MS individuals. Since depression can severely impact the quality of life and increase the risk for hospitalization in MS patients, Dr. Marrie argued that mental health conditions need to be closely monitored.


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Sunday, March 20, 2016

New MS Survey Looks into Patients’ Appraisal of Risks, Benefits When Choosing Therapies

A large-scale online survey, funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society  and developed by researchers, is investigating how multiple sclerosis (MS) patients perceive and evaluate the risks and benefits of available therapies.
Investigators encourage MS patients to participate in the survey, titled “Multiple Sclerosis Risk Tolerance,” which can be accessed and completed through the initiative’s website. The goal is to provide MS stakeholders, such as clinicians, researchers, and industry regulators, with a deeper understanding of how patients choose and perceive treatments and recommendations, according to a Society news release.
READ MORE, click here



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MS Views and News 
helps to provide educational information for persons affected by MS
Keep current with Multiple Sclerosis news and information 
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Stem Cell Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

In this video from Swiss Medica, learn more about how stem cells can be used as a treatment for multiple sclerosis. As read in the description, “multiple sclerosis is one of the diseases that responds exceptionally well to the stem cell treatment. Stem cell treatment for multiple sclerosis has proven to be the most effective solution […]

Read on »



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New Tai Chi classes in Plainview, NY

Tai Chi classes for the MS community near Plainview, Nassau County area.  
  
The class will be weekly on Thursdays starting April 7th at Apex Physical Therapy.  
First 4 classes are free.










Disclaimer -- 

1) We will always recommend that you consult with your Healthcare provider before beginning any new adaptive therapy...2) - MS Views and News is providing this information without anything in return, as we know that Tai Chi can benefit many, with or without MS

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MS Views and News 
MSVN provides education, information and resources for persons affected by MS
Keep current with Multiple Sclerosis news and information 
by opting-in to our website: click here - thank you
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