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Friday, April 1, 2016

Keep Stress From Making Your MS Worse


Missing Images!
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Environmental Factors May Have A Greater Role In Multiple Sclerosis Onset Than Previously ...

According to researchers from the Barts Health NHS Trust and Queen Mary University of London, multiple sclerosis (MS) may actually be affected more by environmental factors than genetic ones.
In a study published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal, they showed that certain races in east London have a higher MS prevalence rate compared to individuals living in their native countries, which is indicative of a strong influence that environment has on the disease.
MS is a neurodegenerative disease affecting the central nervous system and the most prevalent of chronic but non-traumatic causes of disability in young adults. The cause of the disease is not known but evidence suggests that both environmental and genetic factors are at play.
"Our early results suggest that environmental factors play a pivotal role in the risk of developing MS, whilst the individual genetic backdrop may be of lesser importance," said Dr. Klaus Schmierer, the study's lead.
For the study, the researchers examined electronic records from general practices across the east London boroughs: City of London, Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. Out of the 907,151 patients going to east London general practices, there were 776 who had MS. The overall prevalence rate in east London for MS was 111 for every 100,000.
Comparing prevalence rates specific to races, the researchers found that MS was several times more prevalent in African-Caribbean and South Asian groups living in east London compared to those living in their native countries.
For instance, where African-Caribbeans in east London had a prevalence rate of 74 for every 100,000, Ghanaians in their own country had a prevalence rate of 0.24 for every 100,000. On the other hand, South Asians registered a prevalence rate of 29 for every 100,000 while those in Pakistan and India recorded five and seven for every 100,000, respectively.
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MS Views and News 
Providing educational information and resources for those affected by MS
Keep current with Multiple Sclerosis news and information 
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Optical coherence tomography in multiple sclerosis

The pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by demyelination, which culminates in a reduction in axonal transmission. Axonal and neuronal degeneration seem to be concomitant features of MS and are probably the pathological processes responsible for permanent disability in this disease. The retina is unique within the CNS in that it contains axons and glia but no myelin, and it is, therefore, an ideal structure within which to visualize the processes of neurodegeneration, neuroprotection, and potentially even neurorestoration. In particular, the retina enables us to investigate a specific compartment of the CNS that is targeted by the disease process. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) can provide high-resolution reconstructions of retinal anatomy in a rapid and reproducible fashion and, we believe, is ideal for precisely modeling the disease process in MS. In this Review, we provide a broad overview of the physics of OCT, the unique properties of this method with respect to imaging retinal architecture, and the applications that are being developed for OCT to understand mechanisms of tissue injury within the brain.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is being increasingly recognized as a complex neurodegenerative disorder of the brain and spinal cord that involves autoimmune mechanisms that target both white and gray matter elements. The disease is characterized by demyelination, gliosis, axonal dysfunction, and, ultimately, neuronal loss.[1] The vast majority of individuals destined to have confirmed MS later in their lives will already exhibit disseminated plaque lesions, as revealed by conventional MRI techniques, at the time of their first inflammatory demyelinating event.[2] New and revised diagnostic criteria have enabled us to expedite the confirmation of MS, with substantial implications for early intervention with disease-modifying treatment.[2-4] However, the ability to accurately image both neurodegeneration and its prevention in MS would greatly facilitate the systematic evaluation of novel therapeutics and their efficacy over time.

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Providing educational information and resources for those affected by MS

Retinal thickness points to disability worsening in MS patients

March 24, 2016


By Lucy Piper
The thickness of the peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (pRNFL) may help to predict worsening disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings indicate.

The risk of disability worsening was about doubled among MS patients who had a pRNFL thickness below 88 µm in eyes unaffected by optic neuritis, compared with patients with thicker pRNFL.

"Our findings might help neurologists to monitor the disease in clinical settings and, more importantly, to help drive treatment decisions based on a marker of neuro-axonal damage", say Pablo Villoslada (Insitut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain) and co-researchers.


They used the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) to assess disability worsening over a period of 0.5 to 5 years in 879 patients with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting MS or progressive MS.

The patients were recruited from centres in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, the Netherlands and the USA and were all older than 16 years.
Their pRNFL thickness was measured at baseline using Spectralis (Heidelberg Engineering, Germany) or Cirrus (Carl Zeiss, Dublin, California, USA) OCT and calculated as the average value of both eyes for patients without optic neuritis or just the one non-optic neuritis eye for those with unilateral optic neuritis.

During a median 2 years of follow-up, 252 (29%) patients experienced disability worsening. This was most likely to occur in patients who were older, had a longer disease duration, worse disability at baseline and progressive MS. Patients were less likely to have disability worsening if they had previous optic neuritis.

Adjusted analysis showed that patients in the lowest tertile of pRNFL (≤87 µm) at baseline were a significant 1.75 times more likely to experience disability worsening than those in the intermediate (>87-98 µm) and highest (>98 µm) tertiles. There was no significant difference among patients in the intermediate and highest tertiles and when this aggregate group was used as comparison, the risk of disability worsening for patients in the lowest tertile was increased 1.96 times.



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