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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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Friday, December 23, 2016

Managing MS and a Healthy Pregnancy


                                                                  
  

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If you want to start a family, having multiple sclerosis (MS) doesn’t have to stop you.  It doesn’t keep you from getting pregnant or hurt your unborn baby. Odds are your pregnancy and delivery will be just like women without MS.
Still, moms-to-be with MS face unique challenges. Plan ahead and learn what to do before, during, and after pregnancy to make your next 9 months a little easier.

Before You Get Pregnant

Talk to your doctor.  Let her know you want to have a baby. If your MS is under control, you’ll probably get a green light.
Some MS drugs, like glatiramer acetate (Copaxone), teriflunomide (Aubagio), and interferons, aren’t safe during pregnancy. You’ll need to stop taking them at least 1 month before you start trying.
Time it right. Just like any woman, you might not get pregnant right away. To limit the time you’re off your medicine, try to learn your “fertility window.” That’s the time of the month when you’re most likely to conceive.  You can buy an ovulation kit at the drugstore to help you figure it out. Your doctor can recommend other ways to help your timing, too.
Build a support team. MS can wear you out, and pregnancy can, too. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to fix meals or help around the house so you can save your energy. Make sure your team is ready to pitch in after the baby comes, too.

While You’re Pregnant





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Lhermitte's Sign: One of the First MS Symptoms


                                                                  
  

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It lasts just a few seconds, but it can be startling: An intense burst of pain like an electric shock that runs down your back into your arms and legs when you move your neck. It’s called Lhermitte’s sign, or barber chair sign, and it’s often one of the symptoms that people mention when they’re first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The problem can be painful, but it’s not life-threatening. With time or with treatment, some people stop having Lhermitte’s sign.

What’s Really Going On?

When you have MS, your immune system begins to attack the fatty coating, called myelin, that protects your nerves. Without it, scar tissue forms and begins to block the messages traveling in your brain and spinal cord. Lhermitte’s sign is one of the symptoms that happens when those signals don’t move like they should.
MS is not the only condition that can cause Lhermitte’s. It can also happen to people with other disorders involving the upper part of the spinal cord, and to people with a severe lack of vitamin B12. Your doctor will want to test you to see if MS or another health problem is causing your symptoms.

Treatment and Therapy

Like a lot of MS symptoms, you’re more likely to trigger Lhermitte’s sign if you’re tired or overheated. It can also happen if you move your head the wrong way, often when your chin hits your chest.





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Manage MS Muscle Spasms


                                                                  
  

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Medicine and physical therapy can strengthen your muscles, prevent stiffness, and improve flexibility. You can also try these simple tricks on your own to make them work better.
Put yourself in motion. Exercise keeps your muscles flexible and strong. It's a good idea to combine three types of exercise:
  • Strength training. To keep your muscles strong, work them with light weights or exercise bands a couple of times a week. If you get a muscle spasm in the middle of your routine, stop and wait a few minutes for it to relax. Also stop if you feel any pain. Exercise should never hurt.
  • Range of motion. To prevent stiffness, do exercises that take your joints through their full range of motion. For example, lift your arm up and over your head, or bring your leg out to the side and back.
  • Stretching. Do a series of stretches at least twice a week. Pay special attention to muscles that tend to get tight and spasm, like the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. As you stretch, slowly move each muscle into position. Hold the position for up to one minute. Then gently release it.
You can do these exercises alone, or you can work with a physical therapist who will show you how to do each movement safely and effectively.
Exercise as often as you can without tiring yourself out. If the moves take too much effort, try working out in a cool pool. You'll put less pressure on your joints that way, so you'll use less energy.
Rest when you need to. Stay active, but don't overdo it. Balance activity with periods of rest to give your muscles a chance to recover.
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How Is a Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis Made?


                                                                  
  

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It can be a challenge for doctors to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS). There’s no one test that can definitely show if someone has it. And there are many conditions with symptoms that can seem like MS.
But a neurologist who specializes in treating the disease should be able to look into how you’re feeling and help you figure out if your symptoms mean you have MS or another problem.

Getting a Diagnosis

Your doctor will start by asking you about your medical history and your symptoms. She’ll also do a few tests to see if your brain and spinal cord are working as they should. These include:
  • Imaging tests, like an MRI, to take a closer look at your brain
  • Spinal taps, also called lumbar punctures, to check the fluid that runs through your spinal column
  • Electrical tests, called evoked potentials, to see if MS has affected your nerve pathways
  • Blood tests
Continue Reading




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Relapsing-Remitting MS: What to Expect


                                                                  
  

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When you have relapsing-remitting MS, you'll find that your symptoms come and go. You may have a flare-up that lasts a few days or more and then long stretches when you feel much better. But through it all, you'll likely be able to keep up with most of the things that are important to you.
"Most patients continue to work, exercise, have a family, and enjoy most of their regular activities," says neurologist Ann Cabot, DO. And if your flares become frequent or intense, there are treatments to help get them under control.

What Happens When I Get a Flare-Up?

You won't be able to predict when or how often it happens. You may have a few each year, or you might go for several years without any.
The symptoms aren't the same for everyone, but during a flare you might have problems like:
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Vision problems
  • Stiffness
  • Weakness
  • Trouble with balance
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Difficulty with learning, memory, or taking in new information
You may need to make some plans to handle the ups and downs of your symptoms. You might need:
Read complete article by clicking here 




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Parenting With MS


                                                                  
  

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MS can't stop you from being a great parent. The key is to focus on your strengths and learn creative ways to work around your symptoms.
Your condition will shape your outlook and approach to parenting. And that could be a good thing.
"Having MS made me a better parent than I would have been without it," says Matt Cavallo, who has known he has MS since 2005. He now has two young boys.

What MS Can Teach You About Parenting

Know what's important. Because you live with an unpredictable disease, you understand something about life that most people don't. "Before I had MS, I was someone who worked 15-hour days, my mind always on the next big project," says Cavallo, who is an author and motivational speaker. "MS makes you aware of how life can change at any time. You learn to focus on appreciating the moment."
Expect the unexpected. MS teaches you to be flexible and adaptable. "Any parent knows that the best possible plans can veer horribly wrong at any moment because of a meltdown or sick kid," Cavallo says.
Read complete article by clicking here





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Why Must It Be So Damned Hard To Be Sick?


                                                                  
  

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Written by: The Wheelchair Kamikaze

I’m fully aware that the concepts of “fair” and “unfair” are constructs of the human mind. Politely stated, stuff happens. We then process that stuff and sort it into any number of mental files, “fair” and “unfair” being but two of the many choices in the filing cabinets we all carry around in our heads. Yeah, it seems unfair that I got slammed with the MS stick, but so did 400,000 other people in the USA. It’s also unfair that I wasn’t born into British royalty, but, given my proclivity for drunken shenanigans, the royal family might think it unfair if I was. Then again, I’d probably fit right in…

That said, I do think it is unfair that people socked with chronic illness are forced to not only deal with the ramifications of their diagnosis but also with a medical infrastructure that often seems geared towards making being sick as difficult as possible. It’s as if having a terrible illness isn’t quite enough; most patients soon find that on top of their condition come layers of impediments that seem designed to make being infirm an exercise in frustration, aside and apart from the effects of the disease itself. Primary among the contributors to the difficulties encountered by the chronically ill are insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the doctors who treat the illnesses themselves, an interlocking triumvirate that oftentimes seems intent on destroying the peace of mind of those unhappily forced into its grip. Let’s look at each of these elements individually, and explore the many fangs of this three-headed beast. 

First, we have the insurance companies, which are generally perceived as big, boring, faceless monoliths filled with human automatons making love to their spreadsheets and actuarial tables. The reality of the insurance industry is a bit different, though. Insurance companies are professional gamblers who look at the entire world as one big casino. By fastidiously crunching data accrued over centuries, insurance companies place bets tilted in their favor on almost every aspect of life, including life itself. 


Read complete story by clicking here 






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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Newly published data details positive results from three OCREVUS (ocrelizumab) Phase III studies in relapsing and primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS)


                                                                  
  

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  • OCREVUS is the first and only investigational medicine to show superior efficacy versus comparators in both relapsing and primary progressive multiple sclerosis in clinical studies
  • OCREVUS demonstrated a favorable safety profile in three large Phase III studies

South San Francisco, CA -- December 21, 2016 --
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – December 21, 2016 – Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that data from three Phase III studies of its investigational medicine OCREVUS™ (ocrelizumab) – the OPERA I and OPERA II studies in relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) and the ORATORIO study in primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) – were published in the December 21, 2016 online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
Data from the OCREVUS Phase III studies showed consistent and clinically meaningful reductions in major markers of disease activity and progression compared with Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) in RMS and with placebo in PPMS. The primary endpoint was met in all three studies, which includes relative reduction of annualized relapse rate in the RMS studies and relative reduction in the progression of clinical disability sustained for at least 12 weeks in the PPMS study. Key secondary endpoints in all three studies were also met, including multiple measures of disability progression and brain lesion activity.
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“These publications that indicate that B cells play a central role in MS are the result of a longstanding collaboration between the scientific community and industry for the benefit of people with MS,” said Stephen Hauser, M.D., Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the OPERA studies, Director of the Weill Institute for Neurosciences and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. 

“In the OPERA I and OPERA II RMS studies, OCREVUS consistently and significantly reduced disease activity and disability progression compared with a standard-of-care high-dose interferon while demonstrating a favorable safety profile. The consistency of these pioneering data, the effect seen in these clinical studies and the favorable safety profile may support treating MS earlier with a high-efficacy disease-modifying medicine.”
Data from two identical studies (OPERA I and OPERA II) in RMS showed OCREVUS was superior to high-dose Rebif (interferon beta-1a), a well-established MS therapy, in reducing three major markers of disease activity: relapses (primary endpoint), disability progression, brain lesion activity over the two-year controlled treatment period.
Data from two identical studies (OPERA I and OPERA II) in RMS showed OCREVUS was superior to high-dose Rebif (interferon beta-1a), a well-established MS therapy, in reducing three major markers of disease activity: relapses (primary endpoint), disability progression, brain lesion activity over the two-year controlled treatment period. 
In a separate PPMS study (ORATORIO), OCREVUS significantly reduced the risk of confirmed disability progression sustained for at least 12 weeks (primary endpoint) and 24 weeks (a key secondary endpoint) compared with placebo. OCREVUS treatment was also superior to placebo on other key measures of disease progression in PPMS patients including the time required to walk 25 feet, the volume of chronic brain lesions and brain volume loss.
“OCREVUS is the first and only investigational medicine to significantly reduce the progression of physical disability in primary progressive MS in a large Phase III study,” said Xavier Montalban, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Scientific Steering Committee of the ORATORIO study and Professor of Neurology and Neuroimmunology at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Research Institute and Cemcat, Barcelona, Spain. “Over the last decade, other molecules have tried and failed to demonstrate efficacy for PPMS, so the positive results for OCREVUS mark an important step in our understanding of this highly disabling form of the disease.”
Read complete article by clicking here


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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Re: The MS Learning Channel on YouTube


                                                                  
  


The MS learning channel on YouTube

Hundreds of educational Multiple Sclerosis videos to chose-from in order to learn about MS.

Use the search box to narrow the field of what you want to watch. Pause, fast-forward, rewind, play again, as needed.


Click here to watch or subscribe to this MS Learning Channel on YouTube
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How #MS Drugs, work


                                                                  
  

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      Aaron Boster, MD
Dr.B describes how various disease modifying (DMT) and symptomatic drugs work to improve #MultipleSclerosis. Most videos were recorded LIVE via periscope, sorry for poor film quality!

Learn from this video collection by clicking here



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Information for PPMS patients who would like access to OCREVUS /// Information on OCREVUS clinical trials for RMS patients


                                                                  
  

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For PPMS patients who would like access to OCREVUS now can call TISL and inquire about the Expanded Access Program (EAP).  

Details regarding the EAP (Expanded Access Program) can be found HERE.  
The EAP currently has 36 open sites throughout the US. 


For RMS patients, there are two open and recruiting Phase 3B clinical trials.  

See links below for more details.    
OBOE: 

CHORDS:

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How well are you managing your MS patients' cognitive issues? A new publication on Cognition


                                                                  
  

AIMS (Advances In Multiple Sclerosis)<br />
Cogntive Issues in MS Primer


Did you miss the 5th Conference of the

International MS Cognition Society?
No problem, we've summarized the critical highlights for you
  
Cognitive Issues in Multiple SclerosisA Primer Highlighting Sessions from the 2016 IMSCOGS Meeting

Information provided Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers




World-renowned experts gathered to discuss and share the most recent knowledge about cognitive
programs in MS. This year’s meeting was unparalleled in the breadth of content related to MS
neuropsychology with a focus on:
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Cognition and the brain
  • Cognitive interventions in MS
  • Pediatric MS
  • How cognition influences everyday functional activity
  • Cognition in progressive MS
  • The effect of cannabis on cognition

Each of those topics is summarized here in an easy-to-follow format. 

Get your free copy today!




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Multitasking vs. Mindfulness


                                                                  
  

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multitasking
















The glory days of multitasking may be fading. More and more research points to the fact that our brains actually cannot multitask. Rather, the brain shifts rapidly (it’s all relative) back and forth between tasks as we attempt to do multiple activities at once. 


Read complete article here 



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www.msvn.org

A Free Mobile APP - Empowers you in monitoring your MS health


                                                                  
  

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MS Care Connect (MSCC) is a free mobile app created by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) experts to empower you in monitoring your MS health



Our MS experts created this easy-to-use tool to help health care professionals and patients monitor MS health over time, and more
  • Compare individual or group information to MS populations across the nation
  • Track how a variety of factors can affect a patient's health
  • Enhance communication between patients and health care professionals







                                       

 
Visitmscareconnect.com  to open the above preview. OR if able to view on Facebook, click hereThe MS Care Connect patient app is now available for download!
  

Download now through app store and be sure to leave your email address on our website for updates! www.mscareconnect.com

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MS Views and News
Providing educational information, resources and services for those affected by MS