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Thursday, August 22, 2019

DIETS & SUPPLEMENTS TO CONSIDER - Learn about certain diets from an MS neurologist

 From:  Dr. Williams—Neurologist
A well-balanced diet is important to consider when focusing on overall health. For people living with multiple sclerosis (MS), diet could potentially affect the immune system. There could be direct or indirect effects on the immune cells. There could also be effects on bacteria in the gut, which could cause inflammation or stop inflammation. Although there is no cure for MS, researchers continue to evaluate whether or not nutrition could play a larger role in the risk for MS and the course of the disease than we thought.
Remember, always talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet, or before starting a specific diet plan.

Diet and MS

Many people have questions about the role of diet in MS. Is there a specific diet that can help? Unfortunately, there are very little data, if any, about specific diets and their role in MS. Common themes include eating more fresh and natural foods, as well as cutting down on processed foods and saturated fats.
Here are some popular diets to consider:  click here to continue

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A 3D view of The Amazing Brain: Shining a Spotlight on Individual Neurons

A major aim of the NIH-led Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative is to develop new technologies that allow us to look at the brain in many different ways on many different scales. So, I’m especially pleased to highlight this winner of the initiative’s recent “Show Us Your Brain!” contest.
Here you get a close-up look at pyramidal neurons located in the hippocampus, a region of the mammalian brain involved in memory. While this tiny sample of mouse brain is densely packed with many pyramidal neurons, researchers used new ExLLSM technology to zero in on just three. This super-resolution, 3D view reveals the intricacies of each cell’s structure and branching patterns.



The group that created this award-winning visual includes the labs of X. William Yang at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Kwanghun Chung at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge. Chung’s team also produced another quite different “Show Us Your Brain!” winner, a colorful video featuring hundreds of neural cells and connections in a part of the brain essential to movement.
Pyramidal neurons in the hippocampus come in many different varieties. Some important differences in their functional roles may be related to differences in their physical shapes, in ways that aren’t yet well understood. So, BRAIN-supported researchers are now applying a variety of new tools and approaches in a more detailed effort to identify and characterize these neurons and their subtypes.
The video featured here took advantage of Chung’s new method for preserving brain tissue samples [1]. Another secret to its powerful imagery was a novel suite of mouse models developed in the Yang lab. With some sophisticated genetics, these models make it possible to label, at random, just 1 to 5 percent of a given neuronal cell type, illuminating their full morphology in the brain [2]. The result was this unprecedented view of three pyramidal neurons in exquisite 3D detail.
Ultimately, the goal of these and other BRAIN Initiative researchers is to produce a dynamic picture of the brain that, for the first time, shows how individual cells and complex neural circuits interact in both time and space. I look forward to their continued progress, which promises to revolutionize our understanding of how the human brain functions in both health and disease.
See original article


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Dark Rimmed Brain Lesions May Be Signal of Aggressive Disease, NIH Study Says

August 16, 2019

Brain lesions appearing as dark rimmed, “smoldering” spots on imaging scans, representing active inflammation, may be a hallmark of more aggressive and disabling forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers at the National Institutes of Health(NIH) report.


Using a powerful MRI brain scanner and a 3D printer, the team visualized brain images from nearly 200 MS patients and found that these spots — identified as chronic active lesions — may be used to signal people at a higher risk of more aggressive and progressing forms of the disease.

dark-rimmed brain lesions
Dark rimmed spots on brain scans using a 7-tesla MRI may be a hallmark of more disabling MS forms. (Photo courtesy of Reich lab, NIH/NINDS)


“We found that it is possible to use brain scans to detect which patients are highly susceptible to the more aggressive forms of multiple sclerosis. The more chronic active lesions a patient has, the greater the chances they will experience this type of MS,” Daniel S. Reich, MD, PhD, the study’s senior author and a senior investigator at the NIH, said a news release.
“We hope these results will help test the effectiveness of new therapies for this form of MS, and reduce the suffering patients experience,” Reich added.
Previously, chronic active lesions could only be detected through an autopsy. But Reich and his team in earlier work showed that examining a living person’s brain using a highly powerful 7-tesla MRI scanner could accurately capture these lesions by their darkened, outer rims.
“Figuring out how to spot chronic active lesions was a big step, and we could not have done it without the high-powered MRI scanner provided by the NIH. It allowed us to then explore how MS lesions evolved and whether they played a role in progressive MS,” said Martina Absinta, MD, PhD, the study’s leader and a post-doctoral fellow in Reich’s lab.
Read More



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MS Therapies Among Limited Offerings Through AllianceRx Walgreens Prime




August 16, 2019


MS Therapies Among Limited Offerings Through AllianceRx Walgreens Prime

Medications for treating certain rare and chronic conditions,  including multiple sclerosis (MS), are now available from the specialty and home delivery pharmacy AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, the company announced.
The newly included specialty medications are all limited distribution drugs (LDDs), which means the drug manufacturers have signed agreements giving very few (or even just one) distributors the right to sell their products.
The newly included LDDs for MS treatment are Mayzent (siponimod) and Mavenclad (cladribine). Both of these therapies work by reducing the activity of the immune system with the goal of minimizing immune cell-mediated damage to neurons that is the defining feature of MS.
#Mayzent was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS, including relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), and active secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Mayzent is manufactured by Novartis.
#Mavenclad, manufactured by EMD Serono (known as Merck KGaA outside the U.S. and Canada), was approved by the FDA (also in March) for RRMS and active SPMS. Because of its safety profile, Mavenclad is recommended only for MS patients who already have tried other MS therapies, but who did not have an adequate response and/or were not able to tolerate those treatments. Of note, the prescribing information for Mavenclad includes a warning that it may increase the risk of cancer, or cause harm to a developing fetus.

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This Article is Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews
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