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Friday, August 30, 2019

Unusual Symptoms of MS - Take a look

MS: Strangest Symptoms From Head to Toe

photo of nerve cellsExtreme fatigue, clumsiness, weird prickly sensations, sluggish thinking, wonky vision -- these are classic and common first symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or MS. But the expected stops here. Damage to the central nervous system, aka your brain and spinal cord, is what causes these symptoms. That’s a wide range of functions that affect many different people. So it can show up in some strange and varied ways.

Trapped in a Bear Hug

It’s not a warm and cozy kind of hug. Called banding, this MS symptom feels like something’s squeezing you firmly about the chest and won’t let go.photo of mature woman with chest pain It can strike anywhere between your waist and neck, or just on one side. You might have pain or breathlessness. It happens when damage from the disease blocks or garbles the messages from your nerves. Spasms in the muscles between your ribs trigger the tightness. It often passes on its own.

Out-of-Control Laughing or Sobbing

Pseudobulbar affect, also called PBA or emotional incontinence, prompts random outbursts of tears or laughter that have nothing to do with how you feel. photo of woman crying on couchNerve damage in the part of your brain that controls emotions can cause your responses to get all mixed up. You might worry about it happening when you’re in public, or in a serious setting. The FDA has approved a drug to treat PBA. Antidepressants can help, too.

Shocking Face Flashes

Nerve damage can trigger trigeminal neuralgia, a burning, stabbing, or shock-like pain in your cheek or jaw. It might fade fast or linger for a few minutes. Though rare, it can be a first symptom of MS. You might feel it come on as a tingle, numbness, or ache on one side of your face, like dental pain. Anticonvulsant meds such as carbamazepine, lamotrigine (Lamictal), or oxcarbazepine (Oxteller XR, Trileptal) can help.

An Itch You Can’t Scratch

It’s the itch that isn’t. A sudden, intense tingle crops up out of the blue, anywhere on your body. But there’s no skin irritation or allergy to scratch or apply rash cream to. This kind of itch doesn’t stem from your skin. Dysesthetic itching is a nerve-related sensation that passes quickly. It’s treatable with meds for epilepsy. Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Epitol, Equetro, Tegretol, Tegretol-XR), gabapentin (Horizant, Neurontin), and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) are a few.

Fiery Feet

Dysesthesia is an unpleasant “altered” sensation like burning, prickly pins-and-needles, photo of sore feetnumbness, and creepy-crawlies in any part of your body. For example, your feet might suddenly feel scalded, with no heat source -- or damage -- at all. Your brain gets distorted nerve signals, so it struggles to relate to something it recalls or imagines. Sometimes it comes up with some pretty crazy stuff. You can treat the weird feelings with nerve pain meds. 

More to read: 
Swallowing difficulties, Spinal Tingling sensations, Blurred Vision, Optical illusions, Facial Pains, Migraines, Hearing Problems, Vertigo,



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Novartis ofatumumab demonstrates superiority versus Aubagio® in two head-to-head Phase III multiple sclerosis studies

Aug 30, 2019
Novartis logo: a global healthcare company

In ASCLEPIOS I and II, ofatumumab (OMB157) met primary endpoints to reduce the annualized relapse rate over Aubagio®*(teriflunomide) in patients with relapsing forms of MS (RMS)[1]
Key secondary endpoints of delaying time to confirmed disability progression were also met[1]; additional secondary endpoints will be presented at ECTRIMS

#Ofatumumab, a potent, fully-human antibody targeting CD20 positive B-cells, delivered sustained efficacy with a favorable safety profile[1]

#Novartis plans to initiate submissions to health authorities by end of 2019. If approved, ofatumumab will potentially become a treatment for a broad RMS population and the first B-cell therapy that can be self-administered at home

Basel, August 30, 2019 – Novartis, a global leader in neuroscience, today announced positive results for ofatumumab (OMB157) from the Phase III ASCLEPIOS I and II studies. In both head-to-head studies, ofatumumab demonstrated superiority over Aubagio®* (teriflunomide) in patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS)[1]. The ASCLEPIOS studies investigated the efficacy and safety of monthly subcutaneous ofatumumab 20mg versus once daily oral Aubagio® 14mg in adults with RMS[3],[4].

Both studies met the primary endpoints where ofatumumab showed a highly significant and clinically meaningful reduction in the number of confirmed relapses, evaluated as the annualized relapse rate (ARR)[1]. Key secondary endpoints of delaying time to confirmed disability progression were also met[1]. The top line results of the Phase III ASCLEPIOS studies will be presented at the 35thCongress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), taking place September 11–13, 2019, in Stockholm, Sweden. Overall ofatumumab, a potent, fully-human antibody targeting CD20 positive B-cells, delivered sustained efficacy with a favorable safety profile. The safety profile of ofatumumab as seen in the ASCLEPIOS studies is in line with the observations from Phase II results. Novartis plans to initiate submissions to health authorities by end of 2019.

“It is clear that early initiation of highly effective treatment for MS improves long-term outcomes, and there is a high need for potent, safe, and convenient therapy that can be used to treat MS from the start,” said Professor Stephen L. Hauser, Director of the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “The results from ASCLEPIOS are wonderful news for patients who would like to take an effective B-cell therapy with low requirement for monitoring, avoiding visits to an infusion center.”

“Ofatumumab, if approved, could be a highly attractive treatment option for a broad RMS patient population, including early MS,” said John Tsai, Head Global Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis. “The powerful study results are a reflection of our commitment to reimagine MS treatment at all stages of the disease.”

About ASCLEPIOS

Continue reading

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Small Study Finds that a Diet that Improves Cholesterol Levels May Reduce MS-Related Fatigue


August 16, 2019

SUMMARY
  • In a small pilot study, researchers found that a specific diet that improved participants’ lipid profile (levels of blood fats, including cholesterol and triglycerides) and reduced body weight also led to reductions in MS-related fatigue.
  • If results are confirmed by larger studies, this may offer another strategy for treating MS fatigue. At least one follow-up study is underway.
  • Dr. Kelly Fellows Maxwell and others at State University of New York, Buffalo, and Dr. Terry Wahls and others at the University of Iowa published their findings in PLOS ONE (published online June 18, 2019).
DETAILS
CLICK here to continue reading



This Article is Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews
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How Your Genes and Environment Affect MS

The Genetic and Environmental Factors That Can Cause Multiple Sclerosis

Researchers say genetic makeup is a factor, but so are smoking, obesity, vitamin D, and viral infections.

A combination of genetic and environmental factors are leading contributors to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Viral infections and tobacco smoking are two major triggers of the disease.

Key environmental factors usually occur before age 15.

And factors that cause the onset of MS may differ from those that cause its progression.

Those are the conclusions from experts from seven centers around the world who recently reviewed 5 years of published papers on genetic and environmental factors that could lead to MS risk, relapses, and progression.


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Monday, August 26, 2019

Managing MS Symptoms and the Medications

A wide variety of medications are used to help manage the symptoms of MS

CLICK HERE to see  common symptoms of MS and the medications used to treat those symptoms.

This Article is Provided by:  #MSViewsandNews
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Society-Funded Investigators Discover New Avenues for Developing Treatments for Progressive MS


August 13, 2019
 These results may help direct the development of new treatments aimed at these brain lesions to stop MS progression. The team is led by Daniel Reich, MD, PhD, and includes Martina Absinta, MD, PhD, who is funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the National MS Society and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

These researchers used a powerful 7-Tesla MRI scanner (which allows researchers to see with greater detail much smaller areas of the brain than a conventional MRI scanner) to track the evolution of MS brain lesions over time. They previously reported that lesions that have undergone natural repair lose their distinct edge, or rim, that surrounds them. Some lesions have persistent rims of “smoldering” inflammation, which appear to indicate tissue damage that was not repaired.

In this study, the team looked at lesions that did or did not have such rims in 192 people with MS. Individuals who had four or more lesions with rims were more likely to develop progressive MS, and to experience earlier mobility and cognitive impairments and more brain tissue volume loss. The rims appeared in some people regardless of whether or not they received treatment with disease-modifying therapies. This reinforces the need to develop new treatments that can address smoldering inflammation inside the brain to stop MS progression.

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Blood neurofilament light chain as a biomarker of MS disease activity and treatment response

March 05, 2019;  
Jens KuhleHarald KropshoferDieter A. HaeringUma KunduRolf MeinertChristian BarroFrank DahlkeDavorka TomicDavid LeppertLudwig Kappos


Abstract

Objective To assess the value of blood neurofilament light chain (NfL) as a biomarker of recent, ongoing, and future disease activity and tissue damage and its utility to monitor treatment response in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Methods We measured NfL in blood samples from 589 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (from phase 3 studies of fingolimod vs placebo, FREEDOMS and interferon [IFN]-β-1a, TRANSFORMS) and 35 healthy controls and compared NfL levels with clinical and MRI-related outcomes.
Results At baseline, NfL levels (pg/mL) were higher in patients than in healthy controls (30.5 and 27.0 vs 16.9, p = 0.0001) and correlated with T2 lesion load and number of gadolinium-enhancing T1 lesions (p < 0.0001, both). Baseline NfL levels, treatment, and number of new or enlarging T2 lesions during the studies predicted NfL levels at the end of study (all p < 0.01). High vs low baseline NfL levels were associated (estimate [95% confidence interval]) with an increased number of new or enlarging T2 lesions (ratio of mean: 2.64 [1.51–4.60]; p = 0.0006), relapses (rate ratio: 2.53 [1.67–3.83]; p < 0.0001), brain volume loss (difference in means: −0.78% [−1.02 to −0.54]; p < 0.0001), and risk of confirmed disability worsening (hazard ratio: 1.94 [0.97–3.87]; p = 0.0605). Fingolimod significantly reduced NfL levels already at 6 months (vs placebo 0.73 [0.656–0.813] and IFN 0.789 [0.704–0.884]), which was sustained until the end of the studies (vs placebo 0.628 [0.552–0.714] and IFN 0.794 [0.705–0.894]; p < 0.001, both studies at all assessments).
Conclusions Blood NfL levels are associated with clinical and MRI-related measures of disease activity and neuroaxonal damage and have prognostic value. Our results support the utility of blood NfL as an easily accessible biomarker of disease evolution and treatment response.
SOURCE



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