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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Suicide Rate Almost Double in Patients With MS

BARCELONA — Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more than twice as likely as the general population to attempt suicide and almost twice as likely to actually complete suicide, a new study shows.
The study also had some interesting results with regard to education. Although highly educated patients with MS are less likely to attempt suicide than their counterparts without MS, this is not the case when it comes to completed suicide.
Patients with MS should be screened for psychiatric disorders, said lead researcher Philip Brenner, MD, PhD student, Department of Neuroscience, and resident psychiatrist, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
"Since neurologists are primarily the ones treating MS patients, they should be aware of the increased suicide risk and the risk for suicide attempts among these patients," Dr Brenner told Medscape Medical News. "It's very important to include screening measures for mental health in clinical practice."
As well as depression, which is probably the most important risk mediator for suicide prevention in MS, physicians might also watch for personality changes, for example, having less impulse control and increased substance abuse, he said.
He presented their results here at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) 2015.
Attempted Suicide
Previous research showed an elevated risk for completed suicide among patients with MS. For example, a 2001 Swedish study found that the completed suicide rate was 2.3 times higher among patients with MS, and a 2006 study found the rate was 2.12 times higher.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Researchers Reverse Aspects of Aging to Increase Myelin Repair in Rats


November 5, 2019

Researchers from the UK and Australia have found a way to make rat brain cells act more youthful, reversing some of the loss of healing capacity that normally comes with older age.

Multiple sclerosis involves immune attacks that damage brain tissues, including the myelin coating on nerve fibers. The brain has its own resident stem cells, called OPCs, that can initiate myelin repair after damage. Robin Franklin, PhD, of the University of Cambridge, and others had previously shown that with greater age, OPCs lose the capacity to initiate myelin repair.

In a paper published in October 2019 in the journal Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Franklin and colleagues reported that in old rats, fasting made OPCs act more youthful, regaining capacity to repair myelin. The team also found that a diabetes drug called metformin, which can mimic some biological aspects of fasting, was able to reverse age-related changes to rat OPCs and increased their capacity to initiate myelin repair.
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