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Friday, June 6, 2008

$24 Million in New Research Projects

$24 Million in New Research Projects

This is partially where all that fund-raising goes

More than $24 million in new funding has recently been dedicated to MS research and treatment projects.

This is just half of what the National MS Society hopes to invest this year.

Read more about the latest in MS research >>


Novartis and Multiple Sclerosis: A Major Commitment

Novartis and Multiple Sclerosis: A Major Commitment
June 5, 2008
Analysis of: Extavia® approved in E.U for treatment of multiple sclerosis, first in planned portfolio of therapies from Novartis
This analysis is solely the work of the author. It has not been edited or endorsed by GLG.
Implications: Extavia, Novartis' brand of interferon beta 1b, has been approved for the treatment of multiple sclerosis by the European Union. With FTY72, Fingolimod, Novartis has the eye on filing NDA by the end of 2009. While essentially identical to Bayer's Betaferon interferon beta 1b, and similar to EMD Serono's Rebif and Biogen's Avonex, Extavia does not offer a new therapy to MS patients, simply a new face. With this launch, Novartis presumably hopes to work closer to key opinion leaders in multiple sclerosis, allowing an accelerated launch of Fingolimod.

» Read More


The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America Produces a Web Video on the Importance of MRIs

CHERRY HILL, N.J., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A Closer Look at The Value of MRIs is now available through the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America's (MSAA) website, This three part video features: a person with multiple sclerosis (MS) offering a first-hand account on the experience of undergoing an MRI; a neurologist explaining how MRIs work as well as the importance of MRIs to monitor disease progression; and an MSAA representative discussing the financial resources available through MSAA for those seeking their first or follow-up MRI.
    To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:

A Closer Look is part of MSAA's MSi (Multiple Sclerosis Information) program which incorporates problem solving techniques to provide viewers with an extensive resource guide, helping clients acquire the support they need. All videos feature search capabilities, printable transcripts, and the built-in technology to recognize a computer's compatibility to operate with dial-up, DSL, and broadband connections.
The development and implementation of MSi is made possible through the funding support of EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic Foundation, and The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey.
For more information on this program, MSAA, or any of the programs and services MSAA provides, please contact Amanda Bednar, public relations manager at (800) 532-7667, extension 122 or
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America is a national nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. MSAA offers programs and services including a toll-free Helpline (1-800-532-7667); support groups; equipment ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; educational literature including a quarterly magazine, The Motivator; regional events and activities; MSi technology program featuring educational videos; Lending Library; cooling program for heat-sensitive individuals; and more.
The most common neurological disorder diagnosed in young adults, multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. This disorder damages or destroys the protective covering (known as myelin) surrounding the nerves, causing reduced communication between the brain and nerve pathways. Common symptoms include visual problems, overwhelming fatigue, difficulty with balance and coordination, and various levels of impaired mobility. MS is not contagious or fatal.


Jet Skiing with Richard Simmons -- Entertaining Video

Click Arrows, sit back and enjoy

Senators want to block potentially higher drug co-pays

By Dan Osburn • Gannett News Service • June 6, 2008


ALBANY- As the prices of health insurance and prescription drugs continue to skyrocket, some lawmakers supported a bill yesterday that would block insurance companies from dramatically raising the cost of drugs for people that use expensive medications. Sen. John Sampson, D-Brooklyn, and other Senate Democrats rallied in support of a bill that would ban insurance companies from requiring much higher co-pays for certain drugs without generic equivalents.

New Yorkers could pay as much as $1,250 on a drug that costs $5,000 a month, Sampson said. An aide couldn't say how many people would be affected if the higher payments were approved. The pricing system the legislation would block could increase the cost of drugs for some New Yorkers - especially those with chronic diseases like hepatitis or multiple sclerosis - by thousands of dollars a year, he said. P.J. Weiner of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society said MS patients usually pay a co-payment of $20 to $50 for a month's supply of drugs that cost $2,000. Under the percentage-based pricing system, patients would pay between $420 and $800 per month, she said. The bill banning the higher costs is sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chairman Sen. Kemp Hannon, Nassau County. Assemblywoman Michelle Titus, D-Queens, is sponsoring the bill in the Assembly. But the system the bill would block isn't even in place yet, pointed out State Insurance Department spokesman Andrew Mays. However, opponents say similar arrangements have been approved in other states and they want to block it ahead of time. Paul Macielak, president of the New York Health Plan Association, an advocacy group for private insurance companies, said he opposes making drug users pay a percentage of the cost of their prescriptions. But he said drug companies should have flexibility when setting up payment plans. "By taking this blanket-prohibition approach they restrict any flexibly, any innovation, anything that could even save people some money and still provide pharmaceutical coverage," he said. Instead of a system where consumers pay a percentage of the drug cost, Macielak said he supports a system that offers a wider range of co-pays, especially for generic drugs.

Reach Dan Osburn at

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

US National MS Society stem cell animation

Obtained from the MSIF

US National MS Society stem cell animation

Stem cells and MS national ms society animation

View animation
Click the above Box


Brain responses to verbal stimuli among multiple sclerosis patients with pseudobulbar affect

article found on pubmed
2008 May 24. [Epub ahead of print]

Multiple Sclerosis & Brain Research Czenter, Department of Neurology, Carmel Medical Center, Haifa, Israel; Evoked Potentials Laboratory, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel; Rappaport Faculty of Medicine and Research Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel.
Haiman G, Pratt H, Miller A.

PURPOSE: To characterize the brain activity and associated cortical structures involved in pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition characterized by uncontrollable episodes of emotional lability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS: Behavioral responses and event related potentials (ERP) in response to subjectively significant and neutral verbal stimuli were recorded from 33 subjects in 3 groups: 1) MS patients with PBA (MS+PBA); 2) MS patients without PBA (MS); 3) Healthy control subjects (HC). Statistical non-parametric mapping comparisons of ERP source current density distributions between groups were conducted separately for subjectively significant and for neutral stimuli.

» Read More


An MS Spastictiy Survey from the MSIF - now available in Spanish

Take an MS Spasticity survey in both Spanish and English.

Click here to complete either of the two available links



Info obtained from MS Cams- in Colorado


It has been claimed that aspartame (NutraSweet or Equal), the artificial sweetener commonly used in soft drinks, causes MS or worsens MS-related symptoms. On this basis, it has been suggested that people with MS should not consume aspartame-containing drinks or foods. The possible connection between aspartame and MS has been raised primarily through articles and discussions on the Internet. On this website (, aspartame has been a relatively popular topic on the “Forum.” Claims have also been made that aspartame provokes other neurologic and psychiatric conditions.

» Read More


Explaining the Pain

In the Spotlight - by: Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D

Explaining the Pain
It is estimated that up to 80 percent of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) will seek medical care for pain at some point. However, managing MS-related pain is not as straightforward as telling your doctor, "it hurts here" and receiving a magical pill that makes it go away.

Pain in multiple sclerosis (MS) can be caused by the disease process itself or as a result of other MS symptoms, such as spasticity or immobility. There are treatments that can help almost any type of pain, but the doctor must be able to determine the most likely cause of the pain and how much it is affecting your life before knowing what course to try and how aggressive to be in a pain management approach.

When we visit our doctor that the most helpful information he or she has is the details that we can give about the symptom and our experiences, especially in the case of pain. I hope these questions will help you give your doctor the most important and precise information about your pain, which can lead to a quick diagnosis and treatment plan.

Read the full article: How to Talk to Your Doctor About Pain


Glyco what ????

The Story found here, was written in November of 2006.

This is for all those who still ask, my opinion on GlycoNutrients

Stu's Views on the "SUPPOSED MS CURE"

If you want to make a comment on this, then you need to return to this page, to do so....

Thank you

Top 10 Sex Tips for Men with Multiple Sclerosis

Written by a Professional Woman, Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Top 10 Sex Tips (no Pun intended, says Stuart) for Men with Multiple Sclerosis

Don't Give up on Sex

By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D.,

Updated: June 3, 2008 Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by Suman Jayadev, MD

While I usually like to give personal accounts of how I deal with the various challenges of living with multiple sclerosis (MS), I'll be the first to admit to a lack personal experience with erectile dysfunction or reduced penile sensation (since I also happen to lack a penis). However, I have done some research and talked to men about these matters and do have some tips to offer to help you men with MS out there get your groove back.

Like I told the women in my article on Top 10 Sex Tips for Women with MS, don't expect these ideas to lead to unprecedented sexual adventures or prowess (although you never know). These strategies may help you troubleshoot some common stressful situations and bring some more pleasure into lovemaking.

1. Talk Openly With Your Partner

Really good sex relies on open communication with your partner. As you experience different MS symptoms, things will change in many different parts of your relationship, not just around sex. You may need more help performing daily tasks or taking care of yourself than you did before. These changes will require patience, understanding and experimentation on the part of both your partner and yourself. Emotions can greatly impact sexual health. By maintaining good communication and intimacy, you and your partner will be able to adapt to changes as necessary.

2. Manage Other Health Conditions

Health conditions that have nothing to do with MS, like high blood pressure or arthritis, can make a healthy sex life difficult. By aggressively managing any health conditions, you can greatly reduce their impact on your sex life. A good approach is to follow your doctor’s advice and make lifestyle changes.

3. Talk To Your Doctor

When we go to the neurologist or other doctor that is helping us manage our MS, all of us (including the docs) tend to focus on neurological symptoms and signs, medication side effects and any changes in our mobility. Sexual dysfunction is a very real symptom of MS and should be mentioned to your neurologist. Your doctor cannot help you with your sexual concerns unless you mention them, as uncomfortable as this may be at first. Some sexual problems are actually medication side effects, which can be handled by adjusting medications that you are already taking or changing the time of day that you take medications. There are many medications available that also directly treat sexual problems.

4. Experiment With Positions and Times

Sometimes varying your usual sexual position can relieve sexual problems, especially if they are related to other MS symptoms, such as pain, weakness or spasticity. You may also notice that your symptoms, such as fatigue, are better at a certain time of day. Try having sex when you are feeling your best, even if this does not correspond to "usual timing" of sex. You may be surprised at the difference this makes.

5. Expand Your Concept of Sex

Men tend to think of sex in terms of orgasms, but there can be a lot more to sex. As you live with MS, you may need more time and physical contact to become aroused. You may also find it harder to concentrate on the moment if you experience cognitive difficulties. Hugging, kissing and other forms of contact are essential parts of your sex life. Masturbation is part of a normal, healthy sex life, as well.

6. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Both alcohol and smoking can hinder a man’s ability to achieve an erection. These two substances alter the blood flow in your body and can limit the amount of blood that enters the penis. This can lead to the inability to have an erection, difficulty maintaining an erection or an erection that is softer than normal. If this is happening, consider abstaining from smoking and alcohol.

7. Expect Difficulties

As time goes by, you will experience certain changes in your sexual function, whether these changes are caused by MS or not. When these changes occur, don’t panic. If you react emotionally to these problems, you can make them worse. By expecting some degree of sexual change as you age, you can react calmly and troubleshoot your situation.

8. Eat Healthy and Lose Weight

Being overweight puts a strain on your body that can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions, all of which can interfere with a normal sex life. Eating healthy foods and losing excess weight will help you feel better all around, and may lessen the impact of other MS symptoms, not just sexual dysfunction.

9. Stay Sexually Active

If you have a long period of time in your life when you are sexually inactive, it will be more difficult to become sexually active later. Not only can frequent sex improve your sexual performance, it can actually even help you live longer, help you feel better about yourself and work to fight depression and stress. Just make sure to practice safe sex (if you are not in a long-term committed relationship).

10. Time Your Medications

Certain medications can impair (or help) sexual functioning. For instance:
  • If you take anticholinergics for bladder dysfunction, taking these 30 minutes before sex can minimize bladder contractions during sex. These include: Propantheline (Norpanth, Pro-Banthine), Tolterodine (Detrol tablets and Detrol LA extended-release capsules), Dicyclomine (Bentyl).
  • Medications for fatigue taken one hour before sex can put you at your peak energy level. These include Provigil and Symmetrel.
  • If you take antidepressants, these may be having a negative effect on your sex drive. Talk to your doctor if you think this might be the case, because certain antidepressants may have less sexual side effects than others.
  • If you self-inject (or have your partner inject you with) one of the disease-modifying medications, coordinate the timing of your injection with any possible sexual activity. Injections may cause so much stress or unpleasant side effects that sex right after a shot is completely out of the question. On the other hand, some men may get such a rush of relief after an injection that it puts them in the mood.

MS in focus Issue 11 - Stem cells and Remyelination in MS

MS in focus Issue 11 - 2008

msinfocus 11 cover

•Stem cells and Remyelination in MS
English (1404kb) [pdf]


Letter from the Editor 3

Stem cells: understanding their role in treating MS 4

Mesenchymal stem cells: promises and reality 7

Neural stem cells for myelin repair in MS 9

Human embryonic stem cells: an experimental and therapeutic resource? 12

Haematopoietic stem cell therapy: can we repair the immune system in MS? 16

Remyelination: the next treatment target for MS? 18

Building a policy on stem cells in MS 21

Your questions answered 23

Interview: Dr Pablo Villoslada 24

Stem cells online survey results 25

Reviews 26

Glossary 2

Editorial Statement
The content of MS in Focus is based on professional knowledge and experience. The editor and authors endeavour to provide relevant and up-to-date information. Information provided through MS in Focus is not intended to substitute for advice, prescription or recommendation from a physician or other healthcare professional. For specific, personalised information, consult your healthcare provider. MSIF does not approve, endorse or recommend specific products or services, but provides information to assist people in making their own decisions.

MS in focus -current Issue

Info obtained from MS in Focus (MSIF)


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An e-List / website member - needs YOUR help

This question, from an e-list member asks for you to respond, IF you can.. Please leave your response as a comment to this posting. - Thank you
Hi Stuart,
I hope you've been feeling well. I've been enjoying your website whenever I have a chance to get on it.
I have not been feeling well, and I think I've been having my first exacerbation in four years. I have a question that I'm hoping you'll pose to all the other MSers out there...
First, I am not going to be able to take the time to get IV steroids, so my neurologist wrote me a prescription for oral methylprednisolone. The dose is extraordinarily high (I work in Intensive Care, and I've never seen anyone get 500 mg daily, especially for 5 days), and then is tapered down. Has anyone had a similar experience with oral steroids for exacerbations?
Second, after I'm feeling better, I'm going to go to vestibular therapy for my chronic dizziness (really bad for over a week). Has anyone done vestibular therapy for dizziness related to MS?
Sorry for the length of the questions, and again, thank you and anyone that responds.
Feel good!
Jennifer Baum

Remember please that your responses should be left as a comment to this posting.
You need to be a Google Blogger, so if not, complete the registration.


Have Heat Intolerance?

View the many heat related articles found in the MS Archives.

Click this link to reach these archives.

If you have other MS related topics that you want to know more about, visit the MS Views and Related News, MS Archives. Find the search box and type a word or two of what you seek.
Click enter and then watch as all the articles that this word appears, will open for you.

Stay Empowered with MS Knowledge by visiting these blog sites and our website, MSViews and Related News.

written by: Stuart Schlossman


Hadassah's Innovative Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis: Transplanting Stem Cells from Patient's Bone Marrow

Yes, this article is from November 2007, but with so many always asking me for details, I thought I would provide it for those who want to be empowered.

Hadassah's Innovative Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis: Transplanting
Stem Cells from Patient's Bone Marrow

New Multiple Sclerosis Center Launched at Hadassah


A treatment developed at Hadassah, still in the research stage, has been tested on 25 multiple sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) patients. Professor Dmitrius Karussis, a senior neurologist at Hadassah and the director of the new Multiple Sclerosis Center, working in collaboration with the University of Athens, and Professor Shimon Slavin, the former director of the Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) and the BMT Laboratory at Hadassah, discovered that it is possible to remove stem cells from a patient's bone marrow, to isolate these cells under special conditions and to generate over 50 million cells within two months. As part of this process, mesenchymal cells (mature stem cells) are extracted from the patient and transplanted by a lumbar injection in the spinal column (into the spinal fluid of the central nervous system), with each patient serving as his/her own donor. The transplanted cells are marked in order to track and verify that they reach the intended destination in the patient's body.

» Read More

Hydro Power

Non-MS - educational info provided by Steven N. in Coral Springs, Fl.

Advocate for this kind of Fuel Useage

View the Complete Video

Donate your time. Lend a hand, for others with MS

"Whether you or someone you know"

Donate your time. Lend a hand. Volunteer with the National MS Society.

Contact your chapter to get involved.

Volunteers take a leading role at the National MS Society. We partner with individuals like you every day, at every level, and with every project. We welcome volunteers with a wide range of talents, and we will work with your availability and lifestyle.

Many opportunities are available to provide support for an individual living with MS or their families in your community. Our volunteers lead committees, manage projects, even recruit and train other volunteers. You can:

  • Help with repairs or chores for someone living with MS
  • Help out at a local Bike MS or Walk MS event
  • Participate in a marketing brainstorm
  • Participate in local government affairs
  • Help out at your chapter office

Contact your chapter about these and other opportunities. Get started today.

The National MS Society embraces, values, and recognizes every contribution. With your help, we stretch our donor dollar and build a stronger organization. For our volunteers, we provide growth and development at all points of service. Volunteer with us. You can help move us closer to a world free of MS.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What can I do to help keep cool during the summer months and during exercise?

Drinking cold water before, during and after exercise as well as on warm days can help to cool you from the inside out. Spraying yourself with cool water or wearing a cooling vest can also be helpful. You may want to try taking a cool shower or bath for 30 minutes prior to doing activities in the heat. This can help to keep you cool for up to 4 hours. Try and avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day. Outdoor activities should be done in the early morning or early evening.


InforMS * Spring 2008 * Volume 24, Issue 2 * Rocky Mountain * Multiple Sclerosis Center

“The Effects of Vestibular Rehabilitation on
MS-related Fatigue: Randomized Control Trial”

Study Coordinator: Jeff Hebert PT, MS

Principal Investigator: Margaret Schenkman PT, PhD
Co-Investigator: John Corboy MD

Colorado Multiple Institutional Review (COMIRB)
approved Protocol # 06-1108

Investigators from the University of Colorado Hospital Multiple Sclerosis Center and University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center conducting this study encompass a wide variety of clinicians, professors, and researchers specializing in Multiple Sclerosis Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Study Purpose: investigate the possible benefit that a previously untested approach to treatment
involving balance and eye movement training, known as Vestibular Rehabilitation, has on standing and
walking unsteadiness and self-reported fatigue in people with Multiple Sclerosis.

» Read More

Sunday, June 1, 2008

LDN - another story

Info for this article was supplied by: Gail R. -- Thanks Gail for providing this for all to see:
May 26, 2008 7:33 am US/Eastern -- wcbs/tv

Drug Addiction Medication May Treat Other Diseases

NEW YORK (CBS) ― Twenty years ago, Ronnie Raymond began losing her balance and strength. But now a medication that's used to treat alcohol and heroine addiction is working to provide relief.

"I was losing my balance dancing, wearing three-inch heels and dancing. And it was weird that I was losing my balance. So that's what gave me the first sign," Ronnie said.

Ronnie has progressive multiple sclerosis. Formerly an avid traveler – she's collected masks from all over the world - the disease left her having to rely on a motorized wheelchair to get around. But there's another characteristic of MS that was almost worse.

"It led to having a lot of physical fatigue. I stopped working about eight years ago for a number of reasons, but one of them was the tiredness and not being able to keep up with what I was expected to do," Ronnie said.

Then about a year ago, Ronnie heard about an underground movement among patients who were using a medication for drug addiction to treat their MS.

"It blocks the receptors in the brain so the heroin abusers cannot get a high if they use the heroin. In subsequent years, it was actually approved for alcoholism," LDN advocate Dr. David Gluck said.

It's called lo-dose naltrexone. At less than a tenth the dose used for drug and alcohol abuse, LDN has some very different effects.

"It increases your endorphine supply, and that in turn strengthens your immune system, from which you get a host of wonderful outcomes, the basic one being that the disease no longer progresses," Dr. Gluck said.

Even though naltrexone has been FDA-approved for almost 25 years, it's only available in 50mg capsules, so LDN users have to get theirs from certain pharmacies that know how to compound the very low dose capsules. Only a few actually verify their work.

"After we are done compounding we send it to a lab to be analyzed to make sure our work is right," Victor Falah from Irmat Pharmacy said.

Patients usually take a capsule at bedtime. The apparent stimulation of the immune system may explain why a few small studies have shown a beneficial effect on a variety of diseases, including Crohn's, MS and Parkinson's. Other pilot studies are looking at whether LDN may work against cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Ronnie's MS stabilized a few years before she started on LDN, but she said it's still done something very important for her.

"No fatigue at all, a lot more mental clarity, I feel alive again. I feel like it's given me back my life," Ronnie said.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

A Waterbed Comedy

You need NOT understand what is being said, to enjoy this video

I hope You will let me know, how much you enjoyed seeing this