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Friday, June 20, 2008

Multiple Sclerosis Pill (Laquinimod ) Reduced Brain Lesions in Trial

Teva's Multiple Sclerosis Pill Reduced Brain Lesions in Trial

By Alex Kuli

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s experimental multiple sclerosis pill helped reduce brain lesions in a new study, moving the Israeli drugmaker closer to introducing the first oral treatment for the disabling disease.

Patients with the relapsing-remitting form of the illness on a daily dose of the medicine, laquinimod, had 40 percent fewer brain lesions than those on a placebo, according to the study in The Lancet medical journal. Lesions are caused when the immune system attacks the fatty tissue around nerve fibers, breaking the connection between brain and muscle.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Biofeedback for Multiple Sclerosis

As a complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) technique, biofeedback falls into my category of “cool CAM things to try,” for several reasons: 1) it is unlikely to hurt you; 2) it may actually help you; and 3) it provides instant feedback that you are doing something right. While I don’t think that I would turn to biofeedback to solve many (or most) of my multiple sclerosis symptoms, I will definitely give it a try for mild sensory symptoms, sleep problems, mild cognitive problems and as a way to reduce stress.

What Is It?
Biofeedback taps into the mind-body connection for healing purposes. Formal biofeedback therapy uses monitoring equipment to translate different bodily reactions into pictures or sounds. Which equipment is used depends on what is being measured and what specific symptom or condition the person wants to address.

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Respiratory Problems in People with Multiple Sclerosis

e-gad --after these last couple of years with my having some breathing difficulties - especially at night, now I have to question my ENT as to why he hadn't thought it to be related to my MS????
The info found below was obtained from: ms.about.com

From Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D.,

Coughing and Shortness of Breath as Symptoms of MS
Just when you thought that the tingling and numbness, the fatigue, the MS hug and the memory problems were enough, turns out that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are prone to respiratory problems, as well. In fact, most of us would test pretty low on pulmonary function tests designed to assess the strength of our respiratory muscles.

Fortunately, for most of us, these problems are not noticeable or do not impede us in any significant way. Even better, it turns out there may be exercises that we can do to prevent this from getting worse.

What Do Respiratory Problems in MS Feel Like?
MS-related respiratory problems can take several forms, including:
Shortness of breath
Difficulty breathing deeply
Frequent sighing
Not enough air

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Treatment of MS-Related Headaches

from Stuart: and geez - DO I KNOW OF Headaches - almost a daily concern and battle for me
The info found below is written by : Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D., from ms.about.com -

For most cases of MS-related headaches, the treatment is the same as it would be in people without MS. However, it is important to see your neurologist or the physician that is treating your MS, as certain drugs may work better to treat your headaches, depending on the cause.

It is also possible that some of the medications that you are currently taking for your MS or MS symptoms could be causing the headaches, in which case the doctor may want to alter how you take them, change to another drug or have ideas on how to cope with this side effect. Also, there are some drugs used to treat headaches that have side effects that can make MS symptoms feel worse.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs, such as naproxen (Aleve), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) may help most cases.

Some people may require treatment with antidepressants, as depression (a very common MS symptom) has also been associated with headaches in people with MS. Depression and migraine headaches are both linked to low serotonin levels. Antidepressants which may be effective in both MS-related depression and headaches include:
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: This is an older class of drug, and is usually not used as a first-line treatment against depression or headaches in people with MS, as these drugs tend to have side effects that can make other MS symptoms feel worse, by causing drowsiness, or difficulty passing urine. This class includes amitriptyline (Elavil), nortriptyline (Pamelor) and protriptyline (Vivactil).
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): This include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa) and paroxetine (Paxil).
  • Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (NRIs):Also known as noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (NARIs), this is a newer class of antidepressants, which includes venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta).

Migraine-Specific Agents

Sumatriptan (Imitrex) was the first drug specifically developed to treat migraines. Related medications include rizatriptan (Maxalt), naratriptan (Amerge), zolmitriptan (Zomig), almotriptan (Axert), frovatriptan (Frova) and eletriptan (Relpax).


The exception to the above information about treatment of MS-related headaches is when a lesion can be seen on an MRI that is associated with the headaches or when a person is having a bout of optic neuritis. In these cases, a course of Solu-Medrol has been shown to be very effective in resolving the symptoms.


Gentile S, Ferrero M, Vaula G, Rainero I, Pinessi L. Cluster headache attacks and multiple sclerosis. J Headache Pain. 2007 Sep;8(4):245-7.

Pöllmann W, Feneberg W. Current management of pain associated with multiple sclerosis. CNS Drugs. 2008;22(4):291-324.

Updated: June 16, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Accentia Reports on Multiple Sclerosis Study: Revimmune(R) Shows Unprecedented Results in Reducing Disability and Improving Functions

Yahoo Finance
Press Release Source: Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

Accentia Reports on Multiple Sclerosis Study: Revimmune(R) Shows Unprecedented Results in Reducing Disability and Improving Functions
Tuesday June 17, 1:30 pm ET

TAMPA, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. , announced today that researchers from Johns Hopkins University have published encouraging results from a two-year study evaluating the treatment of aggressive relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis with Revimmune™, Accentia’s patent-pending, novel usage of an approved chemotherapeutic drug (cyclophosphamide) in an ultra-high dose, pulsed intravenous administration for four hours daily over four days. Administered in this fashion, cyclophosphamide acts as a unique stem-cell sparing myeloablative which can reboot the immune system in order to delete the autoimmunity. Furthermore, Revimmune is believed to be the first therapy in development for multiple sclerosis that proposes the restoration of neurological function with the potential to eliminate the autoimmunity

See Full article found here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Peptimmune Initiates Phase Ib Study of PI-2301 in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Press Release Source: Peptimmune, Inc.

Yahoo News

Peptimmune Initiates Phase Ib Study of PI-2301 in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
and Presentation at BIO 2008

Tuesday June 17, 6:00 am ET

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Peptimmune, Inc. a privately held biotechnology company, announced that physicians have treated the first participant in a clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of PI-2301 in subjects with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SP-MS). PI-2301 is a novel peptide copolymer for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.

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First Human Studies for Multiple Sclerosis Drug Candidate, BaroFeron(TM)

BaroFold Inc. Initiates First Human Studies for Multiple Sclerosis Drug Candidate, BaroFeron(TM)

BOULDER, Colo. — BaroFold Inc. announced today that it has initiated a two-stage Phase 1, repeat dosing, single-center, double-blinded study in up to sixty healthy volunteers to determine the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of escalating doses of BaroFeron(TM) (IFN beta-1b).

In published preclinical studies BaroFeron demonstrated enhanced pharmacological properties, both pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, when compared to commercial interferon beta products. BaroFeron has the potential to offer significant benefits to multiple sclerosis patients as these properties have been demonstrated to correlate with lesion formation by MRI measurements and clinical exacerbations.

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Monday, Jun. 16, 2008

Combining beta interferon and atorvastatin may increase disease activity in multiple sclerosis

Combining beta interferon and atorvastatin may increase disease activity in multiple sclerosis

PubMed - 2008 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Birnbaum G, Cree B, Altafullah I, Zinser M, Reder AT.
From the MS Treatment and Research Center (G.B., I.A.), Minneapolis Clinic of Neurology, MN; Department of Neurology (B.C.), University of California San Francisco; and Department of Neurology (A.T.R.), Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL.

OBJECTIVE: To explore whether high dose atorvastatin can be administered safely to persons with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) taking thrice weekly, 44 mcg dose subcutaneous interferon beta-1a.

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Relapses in multiple sclerosis are age and time-dependent.

Relapses in MS are Age and Time - dependent

Tremlett H, Zhao Y, Joseph J, Devonshire V.
University of British Columbia, Canada.
PubMed - - 2008 Jun 5. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVES: To examine the relative relapse-rate patterns over time in a relapsing-MS cohort and to investigate potential predictors of relapse-rates and periods of low-relapse activity.

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Favorable Two-Year Data In Phase I/II Retreatment Studies Of Tovaxin(R)

Medical News Today
Article Date: 15 Jun 2008 - 0:00 PDT

Opexa Therapeutics Reports Favorable Two-Year Data In Phase I/II Retreatment Studies Of Tovaxin(R) For Multiple Sclerosis

Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. a cell therapy development and commercialization company, announced favorable safety and efficacy data for Tovaxin®, the Company's investigational T-cell vaccination therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), in the second year of open-label clinical retreatment studies in patients with MS.

The "intent to treat" population of 22 patients included 13 with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and nine with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS). An analysis of disease progression of disability over a two year period, as measured by a 1.0 or greater change in Expanded Disability Scoring Scale (EDSS), showed that 27.3% of patients demonstrated sustained improvement, 59.1% had no disease progression and 13.6% experienced sustained worsening of disability. The improvement in the EDSS scores ranged from 1.0 to 4.5 (average 2.41). During the two-year study period 72.7% of patients remained relapse-free.

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