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Within this blog you will find thousands of valuable MS related articles and resources which will enable you to learn and feel empowered with key Multiple Sclerosis information.

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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.


Friday, February 20, 2009

MS Trial Alert: Clinical Trial of Sex Hormone Estriol Recruiting Women with MS to Participate - Updated

Updated February 10, 2009

National MS Society Research Updates

Summary: The National MS Society is funding a team of investigators at 16 medical centers to conduct a two-year, controlled clinical trial of an estrogen (estriol) added to standard therapy to treat MS. Investigators administer either oral estriol along with Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.) or Copaxone plus inactive placebo to 130 women with relapsing-remitting MS. If successful, this clinical trial could lay the groundwork for a larger, definitive trial that could lead to a new treatment option for women with MS, an option that would be a pill, not an injection. Importantly, the exclusion criteria for the study have recently changed, such that patients previously treated with an interferon or Copaxone will no longer be excluded.

» Read More

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Understanding MS Research

The National MS Society and
MS LEARN ONLINE present...

Understanding MS Research

Today's new Feature Presentation focuses on
Understanding MS Research

featuring Dr. Robert Lisak

This Feature Presentation will discuss progress in MS research, new happenings in clinical trials,
and how to understand the many sources of information.

Click here to view the webcast, or copy into your browser:

If you have a pop-up blocker, you will need to disable it prior to participating in a MS Learn Online webcast.

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If you have a statement or question pertaining to this article, this is the place to leave it.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

2010 MSF Cruise for a Cause: Destination Alaska

2010 MSF Cruise for a Cause: Destination Alaska

The MSF is pleased to announce the next Cruise for a Cause will return to the west coast for an Alaskan tour in June 2010. Alaska's stunning scenery and cool temperatures make it an ideal setting for an accessible, enjoyable trip for people with MS as well as family and friends.

The 2010 Alaska cruise is the only official MSF Cruise for a Cause and will feature top educational speakers and engaging programs during days at sea, as well as support from the MSF staff.
In order to better serve you we will be partnering with a new travel agency.

More details will be coming soon? Any questions? Contact us at cruise@msfocus.org

Warning over 'stem-cell tourists'

Warning over 'stem-cell tourists'

Published Date: 19 February 2009
By LYNDSAY MOSS - News.scotsman.com

'I FELT I had nothing to lose. I am just going to get worse and worse anyway. I thought I'd just take the bull by the horns and go for it." Moira Ogilvie was desperate. So the multiple sclerosis sufferer joined an increasing number of Scots going overseas for experimental stem-cell treatment not available in the UK.

But experts are increasingly concerned about the safety of such therapies, which have not been properly approved, and they say patients could be putting themselves at risk.

Hundreds of "stem-cell tourists" from the UK are believed to head abroad for these treatments each year and the number of people asking medical experts for advice is growing.

» Read More

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A Multiple Sclerosis Patients' desire to share his ill advised Medication Vacation and the aftermath...

Update written by: Stuart Schlossman - February 19, 2009

Because there are always new people registering to MS Views and News, I must always be able to remind those that wonder of their medications' effectiveness or the thought of the want or the yearning to stop taking their meds.

Below, is the preview to a True Story that contains (5) "must read" parts... For those who have yet to read these archived stories on the malady ( the bad) that it was for me to stop my medication, please read, digest and then consider how wrong it would be for you to stop taking your medication....

Before reading this exposé, I need to inform you that I was blessed in that I have almost fully rebounded, and am able to do, all that I do each day to educate my MS peers with Multiple Sclerosis information in the form of my blog, website and weekly e-newsletter (now archived).

The No-No's of taking Medication Vacations -
Written by; Stuart Schlossman (Jan. 12, 2009)

As many of you are already aware, I took a medication vacation in early 2008 without the consult of my medical practitioners and without the knowledge of my family.

The results were almost catastrophically negative and there is still some residual damage, which probably will never repair until we (Medical science) finds a way to reverse the damages caused to the Central nervous System and Myelin Sheath.

CLICK HERE to READ this (5) part intent, on teaching that Medication Vacations are a No-No !!

After reading this series, please refer to it, each time you dare to think of stopping your meds without the advice and knowledge of your health care provider.

Please share your interest in this exposé with others, by
leaving a comment or asking a question. - Thank you


Interesting Tid Bits of Information

Interesting Tid Bits of Information provided by our own Shmoozin' with Susan

Some interesting information I thought I'd share that was sent in my Prevention Magazine email........

What Causes Goose Bumps? (I found this interesting)
Goose bumps (scientific name: piloerection) pop up when you're cold or afraid. A tiny muscle at the base of each body hair contracts; together, they appear as naked bumps on the flesh. They made sense eons ago, when humans still had a natural "fur coat." Back then, fluffing your ruff would warm the body by trapping an insulating layer of air between the hairs. And standing your hair on end was intimidating to predators or enemies (picture a cat facing off with a dog). Evolution has since stripped humans of their pelts. Now goose bumps are, of course, no medical issue. If you're uncomfortable showing off your vestigial physiognomy (boy that was a big name!), dress warmly, place yourself in calm environments, and avoid horror flicks.

» Read More

Upcoming MSF Teleconferences and Regional Events

Wednesday, March 11 at 8 p.m. EST
"But You Don't Look Sick: Talking With Your Kids About MS" with Dr. Paula Rauch

Wednesday, March 25 at 8 p.m. EST
"Keeping Connected: Real World Advice for Couples Coping with Chronic Illness"
with Dr. Fred Foley

To register for these teleconferences, please call (800) 225-6495, ext. 172.
Regional Events
Bring your family to an MS Family Fun Day in nine different locations nationwide. Events are happening all month long but an RSVP is required.

March 14
Dave & Busters, Jacksonville, FL;
Dave & Busters, Arcadia, CA;
Dave & Busters, Kensington, MD;
Dave & Busters, St. Louis, MO;
Dave & Busters, Dallas, TX;
Dave & Busters, Hollywood, FL
March 15
Dave & Busters, Irvine, CA

March 21
Dave & Busters, Chicago, IL

March 28
Jillian's at Waterside, Norfolk, VA

To reserve your spot, call Gloria at (888) 673-6287, ext. 126.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

MS and Your Sense of Balance

By Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D., About.com

Loss of Proprioception in Multiple Sclerosis

About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by the Medical Review Board

What is Proprioception?

Put simply, proprioception is the sense that tells us where we are in space. It is based on sensory input from the joints and muscles. It is the awareness of our posture, weight, movement and position of limbs, both in relation to our environment and in relation to other parts of our bodies.

Propioception has been called the "sixth sense," but it is rarely referred to because it is intact in most people, so most people don't really think about it. In addition, loss of proprioception is much more vague than, say, loss of sight or hearing.

I became intrigued with the idea of proprioception after failing this part of my neuro exam repeatedly. I found this interesting account of a man who lost all proprioception following a viral infection and learned to compensate for it with visual cues (published in the American Psychological Association's APA Monitor): Why can't this man feel whether or not he's standing up?

How is Proprioception Affected in People with MS?

MS slows down communication between the central and peripheral nervous systems through a process known as demyelination. As proprioception involves instant and coordinated communication between these systems, MS can leave us a little less "in touch" with ourselves and where we stand, so to speak.

I have found, however, that if I practice repeatedly and know it's coming, I can stand still and close my eyes and prevent myself from swaying (at least I think I am not swaying).


Lanska DJ, Goetz CG. Romberg's sign: development, adoption, and adaptation in the 19th century. Neurology. 2000 Oct 24;55(8):1201-6.

Have a question or want to leave a comment, click the POST comments link found below

Maybe this is why my ears are always popping:

Provided by Joe in Miami:

Please go to the bottom and click on the word POPCORN. YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS.
This is probably what it does to our brain power -like putting your head in a microwave, eh? Check this out! And we're supposed to believe that cell phones are safe?

Click on the word 'POPCORN' below and watch.


What do you think?.


MSIF Research News

MSIF Research News

Summaries of all the latest research findings on MS selected by a team based at the Institute of Neurology, London.
Early MRI in optic neuritis: the risk for disability

In this prospective study the authors investigated whether, in patients with optic neuritis, early MRI findings (within 3 months from onset) influence future disability. The authors found that the presence of lesions in the spinal cord and the cerebellum-brainstem region predicted disability at 6-year follow-up. The presence of early MRI activity (enhancing lesions and appearance of new T2 lesions) was also predictive of higher disability.

authors: Swanton JK, Fernando KT, Dalton CM, Miszkiel KA, Altmann DR, Plant GT, Thompson AJ, Miller DH

source: Neurology. 2009 Feb 10;72(6):542-50


Rate of brain atrophy in benign vs early multiple sclerosis

The objective of this study was to compare the rate of brain volume loss between benign MS and RRMS. The authors found a lower rate of volume loss in patients with benign MS than that calculated in patients with RRMS, suggesting that this MRI finding is behind the milder disease course of patients with benign MS.

authors: Gauthier SA, Berger AM, Liptak Z, Duan Y, Egorova S, Buckle GJ, Glanz BI, Khoury SJ, Bakshi R, Weiner HL, Guttmann CR

source: Arch Neurol. 2009 Feb;66(2):234-7


Contribution of white matter lesions to gray matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis: evidence from voxel-based analysis of T1 lesions in the visual pathway

Since the mechanisms of gray matter (GM) damage in MS are not yet fully understood, the authors of this study aimed to investigate the possible contribution of white matter (WM) lesions in harming the GM. The authors found that a higher volume of WM lesions in the visual pathway is associated with a greater loss of the connected GM, suggesting retrograde degeneration.

authors: Sepulcre J, Goñi J, Masdeu JC, Bejarano B, Vélez de Mendizábal N, Toledo JB, Villoslada P

source: Arch Neurol. 2009 Feb;66(2):173-9


Effect of natalizumab on clinical and radiological disease activity in multiple sclerosis: a retrospective analysis of the Natalizumab safety and efficacy in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (AFFIRM) study

The aim of this study was to explore the potential for natalizumab to increase the proportion of patients with relapsing-remitting MS who are free of disease activity. They used the data from the phase III study where natalizumab was compared with placebo (AFFIRM study). The authors found that the proportion of patients with no disease activity, from the clinical and/or MRI point of view, was significantly higher in the natalizumab group.

authors: Havrdova E, Galetta S, Hutchinson M, Stefoski D, Bates D, Polman CH, O'Connor PW, Giovannoni G, Phillips JT, Lublin FD, Pace A, Kim R, Hyde R

source: Lancet Neurol. 2009 Feb 6


Results of the Avonex Combination Trial (ACT) in relapsing-remitting MS

The aim of this randomised multicentre clinical trial was to investigate the safety and efficacy at 1 year follow-up of interferon beta 1-a combined with methotrexate, or with intravenous steroids, or with both drugs, in patients with RRMS who still had clinical activity despite the treatment with interferon. The authors found no extra benefit from such combinations compared to interferon alone.

authors: Cohen JA, Imrey PB, Calabresi PA, Edwards KR, Eickenhorst T, Felton WL 3rd, Fisher E, Fox RJ, Goodman AD, Hara-Cleaver C, Hutton GJ, Mandell BF, Scott TF, Zhang H, Apperson-Hansen C, Beck GJ, Houghtaling PL, Karafa MT, Stadtler M; ACT Investigators. Collaborators (107)

source: Neurology. 2009 Feb 10;72(6):535-41


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Learning about the topic of Stem Cells

What are stem cells?
They are cells in the body which have the ability to divide and create more stem cells. They also have the ability to mature into specialised cells such as skin, heart tissue, brain cells, muscle or blood.
Embryonic stem cells are the earliest form of stem cells and can transform into many types of cells.

What are stem cell treatments?
These therapies use stem cells to replace or repair a patient's cells or damaged tissue. The cells may be injected into the blood, into the body through a lumbar puncture or straight into the damaged tissue.
The only fully tested and approved stem cell treatment is bone marrow transplantation.

What concerns are there about stem cell therapies?
This area of science is still very new and scientists say they still have much to learn about how stem cells work. Preparing stem cells for treatment can be difficult because unlike drugs they cannot necessarily be produced and tested for quality in large batches.
Scientists are still looking for the best ways of getting stem cells to the areas where they might have the best chance of repairing material. Side-effects could include cells growing in the wrong place or even causing tumors.

Why are stem cell treatments not yet widely available?
Much of the work is still at an early stage. As with all treatments, stem cell therapies have to be fully tested before they become widely available.
What should people consider when thinking about going overseas for stem cell treatments?
Experts say patients should be sure that there is good scientific evidence behind a treatment and that it will be safe and effective. The International Society for Stem Cell Research urges caution over the use of patient testimonials by companies.

Are there risks from stem cell treatments?
Patients should know exactly where the stem cells they are receiving have come from. There could be a risk of contamination and infection.

The information found above was initially printed at the bottom of the article found here: Warning Stem Cell Tourists - news.scotsman.com

A Billion Dollar Question looms for those with Multiple Sclerosis

Information Provided by MS Views and News - MS Peer in India, Shub

MS Prize of $1.3 Billion Spurs Merck KGaA, Novartis!

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Merck KGaA and Novartis AG are racing to market the first multiple sclerosis pill, a prize that may generate $1.3 billion a year in sales as patients switch from injectable drugs.

Merck and Novartis plan to ask regulators this year to approve tablets to fight the incurable illness. Initial test data showed that patients who took the drugs had fewer disease flare- ups than those who received placebo or existing treatments.

A pill may mean an end to painful injections or infusions that can cost $28,000 a year to control multiple sclerosis, which can rob people of their mobility and leave them with chronic aches and depression. Merck, of Darmstadt, Germany, and Novartis, of Basel, Switzerland, are running ahead of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Biogen Idec Inc. and Sanofi-Aventis SA in the chase for an oral treatment. The results may shake up the $6 billion multiple sclerosis market.

» Read More

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For those in Florida - Telephone Support Group for Newly Diagnosed (within 2 years) with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and living in Florida,

Telephone Support Group for Newly Diagnosed

(within 2 years)

Date: Wednesday, February 25th

Time: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Topic: Understanding Exacerbations/Relapses and Open Forum

Call in number: 1-800-910-3597

Passcode: 24906202

Call in 5 minutes before start time

Facilitator: Susan Dorne, OT

email: leseth143@aol.com

Subject: Support Group

For Central, North and South Florida Chapters

MS Related Research Drug Studies currently in the news

Information provided by Ask our MS Nurse, Cherie C. Binns, RN BS MSCN

Educating YOU, is the goal of the MS Views and News organization.

This information found below, is posted at the NMSS website
Click each link to read and learn.

On January 27, 2009, The Today Show highlighted two new devices that may help improve drop foot for some people with MS. Read more about these devices.

FDA Agrees to Fast Review for Oral Drug Being Tested for MS

Feb 12, 2009

MS Trial Alert: Clinical Trial of Sex Hormone Estriol Recruiting Women with MS to Participate - Updated

Feb 10, 2009

MS Trial Alert: Researchers Recruiting People with Early MS in San Francisco Bay Area for Study of Riluzole for Neuroprotection

Feb 10, 2009

Tysabri Update: New Published Papers Explore its Benefits, and New Case of PML Reported

Feb 10, 2009

MS Trial Alert: Study of Oral Teriflunomide (HMR1726) Recruiting People at High Risk for MS Worldwide

Feb 10, 2009

more news | more MS trial alerts

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Multiple Sclerosis Related: List of Stem Cell Treatment Centers

Information provided by Stuart Schlossman - Feb 17, 2009

List of Stem Cell Treatment Centers (Globally)

While the American news media continues to focus its attention on embryonic stem cells, Europe, Asia and Latin America have established the lead in stem cell research by using adult stem cells. Here is our list of the top seven stem cell treatment centers in the world. There are two in Latin America, two in Europe, one in Israel, and three in Asia.

Prof. Shimon Slavin, MD, the longtime bone marrow transplantation wizard and stem cell research guru at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem who retired recently to set up a International Center for Cell Therapy & Cancer Immunotherapy [CTCI], and says his patients are not willing to wait until embryonic stem cells are available for implanting into humans.

Some patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases were already beginning to benefit from using adult stem cells from relatives who were only partial matches or that were taken from the patients themselves before chemotherapy destroyed their immune systems.

Click here to continue reading about this center and other Global treatment centers

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Stem cell hope for neuro patients!

Information reported to MS Views & News by Shub, in India

NEW DELHI: There may be life beyond dopamine therapy for the six crore-odd Parkinson's patients in the country!
All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has recently started stem cell trials for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and the neurology department has enrolled five patients for it. Though in the nascent stages, experts say stem cell treatment is likely to be the preferred treatment mode for neurological disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and the lot in the near future. Stem cell therapy in fact was the recurrent theme in the 2nd Asian and Oceanian Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorder Congress and the 7th Asia Pacific Parkinson's Association (APPA) organised by AIIMS neurology department on Sunday.

Usually extracted from embryos or from bone marrow or umbilical cord, stem cells are primitive, undifferentiated cells that have the ability to grow into any type of tissue. They are being hailed as the dream treatment for a wide range of "incurable'' diseases. "We have started stem cell trials for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. But it is a long process. In this trial, we will be using bone marrow stem cells harvested from patients. The cells, after being regrown in the laboratory, will be surgically inserted into the patient's
brain. As we would be using patient's own stem cells, there would be no chances of rejection," said Dr Sumit Singh, associate professor and co-investigator of the stem cell trail at AIIMS. Headed by Dr Madhuri Behari, head of the neurology department, AIIMS, the team stated the trial in January. "We plan to inject the stem cells back into the patients in the coming month. But it is too early to predict the results," said Dr Singh.

After Alzheimer's disease,
Parkinson's is the second most common neuro-degenerative disorder. It is estimated that worldwide 1% people above the age of 65 and 3% people above the age of 80 are affected by it. In India alone, there are approximately 60 million people suffering from Parkinson's disease. "The reason for the disease is not known, but with right and timely medical intervention, the process of degeneration can be delayed. But factors like genetic composition and environmental toxins are found to be responsible for the disease," said Dr Behari, the organizing chairperson of the conference.

Deliberating on the new trends in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, experts cautioned that "hype should be kept aware from hope" in case of stem cell treatment, as trials are in progress. Dr Rupam Borgohain, neurologist at Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, who is also experimenting with stem cells in treating Parkinson's disease, said, "It (stem cells) is definitely the way to go, but it is important to keep hype away from hope. It is in the trial phase and we hope to see positive results, but till then we have to wait. Stem cell tissues have proved to be beneficial in treating Parkinson's disease in a few cases. And that gives us hope to move forward."

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