MS Views and News Be empowered with MS views and news. CLICK HERE - - to SUBSCRIBE for The MS BEACON e-Newsletter

MS Views and News uses state-of-the-art technology to provide resources to the MS Community. Visit our MS learning channel on YouTube, to gain knowledge from hundreds of MS educational videos presented by MS Experts from across the USA. Click:

Within this blog you can find MS resources by viewing all showing below pertaining to thousands of MS articles, resources, event timing. Additionally, please visit our Social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram . Each providing important information for those affected by Multiple Sclerosis. * From the comfort of your home, you can join us for our VIRTUAL MS events. To learn more of these virtual events please subscribe here.

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, September 18, 2009

Update on Tysabri and PML

Source: The National MS Society

Sept 18, 2009

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, there have been 13 confirmed cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML, a viral infection of the brain that usually leads to death or severe disability) among people who have used Tysabri® (natalizumab, Biogen Idec and Elan Pharmaceuticals) after it became available for prescription in July 2006. Although the absolute risk for PML in patients treated with Tysabri cannot be precisely determined, the frequency to date remains less than the one-in-one thousand risk that was estimated at the time of Tysabri’s re-approval in 2006. The latest post-marketing safety warnings provided by the FDA on Tysabri can be found here.

Early Detection Important
It appears that when PML is detected and treated early, it generally improves outcomes. It is important that individuals taking this drug and their doctors be vigilant in monitoring for any occurrence of new, unusual symptoms that might indicate PML.

Typical symptoms associated with PML progress over days to weeks, and can include:

  • clumsiness and progressive weakness on one side of the body,
  • disturbances of vision, and
  • changes in thinking, memory, and orientation leading to confusion and personality changes.

If individuals taking Tysabri experience new, unusual symptoms, they should contact their prescribing physician immediately. Physicians who need guidelines on the protocol to follow when they have a patient on Tysabri who experiences unusual symptoms should contact Biogen Idec.

There is no specific therapy to treat PML, but the best hope is to reconstitute a person’s immune responses. Based on small-scale studies supported by Biogen Idec, plasma exchange, a blood-cleansing treatment, has been used to clear the bloodstream of Tysabri. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether plasma exchange can reduce PML symptoms.

Tysabri is a registered trademark of Biogen Idec and Elan.


MS Foundation Publications

The MSF presents a wide range of medical and health information in a clear, accurate, and objective manner so that people who have MS can make educated choices in managing their healthcare. Through an array of publications, the MSF provides the most current MS research and news along with advice from leading experts on how to maintain health, safety, self-sufficiency and personal well-being while living with MS.

Click here:

Vision issues are a common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis

MS LEARN ONLINE present...

Managing Symptoms: Vision

Today's new Feature Presentations:

Managing Symptoms: Vision
featuring Nancy Holland, EdD, RN, MSCN

This video webcast explores:

  • Vision issues are a common symptom
  • Types of vision problems
  • Strategies for symptom management

Click here to view the webcasts, 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.


Survey for Tysabri Users

Survey for Tysabri Users


Current and former users of Tysabri are being asked to participate in an unofficial survey conducted by Stu’s Views & M.S. News, which is a product of the non-profit MS Views and News.

To participate, click here:

Participants will be asked to answer several questions regarding their experience with Tysabri and their answers will be posted as comments on the blog.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

NOT surprising to know that smoking is bad for people with MS

New Studies on Smoking and MS:
Surprising Results?

New reports add to the growing evidence that smoking is bad for people with MS. Very bad. One study showed that MS disability progressed more quickly in smokers, and that quitting may delay MS progression. Another team found links between smoking and brain tissue damage observed on imaging scans. Yet a third study found the risk for developing MS increased with more years of smoking.

Read more about these studies >>


Stu's Views and MS News, now found on Medpedia

The Medpedia Project is a long-term, worldwide project to evolve a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. This model is founded on providing a free online technology platform that is collaborative, interdisciplinary and transparent. In association with many forward-thinking organizations, Medpedia is a commons for the gathering of the information and people critical to health care.

Your blog (Stu's Views & M.S. News) has been selected by the Medpedia community to be part of the News and Analysis section

Each time I post to the Stu's Views MS Blog, the posting is fed to the Medpedia page for others, using their site, will have access to view as well as with their google ranking it will provide even more access for persons searching the web. Click here to view:


Blood Test May Predict Course of Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Scientists have discovered a blood test that could predict the course of multiple sclerosis (MS), or even indicate who is likely to develop the condition after a first MS-like attack.

The results of the study suggest that differing antibody levels produced in response to the common virus Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), may predict the course of MS.

If proven in further studies, this would be the first credible biological indicator, or biomarker, identified for MS that could predict disability progression from a simple blood test.

The innovative work was carried out at the Institute of Neurology, UCL and the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, Barts and The London and was funded by the MS Society.

Read More from the MS Society- UK

Have something to share with others? If so, please use the post comment link found below. Your name and email address would be appreciated but is not necessary unless you want a response from others. Thank You

Men 'are more likely to leave sick partners', study shows

Last updated at 9:06 AM on 17th September 2009

A man is seven times as likely to leave his wife when she becomes seriously ill as a woman is to abandon her husband, say researchers.

The finding comes from a study into how more than 500 married couples coped with the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness such as cancer or multiple sclerosis.

The divorce rate was no higher than average. But closer inspection revealed that the marriage was much more likely to end when the patient was a woman.

Read more

Have something to share with others? If so, please use the post comment link found below. Your name and email address would be appreciated but is not necessary unless you want a response from others. Thank You

Join "Find A Cure Panel" (FACP) and Support MS Views

We are excited to offer another opportunity to join Find A Cure Panel where people with MS can participate in quantitative online research designed specifically for them. For every survey completed by those who register, Find A Cure Panel will donate a minimum of $25 to MS Views.

You can complete the two minute profile, by clicking below:

This is a great way for you to impact the development of future treatment for MS while supporting MS Views and News.

Please note that this is a registration profile to join FACP and not a survey per se.

Once you join FACP, FACP will send you surveys directly. Note that if you signed up for Find A Cure Panel previously, you do NOT need to sign up again.

If you have any additional questions you can contact FACP directly at


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MS Foundation Survey

The MSF would like to hear from people with MS to help us determine the important issues facing the MS community. Please share your thoughts with us to help us determine the subjects of future programs and publications.


Impaired Lung Function in Multiple Sclerosis


Wednesday September 16, 2009

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have low respiratory function, even though they might not have noticed it or associated it with MS. Coughing, frequent sighing and shortness of breath can all be part of MS. As a matter of fact, even in people with very little disability (EDSS scores of 1.0 to 5.0), mouth pressure measures were found to be between 60 and 70% of normal. Mouth pressure is a measure to assess the functioning and strength of respiratory muscles by testing maximum inspiratory (breathing in) pressures and maximum expiratory (exhaling) pressures.

The writer of this article is very curious as to how H1N1 (swine flu) fits into this picture of impaired lung function, and have found this recommendation from the Rocky Mountain MS Center: "because the flu can cause serious complications for MS patients, especially for those with limited mobility issues and those living in settings such as nursing homes – the H1N1 vaccine is advisable for all people with MS." Besides this,she finds no information on specifics about respiratory dysfunction in MS linked to H1N1 complications. She just doesn't know, it just seems to follow that if many of the worst complications from H1N1 come from pneumonia, and people with asthma and COPD are at higher risk, that we might want to be extra cautious about this virus.She also has seen studies that H1N1 seems to cause infections much deeper in the lungs than the seasonal flu, which tends to stay in the nasal passages.

Speak to your neurologist about H1N1 and what he thinks is right in your particular situation. If he recommends a vaccine, make sure it is a killed or inactivated vaccine and not the live (attenuated) version.

Read the full article: Respiratory Problems in People with Multiple Sclerosis

posted here by Stuart Schlossman of MS Views and News

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Biogen gets Avonex use patent through 2026

Biogen gets Avonex use patent through 2026
LOS ANGELES, Sept 15 (Reuters) -
Biogen Idec (BIIB.O) has been issued a US patent for the use of beta interferon for treating viral conditions and diseases, ...

Click the above link to read

Have something to share with others? If so, please use the post comment link found below. Your name and email address would be appreciated but is not necessary unless you want a response from others. Thank You

Investigators Recruiting for Study of Duloxetine Hydrochloride to Treat Neuropathic Pain in MS

Summary: Investigators in the United States (US) are currently recruiting approximately 200 people with all types of MS who are experiencing central neuropathic pain for a clinical research study to determine if the investigational use of the oral study drug, duloxetine hydrochloride, versus placebo, is safe and effective at reducing neuropathic pain associated with MS. The study is sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company.

Rationale: Approximately 55% of people with MS experience pain. There are two types of chronic pain caused by MS – neuropathic pain (caused by nerve damage) and non-neuropathic pain (caused by muscle spasms or contractions). Neuropathic pain is often described as burning, stabbing, and shooting pain in the legs and arms; and numbness, tingling, prickly, or “pins and needles” sensations. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the investigational use of duloxetine hydrochloride to determine if it reduces neuropathic pain experienced by those with MS. The drug being studied belongs to the group of medications known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). The study drug has not been approved for the treatment of MS or MS pain.

Click here to continue reading from the MS Society website and to learn where you can apply for this research study


Tuesday afternoon humor for Cat Owners

Provided by: Melissa M.

Smiles for the Cat Owner:



MSIF visits the All-Russian MS Society

source: MSIF

In early September, Zoe Burr, MSIF International Development Manager, spent a week visiting the All-Russian Public Organization of Disabled People with Multiple Sclerosis (All-Russian MS Society). The visit formed part of MSIF's Associate Membership application process.

Take part in our survey on complementary and alternative therapies

source: MSIF

The next issue of MS in focus will look at the subject of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) and MS.


IS Generic Copaxone not too far away for Relapse Remitting MS?

US FDA accepts for filing Mylan's ANDA for generic Copaxone

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:00 IST

Mylan Inc. announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for filing Mylan Pharmaceutical Inc.'s abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for glatiramer acetate injection (20 mg/mL), a generic version of Teva's Copaxone, a product indicated for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

As previously announced, Mylan entered into a license and supply agreement with NATCO Pharma Ltd. (NATCO) which granted Mylan exclusive distribution rights for glatiramer acetate pre-filled syringes in the US and all major markets in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Canada. The agreement also includes an option to potentially expand into additional territories.

Mylan Inc. ranks among the leading generic and specialty pharmaceutical companies in the world and provides products to customers in more than 140 countries and territories. The company maintains one of the industry's broadest and highest quality product portfolios supported by a robust product pipeline; operates the world's third largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer; and runs a specialty business focused on respiratory and allergy therapies.


Teva, Active Biotech present encouraging data on laquinimod in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 12:00 IST
Jerusalem, Israel

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Active Biotech presented data further illuminating the novel, dual mechanism of action (MOA) of investigational oral, once-daily, laquinimod for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), conferring neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties. Results from several preclinical studies suggest that laquinimod elicits a protective therapeutic effect by reducing demyelination and inducing axonal protection.

These studies expand upon a growing body of data suggesting the mechanism of oral laquinimod in RRMS patients is targeted immunomodulation, and may help contribute to the favourable benefit-to-risk profile associated with this compound.


Study showed MRI benefits of Rebif, seen early in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis treatment and sustained over time

Merck Reports Results Of 40-Week IMPROVE Study


Germany-based Merck has reported the results of the complete 40-week IMPROVE (Investigating MRI Parameters with Rebif imprOVEd formulation) study.

Reportedly, the data showed a 69% reduction in the number of combined unique brain MRI lesions in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) at 16 weeks, after initiation of treatment with Rebif (44mg three times a week) compared to placebo.

A post-hoc analysis showed that the positive effect can be detected as early as four weeks after treatment initiation. The decreased number of brain lesions was sustained over the 40-week trial period in patients treated with Rebif. The 16-week results also showed a 58% reduction in relapse rate versus placebo.

Additionally, the 40-week analysis shows that patients originally randomized to placebo and switched to Rebif at week 16, had a statistically significant decrease in combined unique active (CUA) lesions (mean number of CUA lesions/patient/scan decreased from 2.31, while on placebo (up to week 16) to 0.65 while on Rebif (weeks 17-40).

Continue reading from Pharmaceutical Business review


Genzyme advances MS drug

Sept 15, 2009

Genzyme Corp. has reported that a Phase 3 trial for its multiple sclerosis drug target, alemtuzumab, is now fully enrolled. The Cambridge-based biotechnology company also announced positive results from a four-year follow-up study on patients in its Phase 2 study for the drug.

Genzyme officials said alemtuzumab continued to show durable reductions in the rate relapse and the rate of sustained accumulation of disability three years after the majority of patients received their last course of the drug candidate. The Phase 2 trial compared alemtuzumab to an approved MS therapy called Rebif in patients with an early form of the disease who had received no prior therapy.


PML risk factors still inconclusive, says Biogen

Reuters - Tue Sep 15, 2009

By Toni Clarke

BOSTON, Sept. 15 (Reuters) - Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB.O) said on Tuesday it would be premature to conclude that the risk of developing a potentially deadly brain infection increases the longer patients take its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.

The company told investors at the Morgan Stanley healthcare conference that despite two new reports of patients who have developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, it is too early to draw any specific conclusion.



Acorda Therapeutics Announces Data on Retention Rates and Safety from Two Phase 3 Fampridine-SR Extension Studies

THIS hopeful pill of the near future, might help many with MS to 'better' their walking ability...

  • Data Presented at 13th Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (EFNS)

HAWTHORNE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sep. 15, 2009-- Data from two long-term open-label extension studies of Fampridine-SR show that 86.0% of participants remained on therapy after a maximum treatment time of 15 months in study MS-F204EXT, and 69.5% remained on therapy after a maximum treatment time of 36 months in study MS-F203EXT. The average treatment time for all patients was 10 months in the MS-F204EXT study and 26 months in the MS-F203EXT study, both inclusive of dropouts. The EFNS poster presentation inadvertently reported maximum treatment times for both studies as the median treatment times. The types of adverse events reported in the two extensions studies were consistent with the expected adverse event profile in people with more advanced multiple sclerosis (MS) and were similar between the two studies. These extension studies followed double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 studies of Fampridine-SR, MS-F203 and MS-F204, in people with MS to improve walking ability.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Biomedical Engineers Use Electrical Stimulus To Help Patients Lift Their Feet

Older story brought back for YOUR Knowledge:

October 1, 2007 — Physical Therapists are helping people with central nervous system disorders learn to walk again. A wireless computer-enabled device aids those suffering from a condition called foot drop, which happens when someone cannot raise the front part of the foot to accommodate a smooth gate. When an individual swings his or her legs forward, a sensor in the shoe signals a microprocessor, which sends an electrical pulse to the nerve that controls the foot, lifting it, and allowing the patient to walk smoothly.

For stroke patients or people living with multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, one of the most difficult, but very common, side effects of their condition is paralysis of part of the body. But now, a new device is giving some patients their life back.

Have something to share with others? If so, please use the post comment link found below. Your name and email address would be appreciated but is not necessary unless you want a response from others. Thank You

Linking Epstein-Barr Virus To Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (Sep. 14, 2009) — Over the last 40 years, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been repeatedly associated with multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. During the 2nd European Congress of Immunology ECI 2009 held in Berlin, Francesca Aloisi, Istituto Superiore di SanitĂ , Rome, will present new data* that further support the link. In the brain lesions of patients with multiple sclerosis her team found abnormal accumulation of EBV infected B lymphocytes. Similar findings were made in the pathological tissues of patients with other autoimmune diseases.


Two More Brain-Infection Cases Emerge in Tysabri Patients

AMAZINGLY this makes the news, each time I consent to trying Tysabri and then it (in the past) scared me away from trying it. However, because again this seems to only be happening in Europe, I will and am convinced that I need to, soon begin Tysabri.. - Stuart Schlossman
Read today's article..
September 14th, 2009 - Wall Steet Journal,

Two more cases of a rare brain infection have emerged in users of the multiple-sclerosis drug Tysabri, sold by Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan PLC, the first such incidences since Biogen stopped updating investors of the situation in July.

At that time, Biogen had confirmed 11 cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, since the drug's relaunch in July 2006; Tysabri was pulled from the U.S. market in 2005 because of PML concerns.

A Biogen spokeswoman said the Cambridge, Mass., biotech company is neither commenting on nor confirming the existence of additional cases as long as the PML rate is consistent with the rate of one-in-1,000 patients implied by the label. The new cases appear to be in line with the label's rate.

CLICK here to finish reading of these new PML cases


Tysabri information presented at the ECTRIMS meeting in Germany

Data Supporting Unique Efficacy of TYSABRI Presented at the 25th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis

-- TYSABRI redefines expectations of multiple sclerosis therapy for some patients --

DUSSELDORF, Germany--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIB) and Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN) today announced data presented at the 25th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) showing the potential of TYSABRI®(natalizumab) to redefine successful multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy. These data were from observational studies and retrospective analyses of the Phase III AFFIRM clinical trial, demonstrating that TYSABRI:

  • Significantly improves measures of physical and cognitive disability using the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) in patients from the AFFIRM trial with baseline impairment;
  • Promoted regeneration or stabilization of damage to the myelin sheath, which can cause some of the symptoms seen in MS patients, as measured by advanced MRI technology; and
  • Shows improvement in quality of life as reported by patients.

"MS patients should expect more from an MS therapy and studies such as these demonstrate the potential for TYSABRI to satisfy their expectations," said Michael Panzara, M.D., M.P.H., vice president and chief medical officer of neurology, Biogen Idec. "These data presented at ECTRIMS show that, for many MS patients, TYSABRI may lead to improvement in a broad range of physical and cognitive symptoms."

"The strong efficacy profile demonstrated in clinical trials is enhanced further from these and other important TYSABRI data presented at ECTRIMS," said Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D., president, Elan Corporation. "TYSABRI is the first approved MS therapy with reported data suggesting some signs of the progression of MS can be stopped, whether measured by clinical, radiological or patient-reported measures."

TYSABRI significantly improves physical and cognitive function

This post-hoc analysis from the Phase III AFFIRM trial was conducted using the MSFC, a measure of disability that assesses aspects of neurologic dysfunction in MS not captured by Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), to evaluate the effects of TYSABRI on disability improvement in patients with baseline impairment. Baseline impairment was defined when a patient experienced at least one of the following:

Remain up-to-date with MS news, when registered at:

(New MS Research) Artielle ImmunoTherapeutics Announces Positive Results of Phase 1 Multiple Sclerosis Trial

Results Presented at 13th Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies in Florence, Italy

PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Artielle ImmunoTherapeutics, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company announced today the presentation of "Results of a Phase 1 safety study of RTL1000, a recombinant T-Cell receptor ligand specific for an immunodominant MOG peptide, in multiple sclerosis." The results were presented yesterday by one of Artielle's founding scientists, Arthur Vandenbark, Ph.D., at the Congress of the European Federation of Neurological Societies in Florence, Italy. The presentation showed that this Phase 1 Study met its primary objective, which was to evaluate the safety profile and determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of a single IV dose of RTL1000. Secondary objectives of the study were also met; these were to determine the pharmacokinetic profile of RTL1000 and assess immunologic parameters in a subset of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. This was a first-in-human, double-blind, placebo controlled trial that enrolled 34 subjects with relapsing remitting and secondary progressive MS at six centers in the United States. All subjects were followed for clinical and MRI changes, pharmacokinetics and cytokine levels in plasma and blood mononuclear cells.

Click here to continue.

and click here (to register) if not yet receiving the "Stu's Views and MS News", weekly MS related e-


Opexa gets positive data from expanded analysis of Tovaxin in multiple sclerosis

Saturday, September 12, 2009 16:00 IST
The Woodlands, Texas

Opexa Therapeutics, Inc, a company developing Tovaxin, a personalized T-cell immunotherapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), announced results from further analysis of the double-blind, placebo-controlled, 52-week phase-IIb TERMS clinical study of 150 patients with Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS). This analysis evaluated patients with an annualized relapse rate of one or greater at study entry (ARR=1). More than 83 per cent of the Tovaxin-treated group (n=85) remained relapse free at one year and the annualized relapse rate after treatment decreased to 0.20, a 42 per cent reduction compared to placebo.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Electrical Stimualtion is helping "some" to walk better with MS

Information provided by Laurence Robb from the UK

MS can affect the ability to lift the foot clear of the ground leading to the risk of tripping and falling, or requiring the person to swing the legs out to “hitch” the hip in order to walk more easily. This can result in back pain and leg stiffness and makes walking even harder. Some people who have MS are unable to feel sensations through the feet so they “are never sure where their feet are”! Yet others may find that getting around using a wheelchair is easier and preserves their energy better, so although they can walk short distances or move around at home, walking to do a supermarket shop or to pick up youngsters from school is just too hard and tiring.

Recently, functional electrical stimulation has been introduced to help people with particular types of walking problems. Functional electrical stimulation devices, fitted to the leg just below the knee, provide small electrical impulses that stimulate muscle movements at just the right point in the walking action, lifting the foot clear of the ground.

Click here, to continue this read from the middle of the 3rd paragraph

Writer Touched By MS Says Disability Should Not Mean Inability

Chris Tatevosian grew up in Holliston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Holliston High School Class of 1979, Chris attended college in Vermont where he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1980. Upon graduation from Johnson State College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology and a minor in Chemistry, Tatevosian was employed by a fortune 100 pharmaceutical and nutritional company for seven years as a quality assurance chemical analyst.. During this period Chris received a graduate degree in adult education, from Trinity College. During the early '90s Tatevosian sought employment as an environmental chemist/staff scientist ultimately working as a corporate occupational safety and health coordinator. CMS continuing to worsen, Chris' marriage of ten years ended in 2002. Divorced with one stepson who lives in Vermont.

Continue reading here

To visit Chris' website click here:


Don't let chronic illness sabotage your relationships

source - webMD

By Karen Bruno
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Having a chronic illness like diabetes, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis can take a toll on even the closest relationship. The ill partner may not feel like he or she used to, the loved one may not know how to handle the changes, and the strain may push "in sickness and in health" to its breaking point.

For instance, studies show that marriages where a spouse has a chronic illness are more likely to fail if the couple is young. And caregiver-spouses are six times more likely to suffer from depression than non-caregiver spouses.

"Even in the best marriages, it's hard," says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York and the vice president of the professional resource center at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "You feel trapped, out of control, and helpless."

But there are ways couples can deal with chronic illness. Here are seven strategies to try.

Continue reading this important digest of information on Relationships and Chronic Illness

Leave comments here please

an MS caregiver's recent comments

"Stuart, Where do you live? I will be doing some gigs in Florida west palm beach, Ocala, Fort walton beach,tampa and Big pine key. not sure of the dates they are for a Motorcycle club I hang with and thought I seen you post you live in FL??

I will play my heart out for you maybe even bring and old axe to smash on stage representing my way of saying MS sucks, break a few strings make my fingers bleed and rock your azz off.

You give me hope and inspiration I DO NOT have MS but my GF of 35 years has MS I am just a lowly caregiver and LOVE doing this job I took an oath with GOD to take care of her. you ROCk my friend !

I asked Joe to be careful with that axe and also I mentoned that it is HE and all other caregivers that actually ROCK.. Not me... Caregivers ARE so important . I asked about his GF (girlfriend)

And then Joe responded again:
"Stuart, She has trouble reading but I do read to her all the Ms news and the blogs you post as well as any other matter posted, it is my JOB and feel free to publish anything I post ! No worries on snashing the axe i buy them cheapo's at rummage sales get them sounding good then if the cause is strong and my resolve of this MS issue is STRONG smashing any guitar on stage for the better being of getting donations or just plain attention to MS makes it all worth while.
I am looking at some PR people to promote what was an idea that has now became a BIG DEAl and out of my hands . "MS is no less" it was to be a local fundraiser but I have had many Bands BIG and small offer to play the GIG and it could become my crown jewel and be a WORLDWIDE affair with the correct planning and logistics. Mike Moore Filmaker is from my Hometown of Davison,michigan he has offered to help too. have to get out and do some laundry and will not be back on until evening .
Have agreat day Friend, Joe :)"

So for all reading this, why did I post this? To show you that for the many with superlative caregivers, I want to say thank you...

Whether MS patients or caregivers, I like to know that I am helping empower people with information.
My thanks again to Joe, for communicating with me and letting me know we enjoy much of the same music.
( I often post on Facebook, my favorites)

BTW -- wouldn't it be great if we can get Michael Moore to do a documentary on the rising costs of our ms meds and the lack of government assistance???

For Caregivers needing assistance, there are many caregiver networks available to you. Use the internet to search of contact me for places to contact. -- Regards, Stuart

For those reading this from facebook or twitter, please return to this blog page to leave comments.