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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sex Hormones in WOMEN with MS

There have been a few studies on those men and women with MS and sex hormones. This post is going into depth on the topic of the research done with sex hormones in women (BIO-identical hormones are exactly same shape hormone as what your body produces. However, synthetic hormones are a slightly different molecular shape and therefore function). 

Before I give you a bunch of research that shows the effects of sex hormones on women I am going to try to give you a brief overview of hormones. 

First Men have DHEA- converts-> Testosterone and a little estrogen they also have progesterone. Both sexes need adequate Thyroid, Insulin, etc. Testosterone should be much higher than estrogens in healthy males 

Women have DHEA- converts-> to Testosterone -> estrogen & they also have progesterone. 

There are over 30 types of estrogen but primarily you hear about 3. More Testosterone is converted in the female and goes to estrone -converts-> estradiol (aka oestradiol) -> estriol (GOOD anticancer estrogen) 
Progesterone and estriol are very high in pregnancy...some MS women seem to do better during pregnancy which has led to some of the sex hormone studies on those with MS. 

If you are a female some of the symptoms of low progesterone are:
1.) heavy and or painful period
2.) swollen breasts before period
3.) anxious (low magnesium can contribute to both this low hormone and feelings)
4.) aggressive / irritable
5.) loss of hair on the head

symptoms of low estrogen are:
1.) wrinkles above the lip
2.) lose of hair on head and or more hair on face
3.) falling breasts
4.) Irregular periods
5.) dry eyes
6.) hot flashes

Symptoms of low testosterone are:
1.) Memory problems for men(could also be low B vitamins, low thyroid or poor circulation)
2.) fatigue (can also be low cortisol if at night, low thyroid if in morning or growth hormone if mild fatigue throughout day)
3.) muscle sagging or atrophy (low growth hormone affects this too)
4.) low libido
5.) belly fat (too much stress[cortisol] and insulin imbalances affect this too. Obviously too much food and too little exercise affects this too.)
6.) depression

MS and sex hormones research - part 1

"Both testosterone and estriol have been found to induce anti-inflammatory as well as neuroprotective effects. Findings from two recent pilot studies of transdermal testosterone in male MS patients and oral estriol in female MS patients are encouraging. In this paper, we review the preclinical and clinical evidence for sex hormone treatments in MS and discuss potential mechanisms of action."

Neuroprotective effects of estrogens and androgens in CNS inflammation and neurodegeneration.
"This protection includes, but is not limited to, prevention of clinical disease, reduction of CNS inflammation, protection against demyelination, and protection against axonal loss."

3.) JAMA and Archives Journals (2007, May 14). Testosterone May Help Men With Multiple Sclerosis

I will list more research in a below reply. If you feel any of this may pertain to your health then print off the research. Then take it with you when you see an experienced Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy endocrinologist.

Sex hormones modulate brain damage in multiple sclerosis: MRI evidence. 
Serum testosterone was significantly lower in women with MS than in controls. The lowest levels were found in women with a greater number of gadolinium enhancing lesions. A positive correlation was observed between testosterone concentrations and both tissue damage on MRI and clinical disability. In men, there was a positive correlation between oestradiol concentrations and brain damage. 
CONCLUSIONS:The hormone related modulation of pathological changes supports the hypothesis that sex hormones play a role in the inflammation, damage, and repair mechanisms typical of MS. 

Correlation between sex hormones & magnetic resonance imaging lesions in MS. 
"RESULTS: Patients with high estradiol and low progesterone levels had a significantly greater number of Gd enhancing lesions than those with low levels of both these hormones. Patients with a high estrogen to progesterone ratio had a significantly greater number of active MRI lesions than those with a low ratio. 
CONCLUSION: Estradiol and progesterone may influence disease activity in MS. If further studies confirm these results, it may be possible to develop therapy by altering levels of these hormones." 

Progesterone synthesis in the nervous system: implications for myelination and myelin repair. 
"Progesterone (internasal spray) in the brain is derived from the steroidogenic endocrine glands or from local synthesis by neural cells. Stimulating the formation of endogenous progesterone is currently explored as an alternative strategy for neuroprotection, axonal regeneration, and myelin repair." 

ProTECT: a randomized clinical trial of progesterone for acute traumatic brain injury. 

Improved outcomes from the administration of progesterone for patients with acute severe traumatic brain injury: a randomized controlled trial. 

Steroid hormones in multiple sclerosis. 

----- Women and Testosterone: Positive effects on heart and insulin 
Low testosterone levels predict all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in women 
(2914 women in 4.5 year follow-up study) 
Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Oct;163(4):699-708. Epub 2010 Aug 4. 

"CONCLUSIONS: Testosterone supplementation improves functional capacity, insulin resistance, and muscle strength in women with advanced CHF. Testosterone seems to be an effective and safe therapy for elderly women with CHF."

If you think or feel that any of the information shown above, pertains to you, please contact your healthcare providers.

Information for this article was provided by:

Allaire Schneider

Student at GRCC

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Steroids reduce inflammation. What else reduces inflammation without negative side effects?

Adam Chaifetz, DC, DIBCN 
Adam Chaifetz, DC, DIBCN • 

Program Coordinator, Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Center at University of Florida, Department of Neurology - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

ACTHAR or ACTH is an alternative to intravenous steroids. This is the only FDA approved treatment for MS exacerbations.
While expensive, this causes the natural stimulation of hormones in the body that controls inflammation. Like the injectable medications, this is done at home for 5 days, self administered by the patient. its a good alternative to IV Steroids when patient's are either non-responsive, or have intolerable side effects. Talk to your neurologist/MS specialist about it.

Learn more of ACTHAR - Click here


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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Polar COOLING Products for Kids


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Multiple Sclerosis More Common In Black Women Than White

Article Date: 07 May 2013 -

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is more common in black women than in white women, according a new study.

The research was conducted by Kaiser Permanente and was published in the journal Neurology. The results contradict the widely believed notion that black people are less vulnerable to the disease.

The electronic health records of over 3.5 million members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California were analyzed from the beginning of 2008 to the end 2011. A total of 496 patients newly diagnosed with MS were identified.

Of these new cases, black patients had a 47% greater likelihood of MS compared to white patients. Results also showed that Hispanics had a 50% reduced risk compared to white patients, and Asians had a 80% lower chance than whites.

Seventy percent of MS cases occurred among females, the researchers said. However, "this preponderance of females diagnosed was more pronounced among black patients than white patients."

Black females had an increased prevalence of multiple sclerosis compared to both white males and females, the authors pointed out. Black men, on the other hand, had a comparable probability of MS risk to white men.

Additionally, the reduced risk among Hispanic and Asian patients was true for both males and females.

Read More


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Can Doctors Diagnose MS from Blood?

Article provided by Susan and Jim G. - thank you

Written By Ingrid Wickelgren | Scientific American 

I have seen the invisible arms of multiple sclerosis, a potentially devastating disease of the nervous system, touch friends, relatives and acquaintances. They perturbed the personality of a father of a close friend and left him unable to keep a job and support the family. They forced a young woman I met years ago to walk tentatively, watching her step. They put one beloved member of my extended family with two small children in a wheelchair and took away his voice.
Nowadays, many people with MS find that new medications can mitigate the progression of their disease (see "New Treatments Tackle Multiple Sclerosis," by James D. Bowen, Scientific American Mind, July/August 2013). But many mysteries remain about the cause of the disorder and no one knows how to prevent or cure it. About a decade ago, a technology entrepreneur named Art Mellor, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000, founded an organization called Accelerated Cure Project based in Waltham, Massachusetts to help speed progress on solving these mysteries, in part through greater collaboration among scientists. In one of its efforts, it maintains a repository of thousands of blood samples from patients who visited any of 10 U.S. clinics. The samples are made available to anyone willing to share their data with the Project. Scientists have used these samples in more than 70 different studies into the causes of MS and how to diagnose and treat it.
A number of these experiments involve trying to identify molecular signs of the disease in the blood, in hopes of developing a simple blood test for the disorder. Such a test might reduce the time and cost of an MS diagnosis. The primary tool for spotting MS today is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which can reveal inflammation in the brain characteristic of the disorder. (Most people believe that multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder--a product of an aberrant immune response directed against the body's own nerves.) But MRI is expensive. It is also not definitive. Sometimes a spot that looks like MS on a brain scan is caused by another condition such as diabetes. Conversely, a normal MRI does not rule out the disorder. Often, too, a doctor has to repeat the scan, and even wait for more symptoms to appear, delaying the diagnosis, sometimes for years.
Doctors also may do a spinal tap, in which they sample the cerebrospinal fluid and examine it for the presence of an immune system protein that should not be there. Electrical tests of nerve function can provide further hints that MS is present. But these tests are not foolproof either and spinal taps are invasive. "For an autoimmune disease, no test is specific or accurate, so you try to build a case for a diagnosis," says Thomas M. Aune, a molecular biologist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Continue Reading


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Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, Twice

Stephanie Shaia was diagnosed with Malignant Multiple Sclerosis at the tender age of 16. She literally went from playing softball every day to being paralyzed for hours at a time, too weak to move. And then, when it seemed things couldn't get much worse her muscles would spasm violently, causing grand mal seizure-like convulsions. Softball had no longer ceased to exist. In fact, her doctor had told her, "You will never again walk unassisted."
Yet, she has managed to overcome this disease and end up on her feet, unassisted. Twice.
Shaia, currently enrolled in the Pre-Physical Therapy Fellow program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., fought back against MS with a strict exercise regime and a naturopathic healing approach. Her recovery was staggering, and by 2009 she had enrolled in college on schedule with her graduating class. She was fine for the first couple years of college, too, blending in with the student population like an average student. After returning from a study abroad trip to London in 2011, however, she relapsed and was unable to move all over again.
The relapse forced her to drop out of school and move home to Kentucky with her parents. Soon, she had adopted forearm crutches. Her body was breaking down again. Shaia said her doctors offered little assistance or answers. "My neurologist shrugged his shoulders, told me I would never walk again and that he had no idea what was wrong."
Again, Shaia fought back through exercise, chiropractic care, massage and diet. And since November of 2012, she has been able to walk unassisted and is running up to two miles a day. Shaia is brave, and a fighter. And she has taken, in my opinion, an honorable route in regards to finding good health, especially considering the original feedback from her physician.


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Monday, May 6, 2013

Polar Products Offers Cooling Relief for Kids with MS

Stow, Ohio – May 1, 2013 – Did you know that up to 10,000 kids under the age of 18 are believed to have MS?1 Summer is right around the corner, and heat sensitivity can be a common and difficult symptom for a child or teen with MS. 

Polar Products, the leading worldwide manufacturer of cooling garments for people with MS, has recently launched a line of cooling vests and accessories designed specifically for children, pre-teens, and teenagers with MS.

“As someone diagnosed with MS myself as an adult, it saddens me that MS heat sensitivity can be life altering for an active child or teen,” says Jil Deabler, Account Executive and MS Consultant for Polar Products. “With the right body cooling products, kids with MS can play outside during the hot months, participate or watch sporting events, and just enjoy being young!”

The new CoolKidsTM vest and neck wrap use lightweight Cool58TM cooling packs that cool at a consistent, safe and comfortable temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 3 hours. CoolKidsTM garments feature fun colors like Arctic Pink, Polar Blue and Frosty Khaki.

The pressure of being a teen can be tough, and teens with MS want to fit in too. The  discreet and lightweight CoolTeensTM Secrets Vest provides effective and comfortable cooling beneath clothing. The CoolTeensTM Fashion Vest is a stylish option for staying cool.

Polar Products is a family-owned and operated business located in Stow, Ohio, with over 25 years experience manufacturing body cooling technologies for people with MS, industrial workers, the military and athletes. Polar shares a commitment with the MS community to improve the quality of life of kids and adults with MS.

Kids and teens with MS can "beat the heat" this summer with Polar’s CoolKidsTM and CoolTeensTM cooling garments! See the complete product line at and ‘like’ Polar Products on Facebook ( for new products and special offers.

Erin Graessle, Marketing Manager
3380 Cavalier Trail
Stow, OH 44224
Ph: 330.253.9973


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Eyes may provide new insight into brain problems

By Sandi Doughton - The Seattle Times - May 6, 2013

SEATTLE — The eyes may be the window to the soul, but researchers are finding they also provide a view into the brain that could help detect neurological damage from bomb blasts, sports concussions and a wide range of diseases, including Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
If initial results are borne out, it might eventually be possible to use simple eye tests to evaluate soldiers, athletes or accident victims and to monitor the effectiveness of drugs and other treatments, several scientists said Sunday in Seattle at a meeting of the world’s largest vision-research organization.
More than 12,000 researchers and clinicians are in Seattle for the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, which runs through Thursday.
Sunday’s session brought together some of the nation’s top researchers on brain injuries in veterans and athletes, including psychiatrist Elaine Peskind, of the University of Washington and the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System.
Nearly 2.4 million U.S. troops have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. About 20 percent of them were exposed to blasts from roadside bombs and other explosives, Peskind said.
The veterans she studied experienced an average of 14 blasts, though some were exposed to 100 or more.
Many reported symptoms that include memory loss, headache, muddled thinking and irritability.
Though Peskind has used sophisticated brain scans to document permanent brain damage among blast-exposed veterans, there’s no easy way to tell which soldiers may go on to develop more severe problems, including dementia, as a result of their injuries.
The most definitive test for the type of advanced brain injury common to some soldiers and concussion-prone athletes can only be done after death, when brain-tissue sections reveal tangles of abnormal protein deposits.
That’s why the possibility of using the eyes for diagnosis is so exciting, the scientists said.
Peskind got interested because so many blast-exposed veterans told her they had trouble reading. When she tested their vision, she noticed unusual movement patterns in their eyes.
It’s not surprising that trauma severe enough to damage the brain would also affect the eyes, said Dr. Randy Kardon, director of Neuro-Opthalmology at the University of Iowa and leader of a Veterans Affairs center on vision. The eyes develop from the same kind of tissue as the brain, and contain many of the same types of cells.
“By measuring things in the eye, perhaps we have a barometer for what might be happening in the brain,” he said.
Kardon used new a new type of eye scan, called optical coherence tomography, or OCT, to probe the retinas of blast-exposed veterans. He found thinner cell layers than in normal subjects.
He also developed a test that validated the most common complaint among blast-exposed veterans: that their eyes had become extremely sensitive to light.
By hooking up small electrodes to the muscles around the eye, Kardon documented higher levels of involuntary blinking and squinting among veterans with traumatic brain injury.
A third indicator is how fast the pupil contracts in response to a burst of light, he said. In studies of 140 people treated in a hospital emergency room after car accidents and other head trauma, Kardon and his colleagues found that slower pupil contraction was a sign of more serious brain injury.
The test is done with an instrument that’s already commercially available, he pointed out. “It could have a lot of implications for sports injuries, where you’d like to be able to quickly test whether a concussion might be significant.”
Dr. Lee Goldstein, of Boston University, who helped pioneer studies on brain damage in athletes, described experiments where mice exposed to a single blast exhibited damage to their retinas.
Other studies have shown an abnormal buildup of specific proteins in the lenses of people who suffer from some brain disorders, like Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome, said John Clark, director of the Department of Biological Structure at the University of Washington and an organizer of Sunday’s session.
“The lens is a very sensitive indicator for neurodegenerative diseases,” he said.


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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Making the Most of Your Doctor Visits

Every doctor is different, but it’s important to find a doctor who makes you feel comfortable, respects you, and doesn’t intimidate you.
In the best of all possible worlds you and your doctor would work to keep you as healthy as possible. It’s worth a search, maybe even a fight with your insurance company, to find a doctor-partner. You also have to learn to do your part by preparing for appointments, writing things down, and being as clear as you can in explaining your symptoms and issues.

Before your appointment

  • Write it down
    • Be prepared with a prioritized list of problems and questions
    • Have a list of prescription drugs, over-the-counter remedies, herbals, vitamins, or other dietary supplements you’re taking. Download a medication tracking form (.pdf)
  • Review your health insurance planBe clear about what your plan will or won't cover, especially if you choose to go out of network.
  • Consider transportation issues.Traveling a long way to see the right health-care provider is often an intelligent investment. However, it's wise to think through the costs in money, fatigue, and stress on family members.

Don’t be bashful

Anything that’s of concern to you, including problems with your mood, sexual function, thinking and memory, and bladder and bowel function, is of interest to your healthcare team. If you’re not sure what’s related to your MS and what’s not, ask your doctor or nurse to help you sort it out.

Patient Bill of Rights

  • To be treated with respect.
  • To have and to express my feelings and opinions.
  • To be listened to and to be taken seriously.
  • To set my own priorities.
  • To say no without feeling guilty.
  • To ask for what I want.
  • To get what I pay for.
  • To ask for information.
  • To make mistakes.
  • To choose not to assert myself.
  • To change my mind.

Patient Bill of Responsibilities

  • To keep scheduled appointments.
  • To be honest with the doctors and other health-care workers.
  • To give information about my experience and condition as clearly and briefly as possible.
  • To respect the doctors and health-care workers.
  • To understand that no one has all the answers to MS.
  • To follow the treatment plan agreed upon.

article source: National MS Society


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