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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.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Guanabenz drug prevents myelin loss, alleviates symptoms of MS in animal models

March 13, 2015

An FDA-approved drug for high blood pressure, guanabenz, prevents myelin loss and alleviates clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in animal models, according to a new study. The drug appears to enhance an innate cellular mechanism that protects myelin-producing cells against inflammatory stress. These findings point to promising avenues for the development of new therapeutics against MS, report scientists from the University of Chicago in Nature Communications on Mar. 13.

"Guanabenz appears to enhance the cell's own protective machinery to diminish the loss of myelin, which is the major hallmark of MS," said senior study author Brian Popko, PhD, Jack Miller Professor of Neurological Disorders at the University of Chicago "While there have been many efforts to stimulate re-myelination, this now represents a unique protective approach. You don't have to repair the myelin if you don't lose it in the first place."

Multiple sclerosis is characterized by an abnormal immune response that leads to inflammation in the brain and the destruction of myelin - a fatty sheath that protects and insulates nerve fibers. MS is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide and has no known cure.
Popko and his colleagues have previously shown that oligodendrocytes, the brain cells which produce myelin, possess an innate mechanism that responds to stressors such as inflammation. It temporarily shuts down almost all normal protein production in the cell and selectively increases the production of protective proteins. When this mechanism is malfunctioning or overloaded - by the chronic inflammation seen in MS, for example - oligodendrocyte death and demyelination is significantly increased.

A recent study found evidence that guanabenz, a drug approved for oral administration for hypertension, enhances this stress response pathway independent of its anti-hypertension actions. To test the suitability of guanabenz as a potential treatment for MS, Popko and his team exposed cultured oligodendrocyte cells to interferon gamma - a molecule that increases inflammation - resulting in greatly increased myelin loss and cell death.

Treating these cells with guanabenz prevented myelin loss and restored cell survival to near normal levels. Oligodendrocytes that were not exposed to interferon gamma were unaffected by guanabenz, suggesting that it enhances only an active stress response pathway.

Read more


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Two Progressive MS Phase III Trials to be Presented at AAN Annual Meeting

March 2015 -

biotinMyelin — the fatty substance that wraps around nerve cells — is lost inmultiple sclerosis (MS). Is there any way to get it back or to stop the deterioration of myelin? Researchers at MedDay Pharmaceuticals think that their drug may provide the solution. Known as MD1003, the medication targets the process of forming myelin, called myelination. It may stop the disease from progressing.
MedDay has announced that data from the first pivotal Phase III study using MD1003, a highly-concentrated pharmaceutical-grade biotin for use in primary and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, will be presented at the Clinical Trials Plenary Session at The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, Washington DC on Friday April 24th at 1200 EST.
Two multi-center double-blind placebo-controlled trials in progressive MS examining the effects of MD1003 will be featured. The studies have been ongoing in France and the UK. Researchers completed the first pivotal Phase III study in 150 patients in early 2015. The second study should be finished by the end of the year.

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Stu's Views - after the passing of his Best Friend

Stu's Views -    Stuart needing to release grief

My body tingling and barely feeling anything since the passing of my best Friend of the last almost 12 years .. Neuropathic pain agin has entered by body making walking difficult.

Knowing life is short - knowing there is so much more to still do... for others and for myself



Enough of me though and allow me to give tribute to Snoop (Female) -
MY dog of just under 12 years of age


Welcome to Snoop's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency











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Friday, March 13, 2015

Hot off the Press–Summary of 47 Studies Shows That Even With Regular Exercise, Prolonged Sitting Can Result in Higher Chance of Disease and Early Death

Researchers from Toronto, Canada conducted a meta-analysis (here’s a link to the study) where they analyzed the results of 47 studies that fit their criteria to see whether when controlling for purposeful exercise, sedentary behavior results in higher rates of disease.  They found that sedentary behavior resulted in higher rates of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, cardiovascular disease incidence, cancer mortality, cancer incidence, and type 2 diabetes incidence,  They defined sedentary behavior to be sitting while at the computer, while watching television, in the car, etc.
The couch potato
So, how can your pup or cat help you?
  • Walking your dog as often as possible–even short walks will help you and your pup
  • Playing with your cat’s toys during television commercials-making sure to stand up
  • Playing fetch with your dog
  • Working on obedience training with your dog
Pomeranian dog standing on its hind legs to get a treat
  • Playing chase with your pet
  • When working at home, take five minute breaks every hour to play with your pet
  • When playing on social media, take five minute breaks every hour to play with your pet
  • Brushing your animal while standing
Red cat with brush.
Any of these, done consistently, can prolong your life and limit the incidence of disease.

Read more





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Landmark medical marijuana bill introduced in US Congress

Washington (AFP) - US senators on Tuesday introduced the most comprehensive legislation on medical marijuana ever brought before Congress, a bipartisan effort aimed at ending federal restrictions on the increasingly accepted treatment.

Twenty-three states already allow the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) and epilepsy, but federal law still exposes users of the drug to potential investigation and arrest.
"Highly-trained officials in our country -- doctors and scientists, medical personnel -- are unable to prescribe and recommend drugs that could alleviate the pain and suffering of their patients," Senate Democrat Cory Booker told reporters.
"Today we join together to say enough is enough," he added. "Our federal government has long overstepped the boundaries of common sense, fiscal prudence and compassion with its marijuana laws."
The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act would remove federal penalties and restrictions for producing, distributing and possessing marijuana for medical purposes, provided there is compliance with state law.
It would give military veterans access to medical marijuana in states where it is legal, and it would crucially allow financial institutions to provide banking services to marijuana businesses.


Doctor to discuss alternative multiple sclerosis treatments in Cheyenne

March 2015 
CHEYENNE - By its very nature, multiple sclerosis can be a hard disease to live with. And with one of the highest rates of MS in the country - one in every 350 people - Wyomingites know that better than most.

While drug treatments for the disease have progressed by leaps and bounds in the past few decades, it's not uncommon for those living with MS to seek out alternative treatments to improve their quality of life.

Now, a Colorado neurologist wants to educate locals on which alternative treatments are the best at addressing MS and which could potentially worsen the patient's condition.

Dr. Allen Bowling has been studying and treating MS for more than 20 years. But alongside traditional drug therapy, Bowling has been an advocate of nontraditional treatments for the disease, which he believes can help sufferers lead healthier, more active lives.

"You don't normally see too many Western doctors willing to talk about complementary and alternative approaches," said Carrie Nolan, president of the Colorado-Wyoming chapter of the MS Society. "He's really interested in the whole person, and that's more unique."

Bowling recently published a book on the subject, "Optimal Health with MS," which he will discuss at a public forum this evening at Laramie County Community College.

In the book, Bowling said he goes over various types of lifestyle changes that he says have been shown to address some of the symptoms of MS. He noted that MS is first and foremost an autoimmune disorder - the body's own immune system misfires and attacks the nervous system, which can lead to a whole host of complications.

Those can include everything from vision problems and loss of coordination to weakness and chronic pain. And while there are treatments for the disease, there is no cure, which is why many sufferers often look to alternative treatments for relief.

"The usual treatment currently for MS is to use FDA-approved medications, and then medications to treat the various symptoms like weakness, vision problems, walking problems," Bowling said. "But there are many other things that can be done. Research studies going back 20 years now indicate people with MS can benefit from very regular physical activity - things like yoga or tai chi, Pilates, therapeutic horseback riding."

Bowling said diet can also play a role in addressing MS symptoms. Specifically, he said diets should include vitamins D and B12, though it's also important to be well rounded.

"A healthful diet may have many benefits for people with MS - low salt, low saturated fat, high fiber and a reasonable intake of calories," he said.

But Bowling also cautions MS sufferers who take herbs or other supplements. While some supplements may provide benefits, some can actually make their symptoms worse by spurring increased immune system activity.

"Something I highlight in the book, there are many supplements and herbs that could potentially be harmful to people with MS," Bowling said. "With MS, the immune system is already too active. There are many supplements marketed to people with MS that say you should be activating your immune system."

He said growing evidence also suggests that alcohol and tobacco use can worsen the symptoms of MS, as can other, unrelated medical problems. Finally, Bowling said, it's also important for those with MS not to forget their emotional well-being.

"An area that often doesn't get fully addressed is emotional health," he said. "There are some unconventional approaches that can be helpful in those areas, like meditation, prayer and spirituality."

Continue



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21-year-old MS sufferer: 'I feel like my life is on hold'



TALIA CARLISLE/Stuff.co.nz

HOLDING ON TO HOPE: Amy Clague needs to raise $100,000 to cover flights to Russia and a stem cell transplant which she hopes will give her a chance at a normal life.

A multiple sclerosis diagnosis was not the 20th birthday present Amy Clague was hoping for.

The Melrose nanny was celebrating with family last year when she noticed something wasn't right.

"My right side was kind of numb," Clague said.

"[The next day] I woke up and it hadn't gone away. Day three it was in my face. It had spread."

Clague had no feeling on her right side from her toes to her face when she visited Wellington Hospital's emergency department for tests.

Four possible outcomes weighed on Clague's mind as she awaited the doctor's results.

"It was going to be multiple sclerosis [MS], a brain tumour, a brain bleed or a stroke."

But Clague's mother, a neurological physiotherapist who treats MS patients, knew the answer.

Living with MS was an inconvenience she could do without, Clague said.

"I've been so angry. One of the worst things about MS is you don't know when or what is going to come. I feel like my life is on hold.

Click here to read more of Amy's story as well as to watch her video



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Caldwell resident fighting battle with multiple sclerosis

Eleni Christoforou, 32, is hoping to undergo a stem cell transplant to rid of the disease


Posted: Thursday, March 12, 2015 4:30 am
By NICOLE BITETTE Staff Writer 

CALDWELL — Eleni Christoforou, 32, hopes that a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) will strike a decisive blow in her decade-long battle with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The Caldwell resident said the goal is to erase any memory of the disease from her body.
However, even with insurance coverage, the procedure will cost Christoforou roughly $20,000 between traveling to Chicago, where the transplant is done, and the other costs associated with removing and reinserting her stem cells, as well as fertility treatments.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that disrupts the brain’s ability to communicate with the body. The hematopoietic stem cell transplant will remove Christoforou’s stem cells from her bone marrow and then she will undergo chemotherapy before her own stem cells are injected back into her system with hopefully no memory of the MS, she explained.
Christoforou’s first symptoms left her unable to walk up the stairs, bumping into walls, losing her memory and confused. There were days where she would forget how to get home or how she arrived at work, she said.
She had a particularly bad episode in July of 2014 that left her unable to speak, walk, see and even feed herself. She spent a week in the hospital followed by two weeks at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, she said. She then spent another eight weeks in outpatient therapy in order to recover.
“It was a long road, but with lots of hard work and praying, you would never know that had happened to me by looking at me,” she said.


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Blood pressure drug protects against symptoms of multiple sclerosis in animal models

Date:
March 13, 2015
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
An FDA-approved drug for high blood pressure, guanabenz, prevents myelin loss and alleviates clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in animal models, according to a new study. The drug appears to enhance an innate cellular mechanism that protects myelin-producing cells.


AN FDA-approved drug for high blood pressure, guanabenz, prevents myelin loss and alleviates clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in animal models, according to a new study. The drug appears to enhance an innate cellular mechanism that protects myelin-producing cells against inflammatory stress. These findings point to promising avenues for the development of new therapeutics against MS, report scientists from the University of Chicago in Nature Communications on Mar. 13.


"Guanabenz appears to enhance the cell's own protective machinery to diminish the loss of myelin, which is the major hallmark of MS," said senior study author Brian Popko, PhD, Jack Miller Professor of Neurological Disorders at the University of Chicago "While there have been many efforts to stimulate re-myelination, this now represents a unique protective approach. You don't have to repair the myelin if you don't lose it in the first place."
Multiple sclerosis is characterized by an abnormal immune response that leads to inflammation in the brain and the destruction of myelin -- a fatty sheath that protects and insulates nerve fibers. MS is thought to affect more than 2.3 million people worldwide and has no known cure.
Popko and his colleagues have previously shown that oligodendrocytes, the brain cells which produce myelin, possess an innate mechanism that responds to stressors such as inflammation. It temporarily shuts down almost all normal protein production in the cell and selectively increases the production of protective proteins. When this mechanism is malfunctioning or overloaded -- by the chronic inflammation seen in MS, for example -- oligodendrocyte death and demyelination is significantly increased.
A recent study found evidence that guanabenz, a drug approved for oral administration for hypertension, enhances this stress response pathway independent of its anti-hypertension actions. To test the suitability of guanabenz as a potential treatment for MS, Popko and his team exposed cultured oligodendrocyte cells to interferon gamma -- a molecule that increases inflammation -- resulting in greatly increased myelin loss and cell death.
Treating these cells with guanabenz prevented myelin loss and restored cell survival to near normal levels. Oligodendrocytes that were not exposed to interferon gamma were unaffected by guanabenz, suggesting that it enhances only an active stress response pathway.
The team then tested the drug on multiple mouse models of MS. When treated with guanabenz, mice that are genetically engineered to express high amounts of interferon gamma in their brains were protected against oligodendrocyte and myelin loss. Treated mice retained several times more myelination and oligodendrocytes than untreated mice.
To study a chronic model of MS, the researchers immunized mice with a component of myelin, triggering an immune response against myelin similar to MS in humans. Clinical symptoms developed, but guanabenz administered a week after immunization significantly delayed the onset of these symptoms and reduced peak severity. Treatment also prevented around 20 percent of mice from developing symptoms at all.
To study the suitability of guanabenz as a therapeutic after MS symptoms have already appeared and peaked, the researchers used a mouse model in which symptoms relapse and remit -- cycling from high severity to low severity to high again over time. They administered guanabenz immediately after symptoms peaked, and found a nearly 50 percent reduction in severity during the next relapse cycle.
"Human MS predominantly follows a relapsing-remitting pattern," said co-author Sharon Way, PhD, a National MS Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago. "Our hope is that this approach would provide protection against future relapses by making them milder and less frequent."
Continue reading by clicking here

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Researchers Identify a New Genetic Risk Factor for Multiple Sclerosis Development


Researchers Identify a New Genetic Risk Factor for Multiple Sclerosis Development

shutterstock_133446737March 10, 2015
A team led by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) recently revealed in the journal ASN NEURO a new genetic variation that significantly increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) in women. The study is entitled “A Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism in Serine-Threonine Kinase 11, the Gene Encoding Liver Kinase B1, Is a Risk Factor for Multiple Sclerosis.
MS corresponds to a progressive, immune-mediated disorder in which the body’s own immune system attacks the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord nerves), causing damage to the myelin layer covering neurons. The loss of myelin results in an impairment in signal transmission along the nerve fibers, affecting motor function such as walking and speaking. This neurodegenerative disease affects around 2.5 million people worldwide. The exact causes for MS are not clear but genetic factors are known to contribute to the risk of developing the disease as relatives of MS patients have a higher risk than the general population.
Researchers identified a new genetic variant through a woman who, along with her four siblings – a brother and three sisters, including twins – had all been diagnosed with MS. “This is an extremely rare occurrence,” noted the study’s lead author Dr. Anne Boullerne in a news release, as there were no reports on five siblings all diagnosed with MS.
“I was immediately interested in the possibility of a genetic study of the family because all five siblings – an entire generation – are affected by MS, and so we could have a very good chance of discovering key genes related to inheritance of the disease,” explained Dr. Boullerne.
Continue Reading


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Overactive Bladder Drug May Restore Myelin in Multiple Sclerosis

2015-03-10 10:32
restore myelin in multiple sclerosis
It appears that a drug currently on the market to treat overactive bladder may help restore myelin in patients with multiple sclerosis. More specifically, the drug promotes remyelination, a natural process that fails to progress properly in people who have MS.
Damage to the protective covering (myelin) surrounding the nerves is called demyelination. This process gets worse as the disease progresses and individuals with multiple sclerosis get older. Various scientific teams around the world have been working on ways to stop demyelination and/or restore the natural remyelination process.
Overactive bladder drug study
At the University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, a research team under direction of Fraser J. Sim, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, discovered that a drug called solifenacin may support remyelination. Solifenacin has been shown to promote differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, which are critical for myelin production and remyelination.
The study involved two steps. First, the researchers transplanted human oligodendrocyte progenitor cells into mice who were incapable of producing myelin and then treated some of them with the drug. The authors observed both an increase in cell differentiation and production of myelin in the treated mice.
 Then, the researchers conducted an experiment to determine if the observed positive response translated into an improvement in function or behavior. To do this, the authors subjected the mice to sounds and studied their brain wave activity.
According to Sim, the mice who were treated with solifenacin displayed signal speeds that were greater than those in the untreated mice. When there is an insufficient amount of myelin, the signaling slows down, but with the addition of myelin, the signals are faster.
Therefore, Sim concluded that he and his team had found a way to improve human myelination. The next step is a small human trial for which Sim and his team are seeking funding. If solifenacin does prove to be helpful in promoting remyelination, approval for multiple sclerosis could be reached rather quickly since it already has approval from the Food and Drug Administration for another use.
Solifenacin for multiple sclerosis
Solifenacin is one of the prescription medications doctors already prescribe for patients with multiple sclerosis who are experiencing overactive bladder. Previous research has shown that the drug can be effective for this common symptom of MS.


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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

MS mom defies odds via workouts, bodybuilding

Wendy Bordewisch doesn't let multiple sclerosis keep her from moving


Mar 09, 2015

ANNAPOLIS, Md. —The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis can be debilitating and depressing, but one local woman instead got inspired by it.

There are about 10,000 people living in Maryland with multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. The cause is unknown and the disease is unpredictable. From numbness to paralysis, different MS patients suffer different symptoms.
Working out often isn't something you would expect from a person who has MS, but for sufferer Wendy Bordewisch, Evolutions Gym in Annapolis is often a home away from home. She's there at least four days a week doing cardio and weights.
When she was diagnosed with MS, she was doing a different kind of heavy lifting. She was a mom of young children, and learning she had MS terrified her.
"The goal of MS is to stop you from moving. It truly is the goal," Bordewisch said. "To see people that have been affected in that way is truly devastating. That was my first vision -- that this could stop me from moving."
But she hasn't stopped moving. After she got over the fear of what the disease could do to her, she decided to do something and didn't quit.
"For me it just meant, OK, I've got this unpredictable disease. I need to do whatever I can to make sure I take care of myself and what I've got," Bordewisch said.
Click here to continue reading AND to watch a Video of Wendy while working-out.





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For MS Patients in the State of Florida, a New FREE Community Resource

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2015


MS Views & News, a Not-For-Profit organization Announces the Addition of Jennifer Falk, MSW,CPHM to Oversee New Programs and New Toll Free Helpline  for the Multiple Sclerosis Community

MIAMI, FL - MS Views and News (MSVN), a non-profit organization founded in 2007 to serve and inform the multiple sclerosis community, is proud to announce the addition of Jennifer Falk, MSW,CPHM to its team as MS Social Work Navigator-Projects Manager.  Falk will play a vital role in expanding services offered by MSVN.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurodegenerative debilitating disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, often leading to disabling symptoms that may affect vision, balance, cognitive abilities, and can cause extreme fatigue along with many other impairments. To date there is currently no cure for MS.

Falk brings extensive experience working with the MS community and with other chronically ill patients.  A graduate of New York University, Falk earned a Masters Degree in Social Work with a focus on health care management. She also earned a Bachelor Degree in Psychology from C.W. Post Long Island University. Most recently Falk was the Social Work Program Coordinator for the Neuroscience Centers of Florida Foundation.  In the past 15 years, she has worked as Lead Medical Social Worker for Doctor’s Hospital and a Clinical Social Worker for the Ryder Trauma Center.

With Falk’s unique qualifications, she will help establish a toll free helpline serving MS patients with questions regarding their care. Initially, the program will serve Florida with the hope of expanding further in the future.  Falk will also develop and participate in MSVN programs for the MS community.

Falk will also serve as the primary liaison in the affiliation between various community partners and MSVN.

For more information about MS Views & News, visit www.msviewsandnews.org

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For further information, contact:
 Stuart Schlossman - 



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