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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.

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Saturday, July 4, 2015

Miami Art Therapy

http://miamiarttherapy.com/


Miami Art Therapy offers treatment, supervision, counseling, consultation, and instruction in Art/Expressive Therapies, Mindfulness-based stress reduction, and individual/group Mindfulness trainings.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn (the father of Mindfulness-based stress reduction) has said, “There is more right with you than wrong with you as long as you are breathing.” You have tremendous inner treasures which can be tapped through your personal imagery and expression . Artistic talent or experience is unnecessary. You only need to be willing to know yourself with kind attention and acceptance. Dr. Isis will guide you through this process.


READ more of this interesting complementary therapy


Also to see their section on: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course with Mindful Self Compassion Practices





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Friday, July 3, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trial Participation Guide


nyone with Multiple Sclerosis knows that, in spite of there being several FDA-approved therapies for treating the disease, there are still many unmet medical needs for MS. The current therapeutics help patients deal with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but much more work needs to be done develop treatments that slow the progression of the disease from Relapsing-Remitting into Secondary Progressive, as well as offer neuroprotection and regeneration of myelin. And for those with the progressive forms of MS, there are currently no FDA-approved therapies, and very few options for treatment.
Drug development companies are currently working on all of these issues, and while early drug discovery is performed in the lab and in pre-clinical animal models, a therapy ultimately needs to be tested and confirmed in humans before it can ever be approved by the FDA and other governing health organizations. To this end, multiple sclerosis clinical trials offer those with the disease an opportunity to gain access to experimental therapies prior to their approval, which may help their own disease prognosis, as well as contribute to a growing body of scientific data on how to treat and eventually cure MS.
The following are a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pertaining to clinical trials, and what the process entails:

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are well-designed studies that collect information about new treatments for diseases and disorders. Most of the time, this means medications, but clinical trials can also test other things, such as stem cell therapies, surgical techniques, tests for diagnosis, medical devices, as well as others. In particular, clinical trials focus on administering an experimental therapy in humans, as opposed to animals, which are conducted first in the lab (known as “pre-clinical research”).

Why do we need clinical trials?

Clinical trials are needed for medical treatments to be approved by government organizations, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Without clinical trials, doctors and other prescribing healthcare providers (such as nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants) cannot prescribe medications or recommend other medical treatments. These studies are needed to understand two important types of information 1) that the treatment is effective (also called efficacious), ie, that it really works and 2) that the treatment is safe for use in humans.
In addition to helping patients by making the best possible treatments available, clinical trials also advance scientific understanding of a disease or disorder.

How do clinical trials work?



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MS Views and News Seeks to Improve MS Education in July


MS Views and News (MSVN) is a non-profit organization that works at collecting, presenting and distributing information about multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as improving knowledge and education among patients and other members of the MS community. During July, MS Views and News will host four events featuring medical experts which will be held in Florida and Kentucky and will focus disease management.
Exploring different themes, the four events are designed to educate patients on dealing with MS in the family and the workplace as well as effectively communicating with medical professionals and treatment options. The first event is called “The Land of MS – Effective Communication with Your Healthcare Team and Beyond Neurologist” and will take place on July 7 at the Doubletree by Hilton Deerfield Beach/Boca Raton, on Fairway Drive in Deerfield Beach, FL. Brian Steingo, MD will discuss tools to effectively communicate with healthcare providers and address patients’ needs.
On the same day, licensed clinical psychologist Rhonda Q. Freeman, PhD, is going to address the benefits of neuro-psychological testing in relation to MS assessment, consultation and interventional treatment, while Jeffrey Segal, BS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, CPTS will discuss the topic of “Using Stretching Techniques to reduce Pain fromSpasticity Program.”
On July 14, an event entitled “      
  CLICK here to learn more of these programs and to find out more about these events


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What is good research?

Research based on scientific evidence, where a treatment is rigorously tested in clinical trials with large numbers of people, is the best way of finding out whether a treatment is having a real effect, and whether it is safe.
Clinical trials assess whether a potential treatment works better than a current approved treatment (if there is one) or a placebo. They also look forside effects that might be associated with potential treatments.
Getting a treatment through clinical trials can take years and it can be very frustrating to wait for this to happen, but there are good reasons for research to take so long.
Find out about:

The placebo effect

The placebo effect is a well documented phenomenon. Research has shown that when people take a ‘dummy’ treatment that they think might work, some of them will experience an improvement in their condition.  This improvement in symptoms is known as the placebo effect.
Doing controlled clinical trials is the best way to determine whether a treatment has a true effect on people (rather than a placebo effect).

Anecdotal evidence

Anecdotal evidence (what people say) can seem very convincing, especially with the increase in the number of people posting videos on the internet before and after having treatments.
Although there may be some very convincing anecdotal evidence, there are several reasons why anecdotal evidence is not considered as reliable as data from clinical trials:
  • We have no way of knowing how many people are seeking treatment, whether the treatment they are getting is the same across the board, or how many people undergoing treatment are reporting improvements in their symptoms
CLICK here to continue reading


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Potential treatment could reduce relapses and disability progression

Pharmaceutical company Roche has announced the completion two phase 3 trials (OPERA I and OPERA II), testing ocrelizumab in people with relapsing forms of MS.

The trials covered relapsing remitting MS and secondary progressive MS with relapses, involving over 1,600 people in 40 countries.  

Initial results announced

The trials compared ocrelizumab to interferon beta-1a , which is an existinglicensed treatment.
The full results from the trial have not yet been released but in a press release Roche reported that after two years, ocrelizumab significantly reduced the annual relapse rate and the progression of clinical disability, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
They also reported that ocrelizumab significantly reduced the number of lesions in the brain, as measured by MRI scans.
The trials involved over 1,600 people in 40 countries.

How ocrelizumab works

Ocrelizumab is an antibody that targets specific cells thought to play a key role in the damage to myelin and nerve fibres  that occurs in MS.
It is thought to prevent the immune system from attacking the nervous system. It does this by binding to proteins on the surface of the cells involved. It is taken by intravenous infusion (a drip).  

What happens next?




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Biogen Opens Gene Therapy Partnership

July 2, 2015 

iogen Inc. will broaden its gene therapy pipeline by signing a partnership with Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. worth about $1 billion to develop ophthalmology treatments.
AGTC will get an upfront payment of $124 million, which includes a $30 million equity investment, according to a statement on Thursday. Biogen will also make additional payments for development and sales milestones that could make the agreement worth more than $1 billion, the companies said.
AGTC shares surged 21 percent to $19.62. The company, based in Alachua, Florida, is one of several gene therapy companies targeting genetic disorders in the eye. Biogen will license to AGTC’s two leading candidates, which target rare inherited eye disorders that can lead to blindness, caused by mutations in single genes.
“This will be a source of innovation for us, for sure,” said Olivier Danos, senior vice president of cell and gene therapy at Biogen. “We’re very interested in gene therapy in the long term.”
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology firm has been building a gene therapy program through a research deal with the San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy to develop treatments for the blood disorders hemophilia A and B, and a partnership with Sangamo BioSciences Inc. for sickle cell disease and the blood disorder beta thalassemia.
While gene therapy has the promise to cure genetic disorders with a single procedure, it’s far from proven. Shares of Avalanche Biotechnologies Inc. plunged when the company said on June 15 that patients with an age-related chronic eye disease still needed injections from another drug after being treated with its gene therapy.

Disappointments

These disappointments are “absolutely normal kinds of bumps in the road that you find in development,” said Danos.
Opthalmology is a new area for Biogen, which is best known for multiple sclerosis drugs. One of AGTC’s treatments, for a disorder called X-linked retinoschisis, has started its first human trials. Another, for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, is still in pre-human testing.
“We believe the technology is mature enough to be used as a drug,” Danos said.

click here to continue reading



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Short Documentary on Multiple Sclerosis, Inspires

2015-07-02 12:53
A 20-minute documentary (with English Sub-Titles) on multiple sclerosis, entitled simply “SM” (the original title in Polish) offers a poignant look at the lives, thoughts, and goals of three people with the disease. The two women and one man, who range in age from 20 to 61, demonstrate the universality of the determination, hope, and challenges of the disease.
The documentary on multiple sclerosis (see below) was written and directed by Ilona Bidzan, a psychologist, and filmed in Poland. The subtitled film shares the stories of 20-year-old Gabriela Zenka, a dancer; 41-year-old Wojciech Stanko, a photographer; and 61-year-old Emilia Ratajczak, a painter.
Bidzan told Multiple Sclerosis News Today that the documentary is “a journey into the depths of human mind in search for an answer to a question: how important are will power and fortitude in our life?” and about three individuals “who decide to change their life after hearing the diagnosis and against all odds live.”
Wojciech, for example, decided he would not the disease beat him and focused on what would seem to many to be an impossible goal: running a marathon. Then the relapses started, and with them a variety of life-altering symptoms. Does he keep running?
As an artist, Emilia depended on her hands to create. When she lost the use of her hands, she stated that “I couldn’t get round to painting with my mouth.”






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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lifestyle Changes Can HELP-to Heal Multiple Sclerosis

By Vera Tweed   |   Tuesday, 30 Jun 2015

Therapeutic lifestyle changes have recently become a top priority in multiple sclerosis research, and medical perspectives are beginning to change. 

Until recently, for example, MS patients typically were discouraged from doing physical exercise because it appeared to worsen fatigue and other symptoms of the nerve disease. Now, new evidence shows that the opposite is true.

“The first line for every chronic disease must begin with addressing diet and lifestyle as thoroughly as possible,” says Terry Wahls, M.D., clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa. 

She speaks not only from extensive research, but from personal experience. Dr. Wahls was confined to a wheelchair for four years after being diagnosed with MS in 2000. 
Without specific lifestyle changes to control MS, she tells Newsmax Health, “It is not possible to medicate yourself to health.”
Dr. Wahls developed a regimen that restored her own health. 

After helping other MS patients follow in her footsteps, she published research on the subject, and wrote "The Wahls Protocol," a blueprint to natural MS remission. 

Today, she bikes to work five miles each way and lives an exceptionally active life, teaching, seeing patients, and lecturing all over the world.

The right diet significantly reduces fatigue and improves mental function and mood, while exercise improves physical function, including the ability to stand and move. 

Dr. Wahls’ basic diet excludes gluten, dairy, and eggs, because these most often trigger autoimmune reactions that drive MS symptoms. 

However, certain vegetables contain critical nutrients for rebuilding a healthy nervous system and brain.

For men, she recommends three (or more) full dinner plates of vegetables daily: one of leafy greens; one of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, or bok choy; and one of brightly colored vegetables and fruit. 

Women,   -- click here to continue reading



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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Genentech’s ocrelizumab Significantly Reduced Both Relapses and Disability Progression versus interferon beta-1a (Rebif®) in Two Phase III Studies in Multiple Sclerosis

June 30, 2015


  • Studies showed superiority on primary and major secondary endpoints in people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis
  • Genentech will submit data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
  • Phase III study in primary progressive multiple sclerosis ongoing
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced positive results from two pivotal studies evaluating the investigational medicine ocrelizumab compared with interferon beta-1a (Rebif®), a standard-of-care therapy, in people with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), the most common form of the disease. The studies (called OPERA I and OPERA II) met their primary and major secondary endpoints.
Treatment with ocrelizumab significantly reduced the annualized relapse rate (ARR) over a two-year period compared with interferon beta-1a, the primary endpoint in both studies. Ocrelizumab also significantly reduced the progression of clinical disability compared with interferon beta-1a, as measured by the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).
Additionally, treatment with ocrelizumab led to a significant reduction in the number of lesions in the brain (areas of disease activity) compared with interferon beta-1a, as measured by MRI.
Overall, the incidence of adverse events associated with ocrelizumab was similar to interferon beta-1a in both studies; the most common adverse events were mild-to-moderate infusion-related reactions. The incidence of serious adverse events associated with ocrelizumab, including serious infections, was also similar to interferon beta-1a.
“Ocrelizumab showed remarkable improvements over a standard-of-care medicine across clinical and imaging endpoints in two pivotal studies,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “Ocrelizumab has the potential to make a meaningful difference for people with MS, a chronic and debilitating disease. Based on these compelling results, we plan to submit the data for review to U.S. and EU regulatory authorities in the first quarter of 2016.”
Further analyses of the OPERA studies are ongoing and detailed data will be presented at an upcoming medical congress.
Results from a Phase III study of ocrelizumab in people with primary progressive MS (PPMS), a different form of MS, are expected later this year.
About the OPERA Studies
OPERA I and OPERA II are Phase III, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, global multi-center studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of ocrelizumab (600 mg dose administered by intravenous infusion every six months) compared with interferon beta-1a (44 mcg dose administered by subcutaneous injection three times per week) in people with relapsing forms of MS.1 The primary endpoint of the OPERA studies was annualized protocol-defined relapse rate (ARR) at two years (96 weeks). Secondary endpoints included time to onset of confirmed disability progression, the total number of T1 Gadolinium-enhancing lesions, and total number of new and/or enlarging T2 hyperintense lesions as detected by brain MRI.
The OPERA I and OPERA II studies enrolled a total of 1,656 people with relapsing forms of MS (i.e., relapsing-remitting MS and secondary-progressive MS with relapses) across 307 sites in 40 countries.
About ocrelizumab
Ocrelizumab is an investigational, humanized monoclonal antibody designed to selectively target CD20-positive B cells. CD20-positive B cells are a specific type of immune cell thought to be a key contributor to myelin (nerve cell insulation and support) and axonal (nerve cell) damage, which can result in disability in people with MS. Ocrelizumab binds to CD20 cell surface proteins expressed on certain B cells, but not on stem cells or plasma cells. Therefore the ability to make new B cells is preserved in people treated with ocrelizumab.
The Phase III clinical development program for ocrelizumab includes the OPERA I and OPERA II studies in people with relapsing forms of MS, as well as ORATORIO, a randomized, double-blind, global multi-center, placebo-controlled study in people with PPMS.2
About Genentech in Neuroscience

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Hadassah Conducts Unprecedented Trial of Stem Cell Treatment for MS

June 25, 2015


Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, head of Hadassah Medical Organization’s Multiple Sclerosis Center

An unprecedented clinical trial launched at the Hadassah Medical Organization, which will test the effectiveness of a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) involving multiple injections of enhanced stem cells directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, could bring hope to the 2.5 million patients worldwide suffering from this neurodegenerative disease.
The trial, under the direction of Prof. Dimitrios Karussis, head of Hadassah’s Multiple Sclerosis Center, is a large randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study that will eventually have 48 MS patients. While the patients in the control group will not know if they are initially getting the actual treatment or a placebo, the trial contains a crossover design so that eventually everyone will get the stem cell treatment, although some patients will receive the actual treatment six months later.
The novel concept of injecting the stem cells directly into the spinal fluid is aimed at getting the cells to circulate to the various damaged areas of the central nervous system. The injected stem cells, explains Prof. Karussis, “are at their preliminary stage of maturity,”  having the potential to renew the damaged myelin, the nerve covering that degenerates in MS, as well as to suppress the disease. “The cell renewal process,” he says, “will not only prevent future MS attacks, but will also significantly improve motor and cognitive functions which were previously affected by MS, including walking, memory, and more. Preliminary results of our trial have seen wheelchair-bound patients getting back on their own two feet.”
Prof. Karussis hopes to have an interim analysis of the results within one year; the study is intended to be completed at the end of 2016 or early 2017.
“This is truly a groundbreaking trial on a worldwide scale,” concludes Prof. Karussis. “The various unprecedented components of the trial, including the multiple subjects, unique injection technique, and double-injection hope to pave the way to a new form of treatment for MS.
SOURCE



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The Burden of Disease A closer look at the consequences of living with multiple sclerosis


Click to open this .pdf document which will provide you with lots of information concerning the title of this posting
---  http://msatrium.com/pdf/Burden_of_disease_MS_atrium.pdf







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Dear Dealing with Cabin Fever, have you considered arts and crafts?

Dear Nurse,
I've been out of work for two months now due to my latest flare. I lost my job when it hit, so I have nothing to go back to. I have definitely been getting better, but due to the fact that my profession requires me to be on my feet quite a bit, I'm not ready to start applying for jobs yet. Any other jobs don’t seem to fit my financial needs or experience.
I never thought I would miss work, but I am bored out of my mind from sitting at home every day! I definitely need the money, but it is so much more than that right now. I miss the daily interaction with my coworkers and feeling like I actually do something.
I live alone and I've always loved it before, but five days a week with absolutely no human interaction is getting to me. I go between my TV and my computer all day long, every day. I used to enjoy browsing at stores on my days off, but now that just feels like a waste of gas and reminds me of everything I can't have.
I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I keep myself from going crazy when I can't do anything like I used to do?
Sincerely,
Dealing with Cabin Fever
Dear Dealing with Cabin Fever,
Well, I think it’s very important that you make an effort to get out of the house. You don’t want this to continue and have it feel harder and harder to overcome. Call up some of your friends or family and ask them to have lunch or go to the movies. One or two outings a week could be helpful. Maybe there’s a hobby you used to enjoy that you haven’t had time for? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try?
Another option is to check out what kind of organized activities are happening in your area. For example, many local craft stores have classes available and many of them are free. An activity like that would not only get you out of the house and give you a project to focus on, but it may also give you an opportunity to make some new friends.
Another thing I would recommend is checking with your local or national MS society to see if there are any job-training programs available that might interest you. It may be that you can find employment in a position that’s a better fit for your current situation. One of the resources that I give to some of my patients is called A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment. This may be very helpful to you as far as getting some retraining for another position when you are ready to go back and look for work.
I wish you well and hope that things work out for you.
— Nurse Janie, MS One to One Nurse
Janie

see more found here


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Novartis’ Gilenya Found to Have Long-Term Positive Effects on Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

A new study recently published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatryrevealed that long-term fingolimod therapy (marketed as Gilenya by Novartis) can maintain a low disease activity in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The study was conducted by an international team of researchers and is entitled “Long-term (up to 4.5 years) treatment with fingolimod in multiple sclerosis: results from the extension of the randomized TRANSFORMS study.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that results from an attack on the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optical nerves) by the body’s own immune system, causing inflammation and damage to the myelin layer that covers and protects neurons resulting in motor function impairment (coordination, balance, speech and vision), irreversible neurological disability and paralysis. It is estimated that more than 2.3 million people in the world suffer from MS, and 400,000 in the U.S. alone have the disease. The most frequent form of the disease is RRMS, which is clinically characterized by recurring episodes of neurological symptoms.
Fingolimod is an immunomodulating drug and an effective therapy for RRMS. The safety, tolerability and efficacy of two oral doses of fingolimod (0.5 or 1.25 mg once daily) were assessed in the 12-month, randomized, double-blind phase 3 clinical trial called TRANSFORMS (NCT00340834) in RRMS patients in comparison to treatment with interferon (IFN) beta-1a. The study revealed that fingolimod therapy at both doses significantly improved clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) outcomes with patients experiencing a reduction in the frequency of relapses in comparison to IFN beta-1a treatment.


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SHARED SOLUTIONS® - offering many services for the MS Patient


SHARED SOLUTIONS®

Support and partnership you can trust

Managing relapsing MS begins with living a healthy lifestyle and committing to a therapy that’s right for you. Having a team of people to help you may make things easier. That's where Shared Solutions® comes in.

A network of MS support from Day 1

CALL A MS-CERTIFIED NURSE

Shared Solutions® is a comprehensive network of free resources available to people with MS, CarePartners, friends, family, and anyone else who has been touched by MS. Shared Solutions® is here to support you wherever you are in your treatment experience, no matter which therapy you choose. Once you are enrolled with Shared Solutions®, a Case Manager will contact you to ensure that you have the personalized plan and assistance that you need to get started and stay on COPAXONE®.
Learn how Shared Solutions® provides the support, knowledge, and answers you need to help you get started on relapsing MS therapy—and stay committed to the therapy you choose.
Our offerings include:
Free in-home injection and refresher training
Feel confident and comfortable with your injections from the start...and throughout your COPAXONE®therapy experience. Our injection training nurses receive ongoing training, and can provide you with tips and techniques that can improve your injection experience.
24/7 phone support from MS-certified nurses
MS-certified nurses are available around the clock at our call center to answer your questions and provide the support you need, whether you have just been diagnosed or have been managing relapsing MS for some time.
Insurance and benefits investigation
Shared Solutions® believes that financial matters should not get in the way of your relapsing MS treatment.
Financial solutions
COPAXONE Co-pay Solutions® may be able to help you lower your co-pay for 3-times-a-weekCOPAXONE® 40 mg to $0 per month†† out of pocket. Benefits specialists at Shared Solutions® can help find personalized financial solutions to help you start and stay on COPAXONE® therapy.

Terms and Conditions
MS Peer* program
Shared Solutions® can make one-on-one support possible by matching you with an MS Peer* with whom you may share similar experiences and circumstances. Share your feelings, discuss important issues, and hear encouraging words from someone else with relapsing MS.
Live events
Stay in tune, informed, and in touch through events and support programs that connect you with the relapsing MS community and your peers.
National teleconference series
Call in to informative and educational relapsing MS programs hosted by leading MS experts.
And…
Free delivery of COPAXONE® refills right to your door

Shared Solutions® can help arrange home delivery service to qualifying patients.

Your Case Manager will get you started



  Our offerings include:   Click here to learn more


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