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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Multiple Sclerosis and Personalized Medicine

July 2015
2015-07-24 11:42
For people with multiple sclerosis who choose to take medications, identifying which one or ones will be effective is a challenge and often discouraging. Now a team in Italy has discovered a specific gene mutation that may eventually help bring personalized medicine to multiple sclerosis patients.
Personalized medicine is an emerging field, and the area that is getting the most action is in cancer treatment. However, Federica Esposito, MD, PhD, and her team at San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan may now know why certain people with MS respond differently to different medications for the disease, such as interferon-β (IFNβ)
Interferon-β medications are similar to the interferon that the body produces naturally in response to disease. Although experts do not entirely understand how these medications work, they do know they have an impact on the immune system, fight viral infections and inflammation, and help prevent loss of myelin (demyelination).

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Wahls Protocol for Multiple Sclerosis

Wahls Protocol for multiple sclerosis
Of the many natural treatment approaches to multiple sclerosis, the Wahls Protocol, which includes a diet and lifestyle program designed to support brain cell function, has attracted special attention in part because it was developed by a physician who has MS. Another reason is that many people who have tried it say it works, but not everyone agrees.
In this way, the Wahls diet and lifestyle plan is not unlike other treatment options for multiple sclerosis, or for other diseases

Therefore, if you have heard about the Wahls Protocol and want to know more about it or if you’ve never heard of it and are curious, then read on for an overview of what the diet and lifestyle involve.
About Dr. Wahls
Dr. Terry L. Wahls is a staff physician at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospital and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2000 and now lives with secondary progressive MS.
Dr. Wahls developed her protocol after years of research, trial and error, and determination. Some of her efforts were documented in a journal article published in 2009 in Cases Journal, entitled “Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and dietary interventions to reduce oxidative stress in a secondary progressive multiple sclerosis patient leads to marked gains in function: a case report.”

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Understanding Tremors in Multiple Sclerosis

Tremors are one of the more common symptoms of multiple sclerosis. This uncontrollable shaking can be especially bothersome, embarrassing, and debilitating at times, but there are ways to help manage it.
When tremors in multiple sclerosis occur, which they do in about 75 percent of patients with MS, they tend to be mild and transient. However, some people experience more severe shaking called gross tremors, which can be severe and debilitating.
Tremors in multiple sclerosis and spasticity are not the same. While the former involves shaking, the latter refers to involuntary muscle spasms and feelings of pain and stiffness that may be mild to severe. Spasticity most often occurs in the legs, although it can present in and round the joints and may even affect the vocal cord muscles.
Tremors in multiple sclerosis typically are one of three types. All of them are associated with damage (demyelination) along the nerve pathways that are involved with coordination of movement. Demyelination is the loss of the protective coating (myelin) on nerve fibers, which results in an interruption of nerve signals from the brain to the muscles.
  • Intention tremor, which is the most common type. People with intention tremor will shake when they reach for or pick up an object or more their foot to a precise spot. If you experience intention tremor, you know how frustrating it can be.
  • Postural tremors occur when you are standing or sitting but not when you are lying down. These tremors occur because your body is attempting to fight gravity.
  • Nystagmus is a tremor that causes jerky movements of the eye

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Balance Problems for Multiple Sclerosis Patients Come from T Cells

July 31, 2015

Balance problems frequently experienced by multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may stem from what researchers are terming a “faulty brake,” according to findings published in the journal Immunity.   Researchers from the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital observed a mutation in the gene Nlrp12 in mice models in order to determine what effects the mutation was having on immune cells (T cells). The T cells have what the researchers called a “faulty brake,” where the inflammation should be controlled. By identifying the root of the issue, the researchers believe they have found a potential target for new MS therapies, which can lead to more treatments for other immune diseases like colitis and atopic dermatitis.  

The researchers found that the Nlrp12 gene was causing the T cells to malfunction in the mice models. Typically, the protein is supposed to inhibit T cells to control the inflammatory response; however, the opposite effect was taking place, resulting in severe inflammation. This surprised the researchers the most. The inflammation caused by the faulty T cells did not cause paralysis, a trademark of MS, but instead, produced balance control problems.   This finding is important, the researchers said, because investigators in the past have struggled to reproduce these effects in laboratory settings. They believe their efforts can lead the way to better understanding MS and other autoimmune diseases, and maybe even cure them. 

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Prolactin and Multiple Sclerosis

July 2015

The question about the relationship between prolactin and multiple sclerosis is one that numerous researchers have been trying to answer. What do we know about the potential benefits or disadvantages of this hormone when it comes to MS?
The question about the relationship between prolactin and multiple sclerosis is one that numerous researchers have been trying to answer. What do we know about the potential benefits or disadvantages of this hormone when it comes to MS?
Prolactin is a hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland. Its function in women is to stimulate breast development and milk production, but thus far there is no known normal function for the hormone in men.
Prolactin and multiple sclerosis
An interesting observation about prolactin and multiple sclerosis in pregnant women is that levels of the hormone peak during the trimester of pregnancy, at about the same time MS tends to go into remission. This prolactin and multiple sclerosis relationship continues when women choose to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding stimulates additional release of prolactin while levels decline in women who do not breastfeed. A meta-analysis has shown that women with MS who breastfed were nearly half as likely to experience a post-partum relapse when compared with women who did not breastfeed.

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Finding Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trials

Some individuals who have multiple sclerosis have thought about or are interested in participating in clinical trials. 

For those who fall into these categories and who would like some assistance, there is a Clinical Trial Notification Program that can let you know about multiple sclerosis clinical trials for which you may qualify.

The Clinical Trial Notification Program (CTNP) is a project of MS News Today, an online digital publication that covers science and research news related to multiple sclerosis. Its editorial staff consists of researchers, medical professionals, journalists, and scientists.
multiple sclerosis clinical trials
Participation in the program is voluntary. According to MS News Today, none of the information provided by individuals will be shared with third parties except when participants grant permission.
Anyone with multiple sclerosis who wants to join CTNP is asked to complete an online questionnaire, which asks for contact information, age, form of multiple sclerosis affecting the patient, when diagnosed, treatments currently using, and symptoms. CTNP then uses that information to match individuals directly to clinical trials that are relevant.
When a potential match is made, CTNP will contact the individual via email and provide information about the trial and the company that is sponsoring it. The individual’s contact information is also sent to the clinical trial’s investigational personnel, who will then contact the patient.
Benefits and risks of clinical trials
If you have never participated in a clinical trial and/or you are curious about the pros and cons of doing so, here are a few factors to consider:

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Massage for Multiple Sclerosis


massage for multiple sclerosis Massage for multiple sclerosis is not a cure, but it can provide significant benefits without the risk of drug side effects. In fact, the authors of numerous studies have reported on the advantages of this complementary therapy for MS patients.

Massage has been around for thousands of years and has been a part of healing as well as religious, athletic, and sexual activities. However, it wasn’t until relatively recently that it began to take on a life of its own as a therapeutic tool.
Of the dozens of different types of massage available, the one that is generally recommended for people with multiple sclerosis is Swedish massage because it uses light pressure and long strokes. Swedish massage also is one of the more popular methods, and its basic techniques can be learned quite readily so family or friends can do it at home.
For people with multiple sclerosis, massage can help relieve muscle spasms and pain, reduce stress and anxiety, improve blood circulation, and enhance quality of life. Massage for multiple sclerosis will not, however, serve as a substitute for physical exercise.
What might you expect if you try massage for multiple sclerosis? Here are the findings of a few studies.
Click here to read more

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Exercising your arms and legs

MS Exercise Challenge
Stick with it! It can take two weeks to notice a change in strength with regular exercise.


CME - Regarding MS disease modifying therapies

MS leaders e-mail logo header 

Dear MS-Leaders Registrant,

Can you correctly answer this question: 

 Regarding MS disease modifying therapies, which of the following is correct?
A. Relative to placebo, teriflunomide has been shown to reduce the relapse rate by approximately 30%

B. Relative to subcutaneous interferon beta1a, alemtuzumab has been shown to reduce the relapse rate by 40% in patients who have relapsed on treatment
C. Fingolimod has been shown to be superior to glatiramer acetate
D. In general, it is recommended that disease modifying therapies are continued until after conception

Participate in our Clinical Dialogue and eCase Challenge to learn the answer to this and other questions related to MS therapy.

Earn Up to 1.0 Free CME or CNE Credit!

Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Medical Logix, LLC, are currently offering this educational program certified for CME and CNE credit, at no charge to participants:

Activity valid for credit through February 6, 2016
Acknowledgement of Commercial Support: 
Supported by an independent educational grant from EMD Serono.

Intended Audience:
This activity is intended for physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, registered nurses, and other allied healthcare professionals involved in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Accreditation Statement:
ACCME - This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of Postgraduate Institute for Medicine and Medical Logix, LLC. Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

ANCC - Postgraduate Institute for Medicine is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Credit Designation Statement:
ACCME - The Postgraduate Institute for Medicine designates these enduring materials for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

ANCC - This educational activity for 0.5 contact hours is provided by Postgraduate Institute for Medicine (per web activity). Pharmacotherapy contact hours for Advance Practice Registered Nurses will be designated on your certificate.

Format and Method of Participation:
There are no fees for participating and receiving CME or CNE credit for this activity. During the accreditation period, participants must read the learning objectives and faculty disclosures and review this internet-based activity. To take the post-test, please click on the post-test button below the slide window of the player. Complete the post-test and evaluation and attest to the amount of time spent in the activity. Upon receiving a score of 70% or above, print your CME or CE certificate.

For CME or CNE questions, please contact Postgraduate Institute for Medicine at: or (303) 799-1930.

Please keep in mind that you will need to login with your email address and password to access this program.  If you forgot your password, click on the 'Forgot Password' link in the top right corner of the site.

We hope you enjoy these informative educational programs! 

The MS-Leaders Team

Produced in cooperation with:
Medical Logix, LLC


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Nutra Pharma Working on Pediatric MS Treatment Based on Venom

July 21st, 2015     written by:  Daniela Semedo, PhD

Nutra Pharma Working on Pediatric MS Treatment Based on Venom

Nutra Pharma, a US-based biotechnology a company specializing in the acquisition, licensing, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, recently announced that it has filed an application with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for orphan drug status for its investigational drug RPI-78M as a treatment for pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS).
The company markets Nyloxin and Pet Pain-Away in the over-the-counter (OTC) pain management market, and also develops treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), HIV, adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN) and general pain.
If the orphan drug designation is granted to RPI-78M, it would provide the company with a seven-year period of market exclusivity in the US upon receiving FDA approval.
The FDA Orphan Drug Designation program provides orphan status to drugs and biologics, which are defined as those intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases/disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S., or that affect more than 200,000 persons but are not expected to recover the costs of developing and marketing a treatment drug.
In the US, it is easier to gain marketing approval for an orphan drug, and there may be other financial incentives, such as extended exclusivity periods intended to encourage the development of drugs, and the waiver of Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) filing fees, which can offer savings of us to $2.5 million.

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Learning To Heal: The Wound Is The Place Where The Light Enters You

written by: Cathy Chester - the Empowered Spirit

Disappointment. Heartache. Illness. Fear. Sadness. Loss.
The words dangle before my eyes, suspended in midair as if to taunt me. They hang in the balance as constant reminders of what is now. I close my eyes tightly, hoping they’ll disappear. But when I open them they dance wildly as if to mock me for the hope that went unanswered.
I know I don’t have the corner on pain and sadness. No one escapes this life without experiencing it. But I’ve had more than my share of disappointment and anguish this year, in ways that I never imagined. After speaking with my closest friends they agreed on one thing: Write about it.
So I’ll try, in my own way, to explain my thoughts without being too maudlin. I know people mean well when they offer trite platitudes like “When one window closes another one opens” or “We all get as much as the Lord thinks we can handle” but honestly, I don’t agree that our problems will be solved by those phrases.
I believe we are helped by the important lessons we learn from others’ examples, and the brilliance we absorb from stories we read by the Masters.
That is what lifts our spirits to be able to face whatever comes our way.
When I graduated from elementary school my oldest brother gave me a book that I cherish to this day. It was “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran, and I quickly devoured it. As I allowed the words to wash over me something powerful began to happen. It was as if an inner silence suddenly sprung to life. Looking back I realize that feeling was the beginning of my lifelong love (and need) of philosophy and spirituality.

READ more

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Exercise your CLAMS

MS Exercise Challenge
One of the most important things you can do to ensure success with exercise is to believe in yourself. Remember, you can do it!

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RSVP to attend the Next MS Symposium in Atlanta - a welcomed learning experience for many affected by Multiple Sclerosis

So much to learn from this Years MS Views and News, MS Symposium in Atlanta, Ga. including a topic designed for the Caregiver

This is a multiple topics educational program with (4) different presenters

Speakers include:  Dr. Ben Thrower, MD
                               Tracy Walker, ARNP
                               Mark Biernath, PA
                               Kristie Salerno Kent

To register for this event on September 12th , either click here or click on the program flyer 

See the patient-made video showing below the flyer


Our final Speaker of the day is Kristie Salerno Kent a known patient advocate who also created this video:

Kristie will have other things to share with you when she speaks at this program

PLEASE SHARE this Program posting with others affected by MS in the Atlanta region

To register for this event, either click here or click on the program flyer



MSC applauds passage of 21st Century Cures Act

Inclusion of data-gathering provision is vital to future MS research

Hackensack, NJ, July 10, 2015: The member organizations of the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition (MSC) congratulate the House on the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act - #Cures2015. The MSC specifically applauds the inclusion of H.R. 292 as a provision of the Act, the goal of which is to establish a data system to track the incidence and prevalence of neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis. 

This provision will help advance MS research by establishing a data system to collect the size and makeup of the MS population. Currently, no one has an accurate account of how many people in the United States have MS or the demographic characteristics of those living with MS. As a result, MS researchers are working at a distinct disadvantage because they are operating without basic information about the disease. By establishing this data system, researchers will be supplied data that may point to new environmental triggers, which could lead to a better understanding of the disease and new disease targets. 

“The collection of this data is vital to the future of MS research,” said Multiple Sclerosis Coalition President Lisa Skutnik. “We are proud to support this legislative effort to accelerate the discovery, development and delivery of treatments and thank the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their leadership on behalf of people with MS and other illnesses.” 


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