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Saturday, June 25, 2016

How Does Cannabis Consumption Affect Neurodegenerative Diseases?


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By Jeremy Kossen — 6/23/2016

While most people associate neurodegenerative disorders with diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson disease, there are actually hundreds of different neurodegenerative diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. As legalization continues to bring cannabis to the forefront, caregivers and loved ones of patients afflicted with neurodegenerative diseases are increasingly curious about whether medical marijuana can help alleviate symptoms. How might cannabis help the millions of patients diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder? 

Can Cannabis Treat Neurodegenerative Disease?

Medical marijuana
Because cannabinoids have neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory qualities, many speculate that cannabis could prove useful in preventing, halting, or reversing debilitating neurodegenerative disorder.
Juan Sanchez-Ramos, MD, PhD, a professor of molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, is optimistic, noting that early laboratory studies have identified cannabinoids which, by virtue of their neuro-protective and anti-oxidative actions, have the potential to "slow the onset and progression of neurodegenerative conditions."
Sanchez-Ramos cautions we need far more human trials, but the federal government’s long-standing position on cannabis as an illegal Schedule I drug with “no known medical use” has impeded progress of researchers who face unnecessary obstacles to conduct research, a point he argued in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed. The government’s position has “hampered clinical research on cannabis for nearly half a century.”

What are Neurodegenerative Diseases?

Doctor looking at brain scans
“Neurodegenerative disease” refers to a variety of conditions that affect neurons – or nerve cells – in the brain. Neurons comprise the building blocks of our nervous system, including our spinal cord and brain.
he Harvard Neurodiscovery Center put forth a chilling observation:
“If left unchecked, 30 years from now, more than 12 million Americans will suffer from neurodegenerative diseases.”
Another staggering statistic: In 2010, the global cost of Alzheimer's disease was $604 billion, or 1% of global GDP.
For patients and their families, these incurable, debilitating diseases can be devastating, and given the far-reaching impact of these diseases, researching cost-effective solutions should be a top priority.
Cannabinoids 101: What Makes Cannabis Medicine?

Most Common Forms of Neurodegenerative Disease

The most frequently diagnosed neurodegenerative disorders are:
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”)
  • Parkinson’s
  • Huntington’s
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Prion disease
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
Remarkably, Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for possibly 60-80% of cases.
How Does Cannabis Affect Your Memory?

Causes and Symptoms of Neurodegenerative Disease

Continue reading/

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Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate


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Ginseng, Fish, Berries, or Caffeine?

Listen to the buzz about foods and dietary supplements, and you'll believe they can do everything from sharpen focus to enhance memory, attention span, and brain function.
But do they really work? There's no denying that as we age, our body ages right along with us. The good news is that you can improve your chances of maintaining a healthy brain if you add "smart" foods and drinks to your diet.

Caffeine Can Make You More Alert

There's no magic bullet to boost IQ or make you smarter -- but certain substances, like caffeine, can energize you and help you concentrate. Found in coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, and some medications, caffeine gives you that unmistakable wake-up buzz, though the effects are short-term. And more is often less: Overdo it on caffeine and it can make you jittery and uncomfortable.

Sugar Can Enhance Alertness

Sugar is your brain's preferred fuel source -- not table sugar, but glucose, which your body processes from the sugars and carbs you eat. That's why a glass of something sweet to drink can offer a short-term boost to memory, thinking, and mental ability.
Have too much, though, and memory can be impaired -- along with the rest of you. Go easy on the sugar so it can enhance memory without packing on the pounds
continue   -- from WebMD

Would You Try Marijuana Gum For Multiple Sclerosis?


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If upcoming study results are positive, people with multiple sclerosis may have a marijuana gum available for treatment of symptoms by 2017. The gum is made by AXIM Biotechnology, Inc. and is called MedChew Rx.

The marijuana gum has . been tested for treatment of pain andspasticity in multiple sclerosis ., and the company expects the Food and Drug Administration Ms Treatment.and the European Ms Treatment.Medicines Agency to approve the product for this use. MedChew Rx contains Ms Treatment. 5 mg Ms Treatment.of cannabidiol (CBD) and 5 mg of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and will be available by prescription.

Cannabidiol is one of more than 100 cannabinoid chemicals found in Ms Treatment. marijuana plants. It does not make people high and has been shown to possess multiple health benefits, Ms Treatment. including an ability to treat seizures and other neurological conditions. THC, another type of cannabinoid, Ms Treatment. has psychoactive properties as well as medicinal abilities.

How marijuana gum works
According to Dr. George E. Anastassoy, MD, DDS, MBA, chief executive officer of AXIM Biotechnology, the marijuana gum is unique because of its “precise, controlled release mechanism to the oral mucosal Ms Treatment. capillary circulation,” Ms Treatment. which means it bypasses the liver. Obtaining the marijuana components via chewing also is safer, associated with fewer side effects, and more socially acceptable Ms Treatment. than traditional methods, such as smoking or oral Ms Treatment. consumption, according to Professor John Zajicek, an expert on medical cannabis and the individual responsible for conducting AXIM’s clinical trials on pain and spasticity in multiple sclerosis Ms Treatment.

Zajicek noted in a company statement that Ms Treatment. “Chewing gum is a potentially good route as it would avoid respiratory irritations” Ms Treatment. that some people experience when smoking and that “it will deliver a prolonged dose without peaking too much.”            - continue

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Obama is gutting Medicare


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June 21, 2016

Under the guise of “reform,” President Obama is dismantling Medicare — dooming seniors to needless pain and disability and shortening their lives.
The stakes are high, because Medicare and the access it gives patients to medical innovations have transformed aging. Before Medicare, older folks languished in nursing homes or wheelchairs with crippling illnesses. Now, seniors dodge that fate, thanks to hip and knee replacements, cataract operations and heart procedures — all paid for by Medicare.
The American Journal of Public Health reports that a man turning 65 can expect to live almost five years longer than he would have in 1970 — and almost all of it in good health. What a priceless gift.
A gift Obama is snatching away.
The president’s Medicare reforms make it harder for seniors to get joint replacements. His new payment rules shortchange doctors, discouraging them from accepting Medicare in the first place. New ER rules clobber seniors with bills for “observation care.” Under ObamaCare, hospitals get bonuses for spending less per senior, despite having higher death rates and infection rates.
Expect the Medicare Trustees’ annual report, due out Wednesday, to ignore these problems.

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Risk Evaluation of Multiple Sclerosis Medications


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Published on Jun 3, 2016
Dr. Daniel Kantor talks with Dr. Clyde Markowitz, Associate Professor of Neurology and Director of the MS Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, about risk evaluation of Multiple Sclerosis medications.


Dr. Markowitz - tells it like it is -- 
     Stu's Views : I enjoyed listening to the questions and the responses

     an MS World presentation


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Important interview describes the concerns and dangers of current stem cell therapy


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Important interview details the concerns and dangers of current stem cell therapy 

  Video-Interview with Jack Burks, MD
       Interviewer is Daniel Kantor, MD 
          Produced by MS World 

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Friday, June 24, 2016

A New Model of MS - "The Topographical Model of MS"


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An Entirely New Way to Think About Multiple Sclerosis?

Stephen Krieger, MD
Disclosures | May 14, 2015

Watch video presentation or read what is shown in the video

Hi. I'm Dr Stephen Krieger, a neurologist at the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. I'm here at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in Washington, DC, where I had the chance to present for the first time a new visualization of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease course that I call "The Topographical Model of MS," so I thought I would show that to you and present it here. We've had disease course categories in MS for 20 years: our relapsing-remitting, secondary progressive, and primary progressive types, but often those don't fully and neatly apply to individual patients. So I've come up with a different model of MS disease course that looks at the mixture of relapsing disease and progressive disease as more of a continuum rather than having discrete categories of disease course. This is because our differences between categories may not always capture the clinical nuance that individual patients have and perhaps could have implications for how we think about our therapies and our goals of treatment.
So the topographical model of MS looks at a few key factors, things like relapse rate, recovery, severity, and also what I'm calling the topographical distribution of lesions—really lesion localization, which is obviously so important in neurology and in MS particularly. And then there is the progression rate, and progression rate seems to be a really separate feature of the disease course in MS.
The main observation of this model is that progress in MS, when it occurs, seems to take the form of prior relapses. For example, take a patient who had a bad relapse of right leg weakness that recovered and got back to normal—if she begins to progress some years later, that progression begins again with the same right-leg weakness that she experienced as part of her relapse. That recapitulation of relapse symptoms permanently in the context of progression, I think, is an important feature in the MS clinical course, and that is what is shown in this model.
The model is principally a visual one and depicts the central nervous system as a pool with a shallow end and a deep end. The shallow end and the deep end refer to different amounts of neurologic and functional reserve—the spinal cord and optic nerves have little reserve, and most relapses in MS happen in these areas. The brain stem has a bit more reserve and is in the middle—certainly some relapses can occur there. Finally, the hemispheres have the most reserve, so most of our periventricular lesions that we think of as being so typical in MS rarely cross the clinical threshold to cause symptoms. That clinical threshold, I think, is really an important feature of the MS clinical course. It's what defines whether a patient develops signs and symptoms or whether their lesions remain subclinical. So I show, through a series of 3D-rendered models, how the disease course unfold over time.
Here I'll show you some of a secondary progressive disease course, which begins with relapsing-remitting disease and proceeds through early progression. In the earliest stages of the disease course in MS, we have lesion formation shown here as these topographical peaks. This is the radiologic isolated syndrome—nothing has crossed that clinical threshold. so there are no signs or symptoms. By year 5, a first attack occurs in the spinal cord, so this peak crosses the clinical threshold, causes a myelopathy, and then recovers below the threshold. A couple of years later, we have more subthreshold lesions that emerge and are consistent with additional brain stem or hemisphere lesions. Then in year 7, the second attack occurs. In this case, it is a brain stem syndrome that recovers right to the threshold. But you see that the threshold is declining, and so even as relapses and new lesions continue to occur, perhaps more significantly that threshold has declined as functional reserve is lost. The topographical peaks, the lesions, are now visible above the surface.
So even while there is continued disease activity, disability is really being driven here in years 11, 12, and 13 by the declining water level—that loss of reserve revealing a multifocal cord syndrome myelopathy (multifocal brain stem signs that are such cardinal manifestations of progressive MS). Here at year 17, we see a black hole that formed; it too crossed the threshold. Black holes are these more damaging lesions in MS, and so we see that here they're peaking above the threshold even in the cerebral hemispheres.
I think we can think of disease course in MS as having both effects from the floor—new lesions emerging—and also effects from the surface as the threshold declines as functional reserve is lost. This is a clinical manifestation framework. It's not making any new claims about mechanism of disease or the underlying biology. But I think if we look at disease course through this lens, we could think about how better to model and predict the emergence of relapses—and also the transition into progression, which happens so gradually—and think about the goals of our disease-modifying therapies as preventing lesions from rising from the floor of the tank but also acting on the surface by affecting the decline of functional reserve that happens over the course of progression. These two things may be fundamentally different goals of our disease-modifying therapies, and this may have implications for how we think about MS, how we teach it to our patients, how they distinguish between new relapses and stability, or relapses and pseudoexacerbations, or Uhthoff's phenomenon. It may help patients better understand MS, and we may be able to model and study disease course over time.

Source: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/844354

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What Is Medical Marijuana?


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What Is Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is any part of the marijuana plant that you use to treat health problems. People use it to get relief from their symptoms, not to try to get high.
Most marijuana that's sold legally as medicine has the same ingredients as the kind that people use for pleasure. But some medical marijuana is specially grown to have less of the chemicals that cause feelings of euphoria.

medical marijuana strains

Continue reading from here

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NYAS Conference on MS to Explore Emerging Diagnostics and Treatment Options


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JUNE 23, 2016  
By: Carolina Henriques

An upcoming conference will explore new and emerging treatment options for multiple sclerosis (MS), focusing on the intersection between laboratory findings and clinical care, and the search for discoveries that may lead to important innovations in treating this neurological disease.
The daylong conference, open to academics, clinical researchers and industry leaders, is hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), and titled “Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnostic and Treatment Frontiers.” It will take place on June 28 at NYAS offices in Manhattan. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is a main event sponsor.
Plenary sessions will cover current therapies; MS diagnostics, prognostics and predictive biomarkers; the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to diagnose and monitor patients; and emerging treatment data. A session on “Late-breaking Data Blitz Presentations,” looking at myelin-reactive T-cells and axonal damage, is also planned. Details on each session are available through this NYAS link.
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Helius Medical Technologies Announces Results from a Case Series of Subjects with Advanced MS


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Helius Medical Technologies Announces Results from a Case Series of Subjects with Advanced MS - Helius

Press Releases T Helius Medical Technologi...
Newtown, PA– June 21, 2016 – Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. (TSX: HSM, HSM.S, OTCQB: HSDT) (“Helius” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the results of a case series of individuals with advanced symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treated with PoNS™ Therapy.

This study was performed at TCNL1, University of Wisconsin, Madison and the data was presented at the 2016, Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC).

Six subjects with advanced MS (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)2 scores ranging from 6.5 to 7.5) were enrolled in a six-month pilot study.

Subjects were trained in PoNS™ Therapy which combines use of the prototype PoNS™ device with physical training in balance, gait, movement and postural stability. Results demonstrated improvements in physical, cognitive and quality of life parameters.  The demanding training regimen also resulted in significant real life improvements such as re-adopting a walker for community mobility, decreased fatigue, increased independence with daily activities, overcoming physical obstacles at home and increased community access.

“Those with greater functional ability at the beginning of the study (EDSS 6.5-7.0) made the most significant gains but all subjects could be qualified as improved. The intervention shows promise to prolong functional ambulation and independence with daily activity,” said Principal Investigator Mitch Tyler.

In a separate MS Pilot study, sponsored by Helius (see press release November 2, 2015), the average EDSS score of the subjects was 4.5, while the average in this subject pool was 7.0.  In applauding the efforts of the TCNL investigators, Helius CEO Phillippe Deschamps noted, “The patients in this study represent a much more challenging cohort and received PoNSTM Therapy for a longer period (6-months vs. 14-weeks), yet compliance remained high. The outcome is very encouraging”.

1) The TCNL is the Tactile Communications and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The PoNS™ was developed at TCNL and licensed to a Helius subsidiary..
2)  EDSS is a measure of MS disease severity where 0=normal and 10=death.

About PoNS™ Therapy
The Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS™) is an investigational non-invasive device designed to deliver neurostimulation through the tongue.  PoNS™ Therapy combines the use of the device with physical therapy and is currently being evaluated in a multicenter clinical trial for the treatment of balance disorder for subjects with mild to moderate Traumatic Brain Injury.

About Helius Medical Technologies, Inc.
Helius Medical Technologies is a medical technology company focused on neurological wellness.  Helius seeks to develop, license and acquire unique and non-invasive platform technologies that amplify the brain’s ability to heal itself.  Helius intends to file for FDA clearance for the PoNS™ device.  For more information, please visit www.heliusmedical.com.

The Toronto Securities Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release.

Cautionary Disclaimer Statement:
Certain statements in this news release are not based on historical facts and constitute forward-looking statements or forward-looking information within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Canadian securities laws (“forward-looking statements”).

All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements include, among others, statements regarding ongoing or planned clinical research, expected future development timelines, regulatory approvals, business initiatives and objectives and use of proceeds from financings or other business initiatives.

Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions.

There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the failure of the Company to achieve its business objectives and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulators.

The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. Risks and uncertainties about the Company’s business are more fully discussed in the Company’s disclosure materials, including the short form prospectus filed in connection with the Offering, its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian securities regulators and which can be obtained from either at www.sec.gov or www.sedar.com.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from such statements except to the extent required by law.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Join the RMS community for tips and inspiration at Lift MS


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Join the RMS community for tips and inspiration at Lift MS
Find resources and inspiration for managing your RMS
Lift MS is an exciting new resource hosted by Teva Neuroscience, Inc. for encouraging RMS awareness and healthy living. Empower yourself with tips from physicians and nurses and inspiration from the RMS community.

Keep on top of your RMS therapy by staying informed and engaged. At LiftMS.com, you can:
Hear updates and advice on RMS from experts, advocates, physicians and nurses.
Connect with the RMS community
Find encouraging tips for wellness
Empower yourself with information. Learn what people are saying at Lift MS.
Explore Lift MS

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