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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Alleviating Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms Possible with Yoga and Aquatic Exercises


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Multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and paresthesia can be alleviated using yoga and aquatic exercises, according to findings published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.   

Researchers from the University of Basel randomly assigned 54 women with MS to various exercise groups in order to explore the idea that standard immune regulatory medicine can ameliorate both fatigue and depression in MS patients. They also wanted to investigate whether these activities can influence paresthesia compared to patients not in an exercise program.   The women, whose average age was 34 years, could be assigned to a yoga class, aquatic exercise or a non-exercise control group. The women’s existing therapies were not changed or stopped. Patients also completed two questionnaires – one at baseline and one after eight weeks – which discussed their symptoms of fatigue, depression, and paresthesia. - 

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Multiple sclerosis movement and balance problems cause identified, can help cure other autoimmune disease


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By: Emily Lunardo | Brain Function | Friday, July 15, 2016 

 Multiple sclerosis (MS) movement and balance problems cause identified and it can help cure other autoimmune diseases. The researchers found what they call a faulty “brake” in the immune cells. This “brake” should be controlling inflammation – but it doesn’t. The new findings could also be useful in development of new targeted therapies for other autoimmune diseases as well.
Additionally, the study produced new research models for multiple sclerosis symptoms like movement and balance problems – which could be used as effective tools for better understanding multiple sclerosis.
The researchers uncovered a mutation in the gene NIrp12 that puts immune T cells out of order. Under normal circumstances, a protein in T cells acts as a brake for inflammatory response. A mutation in NIrp12 disrupts this process, triggering severe inflammation.
Surprisingly, the inflammation did not onset the paralysis, characteristic of MS, but it did trigger other multiple sclerosis symptoms, like movement and balance control problems.
Researcher John Lukens said, “It’s important to note that MS is a spectrum disorder – some patients present with paralyzing conditions and some patients don’t. Not everybody’s symptoms are the same, so this might give us a glimpse into the etiology or pathogenesis of that family of MS,”
Blocking the inflammatory response may help find a way to control these symptoms and inform further therapy developments.

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Lyme disease vs. multiple sclerosis (MS): Differences in symptoms, causes, and treatment


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It’s important to do a comparison of Lyme disease vs. multiple sclerosis (MS) as the two do have much in common. At the same time, they both have their own unique differences that distinguish one from another.
Lyme disease is caused by a bite from a deer tick or black-legged tick, which transfer Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The longer a tick is attached to you, the higher your risk of developing Lyme disease is.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the myelin, a protective coating around the nerves and spinal cord. As myelin deteriorates, it damages the nerves and spinal cord, thus causing the MS symptoms.
Lyme disease may present itself like multiple sclerosis, but there are distinctive differences, which we will outline to help you decipher between the two.

Lyme disease and MS: Often confused

In order to get a definite diagnosis of either Lyme disease or multiple sclerosis, doctors will have to conduct several tests, including blood tests, to confirm diagnosis of either one. Symptoms alone may be quite confusing.
Although it is unlikely that a patient has both Lyme disease and MS, the possibility is still there. Lyme disease symptoms may appear like multiple sclerosis, causing confusion at first. It is only with an MRI scan and spinal tap that the doctors can confirm or deny a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.

Lyme disease vs. MS: U.S. prevalence

multiple sclerosisMajority of MS patients are diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 40, but it can develop at any age. There are over 400,000 cases of multiple sclerosis in the U.S., with women accounting for the majority of cases. Each week, there are an additional 200 cases of multiple sclerosis diagnosed in America.
There are roughly 30,000 Lyme disease cases reported annually, but it’s not an accurate reflection of how many cases actually occur, as these are incidences only reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In order to improve data collection on Lyme disease, the CDC has set out two different studies known as Project 1 and Project 2. Project 1 estimated 228,000 cases of Lyme disease through laboratory testing, and Project 2 estimated 329,000 cases of Lyme disease based on claims from medical insurance databases.
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Friday, July 15, 2016

What Is an MS Hug?


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What You’re Feeling

Like most symptoms of MS, the feeling is different for each person. You might have pain under your rib cage or anywhere between your neck and waistline. It can be dull and achy, sharp, or burning. It can last a few seconds to a few hours, and in rare cases, a few days.
Some people describe a slight tingling or tickling vibration, while others say it’s a crippling pressure below their ribs that can make it hurt to breathe. People often say it’s like wearing a girdle around the middle of your body. For that reason, you may also hear it called the “MS girdle” or “girdle-band” sensation.

What’s Really Going On?

In between each of your ribs are small muscles that hold your rib cage together and help it expand when you move, bend, or breathe. If these muscles have spasms, you feel painful, tightening pressure.

What Should You Do?

         to continue reading click here to be redirected to WebMD

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MS and Booze: Should They Mix?


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You're at a restaurant with friends and the question comes up before you've even had a chance to look over the menu: drinks, anyone? If you have multiple sclerosis, you may want to think it through before you say, "yes." If you ask experts whether alcohol and MS mix, the answer is, "it's complicated." Like a lot of things in life, there are some pros and cons to the issue.

Why It May Be OK

One potential benefit of alcohol is the possibility that moderate amounts may be good for heart health. Why is that important if you've got MS?
"There is some data that MS patients are a little more likely to have cardiovascular disease than the general population," says Anthony Reder, MD, professor of neurology at the University of Chicago Medicine, "so it might be beneficial for MS patients to drink in moderation."
How much is moderate? The government's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" says it's one drink a day if you're a woman and up to two drinks a day if you're a man.

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How Multiple Sclerosis Changes Over Time


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In this article:
What Is a True Relapse of Multiple Sclerosis?
What Is a Pseudo-Relapse in Multiple Sclerosis?
What Is Remission in Multiple Sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is different for everyone who has it. The symptoms it causes and when they flare up vary not only between people but also throughout one person’s life. This means it can be hard for doctors to diagnose someone with the condition. They might say you "probably" or "possibly" have MS.

Your diagnosis is based on the symptoms you have, how and when they flare up or improve, which of your body’s functions give you trouble, and your test results. There’s no way to predict how your condition will change throughout your life. It may take time, but as your doctor gets more clues about the type of MS you have, you can have a clearer idea of how it will affect you in the coming years.

The way the disease changes and gets worse is different for each of the four types of MS:

  • Relapsing-remitting MS: People with this type have attacks when their symptoms get worse, called relapses, followed by full, partial, or no recovery. These flares seem to change over several days to weeks. Recovery from an attack takes weeks, sometimes months, but symptoms don’t get worse during this time. Most people have this type when they’re first diagnosed with MS.
  • Primary-progressive MS: In this type, symptoms gradually get worse without any obvious relapses or remissions. About 15% of all people with MS have this form, but it’s most common type for people diagnosed after age 40.
  • Secondary-progressive MS: People who get this type usually start with relapsing-remitting MS. Over time, symptoms stop coming and going and begin getting steadily worse. The change may happen shortly after MS symptoms appear, or it may take years or decades.
  • Progressive-relapsing MS: This is the least common form of the disease. Symptoms steadily get worse, but people also have flares that may or may not be followed by some recovery. At first, people with this type may seem to have primary-progressive MS.

What Is a True Relapse of Multiple Sclerosis?

An MS relapse starts when nerves in the brain and spinal cord get inflamed (swollen or irritated). Then, those nerves lose the coating, called myelin, that surrounds and protects them. A plaque forms around them instead.
Continue reading from WebMD by clicking here

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Endece Granted New U.S. Patent for NDC-1308, Therapy to Induce Remyelination in MS


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Endece was recently issued an additional U.S. patent for its lead investigational product, NDC-1308, being developed to induce remyelination in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and prevent disease progression.
Currently in late preclinical development, NDC-1308 is designed to repair the myelin sheath of demyelinated axons (nerve fibers), a major cause of neurodegenerative disorders like MS. The therapy is specifically targeted to heal motor neuron damage, and is intended for use either as a monotherapy or in combination with other disease-modifying agents to slow progression.
Remyelination is the process of coaxing oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) to form oligodendrocytes, cells able to produce new myelin sheaths on demyelinated axons in the central nervous system (CNS). This is a process naturally regulated in the body and tends to be very efficient in a healthy CNS. But in people with MS, remyelination becomes increasingly incomplete and in many patients eventually fails, leading to more progressive disease forms.
NDC-1308 works on a chain of key regulatory gene pathways responsible for the differentiation of OPCs and myelin synthesis. In preclinical models, it has been shown to effectively cross the blood-brain barrier, and to exert its effects on motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.
READ more on this Remyelination hope

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Pediatric MS gets major focus in Neurology Now!


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MS Cure Fund News:

Rarely does multiple sclerosis get the attention it deserves.  But this time we won, and big!  MS Cure Fund was able to successfully lobby Neurology Now to include pediatric MS in its discussion of rare adult diseases diagnosed in children.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the International Pediatric MS Study Group (IPMSSG) including U.S. based Dr Tanuja Chitnis (Steering Committee Chair), Dr. Lauren B. Krupp, Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant, Dr. Brenda Banwell and a host of other amazing researchers and clinicians around the world, pediatric MS is getting the attention it so desperately deserves.

"Sick Before Their Time" by Natalie Pompilio is a wonderfully compassionate story sharing the extraordinary difficulties faced by pediatric patients, their families and the MS specialists who treat them.

MS Cure Fund is proud to be the global partner of the IPMSSG.  Our role is to raise funds to:
  1. Support dissemination of education for pediatricians, emergency room personnel and primary care providers to improve accurate diagnosis of pediatric MS 
  2. Provide helpful explanatory information for pediatric patients and families that explains not only MS, but how to live a life well, not sick.
  3. Fund research of the intricate nuances that make pediatric MS so difficult to diagnose and perhaps find environmental triggers that cause MS in the first place.

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UB rehabilitation scientist receives MS group’s Lifetime Achievement Award


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Susan Bennett poses with Consortium of MS Centers CEO June Halper after receiving the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in June.
Susan Bennett, left, clinical professor of rehabilitation science at the University at Buffalo, pictured with Consortium of MS Centers CEO June Halper after receiving the organization's Lifetime Achievement Award in June.
Release Date: July 13, 2016

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Susan E. Bennett, EdD, clinical professor of rehabilitation science at the University at Buffalo, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC).
The award — presented in June at the organization’s annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland — recognizes an individual whose decades-long commitment has driven significant advances in the care of people with MS.
“This is the first time that an individual from the rehabilitation field has received this award,” said June Halper, CEO of the organization that represents more than 10,000 health care professionals worldwide who provide care for more than 200,000 individuals with MS and their families. Previous recipients were neurologists, neuropsychologists or nurse practitioners.
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Stress Management May Prevent MS Brain Lesions - MedicineNet


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Multiple Sclerosis Patients Had Fewer New Brain Lesions During Treatment
By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD
July 11, 2012 -- Teaching MS patients how to deal with stress can improve their quality of life -- and may also prevent or slow down formation of new brain lesions, according to a new study.
Patients with multiple sclerosis who attendedstress management therapy sessions for six months had fewer new brain lesions from disease flare-ups and slower disease progression during their treatment, Northwestern University researcher David C. Mohr, PhD, and colleagues found.
The findings, published in the July 11 issue of the journal Neurology, add to evidence that stress management can slow MS disease activity.
"People who got the stress management training had significant reductions in the incidence of new brain lesions while enrolled in the weekly sessions," Mohr tells WebMD.
ut the improvement disappeared when the weekly sessions ended, suggesting that more sustained therapy may be needed, he says.

Stress Management and MS

Mohr says stress management therapy may be a useful addition to MS drugs. He has spent more than a decade researching the impact of depression and stress on MS progression.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Scientists Pinpoint Antibody That May Be Specific to MS Patients -


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By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified an antibody found in the blood of about half of patients with multiple sclerosis that is not found in people without the autoimmune disease.
The implications of the antibody's presence aren't fully understood. But in rodents, the antibody binds to and damages brain cells that are known to be important to neurological function, according to the study.
Although the research is preliminary, experts say the findings may open the door for a blood test that could more easily diagnosis multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The results also suggest a new target for MS treatments that would prevent the antibody from binding to brain cells.
"We have known for a long time that antibodies were involved in the destruction of nervous system tissue in MS, but we have not had a good handle on what the target was for these antibodies," said Timothy Coetzee, chief research officer for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, who was not involved in the study. "What this research has identified is what might be a potential trigger or target in MS."
The study is published in the July 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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LI scientist finds new way to detect multiple sclerosis


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July 9, 2016 By Delthia Ricks
Dr. Eitan M. Akirav, at his Mineola lab on July 5, 2016, has found a new way to detect multiple sclerosis that holds promise for earlier diagnosis. (Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

A Long Island scientist has found a new way to detect multiple sclerosis, a discovery that may lead to an innovative diagnostic capable of accurately revealing signs of the neurodegenerative disease sooner than current technology, results of a new investigation show.

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disorder marked by turncoat components of the immune system that wage war on the central nervous system. The condition is the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults and is marked by fatigue, weakness, double vision and impaired coordination, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

At Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, Eitan M. Akirav, a researcher who specializes in the biology of autoimmune disorders, has discovered a biomarker — a signpost of the disease — that until now had been unknown. Akirav and his team found telltale DNA in the blood, a sign of damaged cells in the brain.

The scientists are working on the biomarker to exploit its potential both as a highly accurate diagnostic target and as a biological bull’s-eye that doctors can home in on to determine a patient’s overall prognosis. In addition, there is a possibility of using the biomarker to determine how well certain drugs are working, Akirav said.

“We have tremendous hope that this will improve the quality of care that is available to patients with MS,” said Akirav, who also is an assistant professor of medicine at Stony Brook University’s medical school.

He and his team found DNA specific to these cells: the oligodendrocytes, key components in the brain that provide insulating support to the axons of nerve cells. Axons are vital because they are the electrical superhighway along which nerve impulses instantly fire. The axons are coated in fat — myelinated — as a form of insulation, just as electrical wires are protected with plastic or rubber.
But in MS patients, traitor elements from the immune system bombard the oligodendrocytes, disrupting their ability to insulate the axons. Multiple sclerosis has long been known as a disease of demyelination, a loss of axon-protecting fat. The disorder waxes and wanes between episodes of worsening disease and periods of remission. There is no cure.

“We measure the DNA in the blood as it is dumped from these dying cells,” Akirav said, noting that he and his team can identify this suspect DNA as having come directly from the brain and nowhere else in the body. That makes the discovery a surefire way to identify annihilation of axon insulation, he said.

Another possibility associated with the newly found biomarker is a quicker diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Akirav said.

“We can see this by a blood sample, without an invasive procedure,” he added. “Studying the blood is a direct route to studying the brain.”

Current diagnostic criteria call for a complex series of tests. Doctors also must rule out other possible causes of neurological symptoms similar to MS, such as clinically isolated syndrome, a condition that has MS features but none of the long-lasting characteristics of the disease.

Guidelines from the International Panel on the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, for example, require an MRI of the brain; a spinal tap for the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, which protects the spinal cord; and a visual test because of damage the disease can cause to the optic nerve. Evidence of damage in at least two separate areas of the central nervous system must be found before a definitive diagnosis is made, experts say.

Akirav’s discovery, reported this month in the journal EBioMedicine, comes on the heels of several spotlighted efforts to diagnose — and treat — multiple sclerosis.

In April, scientists at Tisch MS Research Center in Manhattan reported results from a stem cell trial in which damaged nerve axons were remyelinated in patients. One patient no longer needed a cane, lead investigator Dr. Saud Sadiq said.

Stem cells are blank slates capable of transforming into virtually any kind of cell under proper conditions. Patients in the early clinical trial have had positive results without side effects, Sadiq said.
The New York Academy of Sciences, meanwhile, sponsored a meeting June 28 in Manhattan where doctors and scientists zeroed in on “laboratory bench to bedside care” in multiple sclerosis,

Experts examined concerns similar to Akirav’s research: diagnostics, prognostics and predictive biomarkers. They concluded that research into all of these areas is vital if further advances are to be made against the disease.

Dr. Giancarlo Comi, director of neurology at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy, told those at the meeting that of utmost concern is the need to grasp an even stronger understanding of the “relapsing” phase of the disease, the stage marked by destruction of the nerves’ axons.

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