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Friday, September 1, 2017

Cognitive Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

 Boster's Corner

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When to obtain an MRI, in a Lemtrada treated Person with MS


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3 Things to Consider When Telling People You Have Multiple Sclerosis - especially for newly diagnosed


Accepting a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis is difficult and it often takes people a while to come to terms with what it means for their future. Some people choose to tell others immediately about their MS diagnosis, while others may bide their time — there is no right or wrong way to approach it, it’s very much up to the individual and what they feel comfortable with. However, if you’re finding it difficult to tell the people closest to you about your multiple sclerosis, the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK has some useful advice.
Telling Your Loved Ones
Family members and partners are usually the first people you want to tell, but these are the hardest people to tell as they love you and will most likely be upset. They’ll need time to fully digest the news and come to terms with the diagnosis. They may be in denial about what it means or they may not fully understand the implications of MS. Try to be as informative as you can and remember MS is different for everyone, so while they may jump to the worst conclusions about the disease, it doesn’t mean that’s how it will work out for you.
Tell children as much as you think they can emotionally cope with and fully understand for their age. It’s better to be as honest as possible so they don’t find out information from other people. Children are often more adaptive to change than adults and will probably take the news a little better.
Choosing Who Else to Tell
You don’t need to tell everyone you meet that you have multiple sclerosis (although you can if you want to), but there are some people you may want to know right away so that they can offer you emotional support.
Close friends will want to support and help you in any way they can, and sometimes they may be easier to talk to than family as they tend to be more objective. Telling colleagues about your MS will help them understand why you may be fatigued or unable to work.
Telling dates and potential partners can be tricky, you may want to be upfront or you may want to wait to see if you like them before broaching the subject. Either way is fine.

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7 Strange Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

7 Strange Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis first appeared first 
on Multiple Sclerosis News Today.   
AUGUST 30, 2017 Wendy HendersonBY WENDY HENDERSON

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that is unique to each patient, which means no two people suffer from identical symptoms. While there are many symptoms MS patients share such as pain and chronic fatigue, there are also some very strange and unusual symptoms that some may experience.  
We’ve put together a list of some of the stranger symptoms of the disease based on information from and
The body reacts to the weather.  Many MS patients say their symptoms get worse depending on the weather. Humidity can exacerbate the symptoms of MS for many sufferers and some even report feeling strange when there is a thunderstorm — that their body buzzes and feels tingly in an uncomfortable and unpleasant way.
The body reacts to dental work. Some MS patients experience a worsening of symptoms following routine dental appointments. It hasn’t been established whether this is stress-related (because few people enjoy visiting their dentist) or for some other reason, and researchers have been unable to find a link between the two.
Sun exposure is a natural medicine.  Conversely, although many MS patients cannot tolerate high temperatures, some report that cooler sunny days make them feel much better and lessens the effects of symptoms. This could be because the body is making vitamin D from the sun’s rays.
The body reacts to flying. There have been reports of MS relapses during long-haul flights. There isn’t any medical evidence to suggest why this is happening, and researchers have yet to prove whether it’s due to altitude or being in a confined space for a long period of time.
The body twitches. While twitching and muscle spasms are common symptoms in other diseases of the central nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease and ALS, it is not generally considered a common symptom of MS. However, many patients do report twitching and muscle spasms, usually in their limbs but also in their heads, torso, and even their vocal chords.
The feet get hot.  Hot feet or extreme sensations of pins and needles in the feet is another one of the more unusual symptoms of MS. Some describe it like walking barefoot over gravel or that their feet are literally on fire even though they feel cool to the touch. This tends to be worse when people are in bed.
You feel like you’re being hugged. Some MS patients have reported suffering from an odd symptom where they feel like they are being tightly squeezed around the torso or stomach. The pain is often so intense that patients experience difficulty breathing or fear they are having a heart attack.
Article source found here

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Foods that boost testosterone –and which also might help with Fatigue

Men with MS, have possibility of benefiting from this article. Fatigue can/might be lessened with proper testosterone, as well as items mentioned below

With the numerous benefits of testosterone, it is not surprising that several people aim to monitor and increase their testosterone levels. They also resort to various things like eating foods that boost testosterone, doing some exercises, and a lot more.

In this piece of writing, we will discuss the basics about testosterone: testosterone-boosting foods, various ways to increase its levels, and some facts and myths about it. Feel free to read on to educate yourself about this hormone.

As you know, testosterone is a sex hormone. But specifically, it provides a lot of benefits that you can surely enjoy. Apart from increasing a man’s sex drive, it can also help in weight loss 
and muscle building. It can likewise enhance one’s health in various ways.

Foods That Boost Testosterone
Primarily, testosterone is a male sex hormone that is responsible for the development of male reproductive tissues. But do you know that women also produce this hormone although in smaller amounts? Both genders benefit from this hormone. Therefore, a decrease in its level is everybody’s concern.
Below are testosterone-boosting foods that can help maintain your body’s testosterone level:     

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Reduced Sense of Smell Could Signal MS Progression

  Written by Caroline Craven on July 7, 2017


A new study found that a person’s inability to smell could be a sign that their multiple sclerosis (MS) is progressing.

For people with progressive MS, the rate of progression is unknown, a fact that frustrates both medical experts and people with the disease.

Changes in the sense of smell could be related to other illness or issues, or could be age-related. But for a person with MS it may mean that a relapse is coming.

So, finding tools to help doctors track progression is important for both disease management and quality of life.

Linking MS and sense of smell

The results of the study suggest that olfactory dysfunction could be due to central nervous system damage caused by demyelination.

That means the sense of smell might be a marker for disease progression in MS patients.

It is known that olfactory issues can come on strong in early MS or can flare up during relapses.


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New Miracle Drug for Chronic Pain Now Available

CBD Proving to Be Powerful Pain Relief Treatment Alternative

BY HEALTHCARE PASS ON Thursday, Aug 31st, 2017

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain, you know that every day can be a struggle. You’ve probably tried all types of pain relief solutions or even tried prescription pain medication to stop the pain. Unfortunately, many chronic pain sufferers need to use more than one method to manage their pain. Finding treatments that don’t cause side effects or interfere with any medication you’re taking can be tricky but there is still an option for you.

Promising Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Pain

Cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in marijuana and hemp plants, has taken the nation by storm after researchers found CBD has a positive effect on the nervous system. Research published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology1 reveals CBD is especially effective for reducing inflammation and acts as an antioxidant in the body.

Now, hundreds of studies are underway to see how effective CBD is for managing all types of chronic conditions and health problems, including:
  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • …and more

One of the great things about CBD is there are no unpleasant side effects. Even though cannabidiol is derived from marijuana and hemp plants, it is one of the cannabinoids that does not give you a ‘high’. THC, another cannabinoid, is what causes the ‘drugged’ effect and may even cause anxiety. CBD is being studied to relieve anxiety and create a sense of calm. It’s why so many people are now using CBD as part of their pain management program.
Click here for access to clinical trials of free pain relief to see if you qualify.

If you do not qualify, try contacting Green Roads Wellness, by completing the information found here


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"I Wish I Knew" - Living with MS - a video by MS patient Cathy Chester

INSPIRATIONAL story by Cathy Chester, 
 - Dealing with, and overcoming the obstacles -
Regaining Her Strength and then Going Forward with Life.

                  published 08.02.17
 EMPOWERED LIVING with Multiple Sclerosis

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Spasticity in MS


Spasticity refers to feelings of stiffness and a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms (sustained muscle contractions or sudden movements). It is one of the more common symptoms of MS. Spasticity may be as mild as the feeling of tightness of muscles or may be so severe as to produce painful, uncontrollable spasms of extremities, usually of the legs. Spasticity may also produce feelings of painor tightness in and around joints, and can cause low back pain. Although spasticity can occur in any limb, it is much more common in the legs.
  • In flexor spasticity, mostly involving the hamstrings (muscles on the back of the upper leg), and hip flexors (muscles at the top of the upper thigh), the hips and knees are bent and difficult to straighten.
  • In extensor spasticity, involving the quadriceps and adductors (muscles on the front and inside of the upper leg), the hips and knees remain straight with the legs very close together or crossed over at the ankles.
Spasticity may be aggravated by sudden movements or position changes, extremes of temperature, humidity or infections, and can even be triggered by tight clothing.
Treatment of spasticity and muscle tightness by medication and physical and occupational therapy is needed to prevent painful and disabling contractures in the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders and elbows. Surgical measures are considered for those rare cases of spasticity that defy all other treatments.

Left untreated, spasticity can lead to serious complications, including contractures (frozen or immobilized joints) and pressure sores (Momentum magazine article). Since these complications also act as spasticity triggers, they can set off a dangerous escalation of symptoms.

Some degree of spasticity can provide benefit, particularly for people who experience significant leg weakness. The spasticity gives their legs some rigidity, making it easier for them to stand, transfer, or walk. The goal of treatment for these individuals is to relieve the spasticity sufficiently to ensure comfort and prevent complications, without taking away the rigidity they need to function.
Continue reading

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What is the Difference between Spasticity and Rigidity

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Whilst both spasticity and rigidity describe conditions in which one finds difficulty performing muscular motions, the difference between them arises in how such difficulty is brought about. Both describe forms of hypertonic states affecting an individual’s muscles, joints, and limbs, but a differentiation between the two must be acquired to best achieve a proper diagnosis.

Spasticity vs. Rigidity

Spasticity is often uni-directional, meaning that resistance to movement is only felt when one’s joint or muscle moves in one specific direction. Spasticity is velocity-dependent, meaning that the faster one moves or straightens a joint, the more resistant, tight, or spastic the muscle feels. This can be mild, and only apparent during bouts of strenuous physical activity, or it can be chronic or persistent, causing serious hindrance to one’s movements in moderate to severe cases.
Rigidity is different from spasticity in that resistance to movement in joints is felt regardless of the speed or direction the joint is moving. Rigidity is bi-directional, meaning that one may experience resistance to movements regardless of which direction the joint and muscles are moving in. Muscles that have rigidity feel heavy and like “a lead pipe” when they are moved passively.
The video below will help you to ascertain a clearer understanding between the two.

Characteristics & Causes of Spasticity

Characteristic Features

  • Clasp-knife phenomenon: The limb experiencing spasticity suddenly gives way after an initial resistance to movement. Much like how a clasp-knife slightly resists before folding in. This can be caused by over-stretching the joint or muscles (during initial movement), the inverse stretch reflex (during sustained movements), and eventually contractures (a condition wherein muscles shorten/harden).
  • Stroking effect: One may experience relief from episodes of spasticity by stroking the affected muscle’s surface, although this will likely not provide relief from contracture.
  • Distribution: The sensation of spasticity is distributed differentially, often affecting antigravity muscles (muscles which are the extensors of the back, hips, and knees, which help to maintain proper posture by resisting the pull of gravity).


Knowing the causes of these medical terms can be very helpful when comparing spasticity vs. rigidity. Spasticity is generally caused by damage or trauma to the portion of the spinal cord or brain which controls voluntary movement, namely the corticospinal tract. This can lead to an imbalance and ‘disconnection’ between the muscles and the nervous system. This can be caused by the following instances:
  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Brain damage resulting from insufficient oxygen
  • Encephalitis
  • Meningitis
  • Phenylketonuria
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury

Characteristics & Causes of Rigidity

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Researchers Identify Nerve Pathway Linking Brain Inflammation, Gut Dysfunction in MS

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Chronic stress and inflammation in the brain can cause multi-organ dysfunction including severe gut failure, mediated by a newly identified nerve pathway in animal models of multiple sclerosis, a Japanese study shows.

nerve pathway gut

MS is an autoimmune disease caused by CD4+ T-cells that cross the blood-brain barrier protecting the central nervous system. This inflames and stresses the brain and spinal cord.
In previous studies, a team led by professor Masaaki Murakami of Japan's Hokkaido University showed that these cells could cross the blood-brain barrier in specific sites. These entrance sites depend on brain regional activation, which was found to be triggered by specific nerve interactions — a mechanism the team called gateway reflexes.
In collaboration with other Japanese researchers and a team from Germany, the project aimed to address the potential correlation among chronic stress, brain inflammation and organ failures in MS.
Using mice with MS-like disease — the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model — researchers found that animals that had autoreactive CD4+ T-cells and which were exposed to stressful conditions developed severe symptoms such as gastrointestinal failure, or even death.
Detailed analysis of the animals' brains showed that in stressed mice, CD4+ T-cells accumulated in two specific sites in the center of the brain around blood vessels. This event would cause inflammation around those vessels, and activation of a nerve pathway that is commonly turned off. This switch led to gut dysfunction, bleeding and failure.
"These results demonstrate a direct link between brain micro-inflammation and fatal gastrointestinal diseases via the establishment of a new neural pathway under stress," Murakami, the study's senior author, said in a news release.
Researchers were able to prevent gut symptoms by inhibiting inflammation in the brain or blocking the nerve pathway responsible for driving the signals from the brain to the gastrointestinal tract.

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MS Patients Can Use Smartphone to Take Part in Novartis Study of Movement Performance and Symptoms

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August 2017
A multiple sclerosis study will collect information about patients' movement performance and symptoms from their smartphones, Novartis has reported.

MS study to use smartphones

The study is aimed at evaluating in real time the daily challenges of people living with MS. The results may help researchers develop new ways to measure treatments' effectiveness, the company said.
Novartis is partnering on what it has dubbed the elevateMS study with Sage Bionetworks. The non-profit research organization is developing new predictors of disease to accelerate health research.
A cellphone application will allow MS patients to send information about their situation from anywhere.
The app will use sensors to gather information on patients' movements. It will also assess functional performance tasks that participants engage in. Patients can also fill out questionnaires with the app.
A division of Apple called the Apple ResearchKit platform developed the app. Those interested in participating in the study can download it here.
The elevateMS app allows a smartphone user to register important features of their disease. It includes a symptom tracker tool that allows users to record their overall wellness. They can also get an overview of what's been happening to them on an activity dashboard.
Patients, neurologists and disease advocates gave Apple's app team input that helped with the design.
"As physicians, we always want to know how our patients with MS are doing on the treatments we prescribe," Dr. Stanley Cohan, medical director of the Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center in Portland, Oregon, said in a press release.
"With the elevateMS app, study participants can frequently document their symptoms in a personal health story," said Cohan, one of the scientific advisors to the study. "In turn, this data may provide researchers with new ways to look at disease progression and treatment effectiveness."
The elevateMS study is open to MS patients 18 years old or older in the United States who own a smartphone.
Additional information about it is available at

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Horseback Riding Plus Standard Care Can Help MS Patients Improve Balance, Other Symptoms

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Therapeutic horseback riding, also known as hippotherapy, when combined with standard care regimens significantly reduces fatigue and spasticity in multiple sclerosis. It also improves balance and quality of life, according to a German study.


Hippotherapy takes advantage of a horse's natural movements to develop a patient's muscle tone and improve breathing, while strengthening the torso muscles. Horseback riding also improves balance control, coordination and gait, while boosting a patient's social communication skills, which can benefit self-esteem.
“Hippotherapy as a complementary treatment can be defined as one-patient-one-horse physiotherapy treatment with and on the horse,” researchers wrote.
Team leaders Vanessa Vermöhlen and Petra Schiller of the University of Cologne evaluated the benefits of half-hour weekly sessions of hippotherapy in combination with standard care. They randomly assigned 70 MS patients with lower limb spasticity to either an intervention group that did 12 weeks of hippotherapy, or a control group that received only standard therapy.
The team evaluated the impact therapeutic horseback riding had on balance, measured by the Berg Balance Scale (BBS). They also measured its effect on other multiple sclerosis symptoms and signs, including fatigue, quality of life, pain, and spasticity.
Overall, the team found that those who received hippotherapy plus standard care improved their BBS scores by 4.8 points after six weeks of therapy, and 6.4 by the trial's end. These increases were significantly higher than those achieved by the control group (2.9 points at six weeks and 3.1 points at 12 weeks).
Although this represents a difference of only 3.3 points after 12 weeks, it still reflects a relevant change in patients' balance control capabilities, the authors said.
In addition, the researchers also recognized significant improvements in fatigue, spasticity and quality of life of those undergoing hippotherapy plus standard care compared to those on the control group.

The observed beneficial effects of hippotherapy validate previous reports that showing that activities with horses could help adults and children improve their balance, gait and psychomotor abilities.
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