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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Therapeutic Benefit of Smoked Cannabis in Randomized Placebo-Controlled Studies

Therapeutic Benefit of Smoked Cannabis in Randomized Placebo-Controlled Studies.

Bowen LL, et al. Pharmacotherapy. 2017.


The medicinal use of marijuana has been legalized in 28 states, with a wide range of specificity for approved medical conditions. Even with the emergence of non-combustion-based delivery systems, in 2014, 90% of marijuana users used smoked marijuana. The purpose of this review is to summarize the data available on use of smoked marijuana for medical purposes. A literature search was performed to retrieve randomized controlled trials exploring the efficacy of smoked cannabis for treatment of a medical condition. Studies with the primary endpoint listed as the effect of smoked cannabis on a disease-specific characteristic were included. Open-label studies and studies using other administration methods were excluded. Seven studies met these criteria and were included in this review. Cannabis did not outperform placebo on experimentally evoked pain or times walk test. There is clear evidence that smoked cannabis reduces intraocular pressure, but the effect is too brief (< 4 hours) to be of therapeutic benefit for this chronic disorder. There was also consistent evidence that smoked marijuana, even at lower concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol, increased total daily calorie intake and number of eating occasions. Neither of the studies with quality of life as secondary outcome measures revealed statistically significantly improved outcomes with cannabis use. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


 29178487 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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New findings uncover the mechanisms by which gut bacteria can trigger inflammation in the brain and contribute to multiple sclerosis


New findings uncover the mechanisms by which gut bacteria can trigger inflammation in the brain and contribute to multiple sclerosis

Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, M.D., to present findings in keynote address at ACTRIMS Forum 2018

Madison, Wis., Nov. 30, 2017 – A breakthrough in the understanding of how altered gut bacteria breaks immune tolerance towards the brain, and how this can trigger the immune system to attack brain tissue, will be presented as the subject of the keynote Kenneth P. Johnson Memorial Lecture on the opening day of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2018.

ACTRIMS Forum 2018 will take place Feb. 1-3, in San Diego, California, U.S.

An altered gut microbiota, known as dysbiosis, is often observed in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), but it has not been clear how this contributes to the onset or progression of the disease. New research, conducted by Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, M.D., Sudhir Yadav, Ph.D. and Kouichi Ito, Ph.D., all investigators at the Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Center for Multiple Sclerosis, provides evidence that dysbiosis stimulates the development of pathogenic T cells in mice, thereby initiating or exacerbating an animal model of MS.

This discovery has potential therapeutic implications in MS by manipulating the composition of gut bacteria, according to study researcher Dhib-Jalbut, who will present the findings of the team’s research.

Furthermore, “the findings could have potential implications on other autoimmune diseases above and beyond MS,” says Dhib-Jalbut.

The late Kenneth P. Johnson, M.D., University of Maryland, led the effort to found ACTRIMS in 1996. The Memorial Lecture honors Johnson by providing an opportunity for ACTRIMS audiences to hear from prestigious clinicians or researchers selected for their knowledge, accomplishments and contributions related to MS.

ACTRIMS Forum brings together researchers and clinicians to share developments in the rapidly changing field of MS. More information about ACTRIMS Forum 2018, and the Kenneth P. Johnson Memorial Lecture appears on the event’s website at

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When MS is like a Scary Movie

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(Stu's Views - oh, How I know! Oh Yes, how I recognize what is written,,, )
It’s the afternoon and I’m shuffling around my house, trying to focus. I have my lists — all the tip books for MS suggest making lists. There’s the to-do-this-week list, the to-do-before-Christmas list, and the things-I-should-try-to-do-in-general list. There is, of course, the things-I-should-try-not-to-forget list. But the lists and lists aren’t helping me focus.
Oh, I know: The dishes need to be done. I’ll feel better when I’ve finished that! So, I start with the dishes and realize I might have more motivation if I had music going. I dry my hands and head to the stereo.
But then I see my computer and try to remember if I responded to that important email I received this morning. Yes, I see now that I did, but there are some more emails to read. I get overwhelmed with the amount of junk emails and chain emails coursing through my account and give up, deciding to play FreeCell instead. (What’s up with us MSers and FreeCell? Every MSer I know is addicted to FreeCell.)
Read more

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

U.K. Survey Supports Likelihood of Link Between Chicken Pox-Shingles Virus and MS

December 27, 2017

A large U.K. survey assessing the frequency of chickenpox and shingles in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients suggests a link between these diseases and MS, researchers report, suggesting their findings could help in decisions regarding immunosuppressive treatments and varicella-zoster virus vaccinations.
The exact cause of MS eludes scientists, but several studies show the disease is based on complex interactions between environmental and genetic risk factors. Among environmental factors, several viruses have been implicated in MS development.
The varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which causes chickenpox, remains in the body after a first infection, staying dormant in nerves around the spinal cord. Later in life, the virus can reactivate and cause a disease known as shingles.
Shingles occurs more frequently in immune-compromised individuals, and treatment with newer disease-modifying and immunosuppressive medications in MS patients have been linked to the virus’ reactivation.
Long-lasting immunity to VZV infection is mediated by T-cells (a type of immune cell that fights infection), and newer treatments targeting T-cells can potentially reduce immune responses against VZV.
“Given that the use of new generation disease-modifying treatment is rapidly growing and that these treatments are known or likely to affect immune surveillance and responses against VZV, it is important to know the prevalence of a history of VZV exposure, as a primary infection (i.e., a history of chickenpox) or as a reactivation (zoster) [shingles] in MS patients,” the team wrote.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

An Unwelcome “Hug”

By  under 

Today is a great day. It started off as it always does: My alarm went off at 2:17 a.m., I may have hit snooze a couple of times, and then I got up and got ready for work. At 3:30 A.M. I got to WAVY-TV 10/FOX43 where I did my hair and makeup and walked onto the set for the 4:30 a.m. start of our 4.5 hour newscast. We all had some laughs on set and things were great until, for me, they weren’t.
Before you read any further, take a moment and watch this quick video. Tell me what you see.
Video Player
Did you see an anchor smiling while telling a “good news” story about the 59th Basic Academy Class of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office graduating today? Good. That’s what you should see. It’s a great story and certainly one that deserves the smile.
What you don’t see in that video is what’s called the “MS Hug” that had wrapped itself around my body from head to toe just minutes before that story began. The “hug” kept a strangle hold on me from 8:45 A.M. until shortly after the newscast ended at 9 A.M..
Over the last five years I have been very open about my life with Multiple Sclerosis. When I have a chance to pull back the curtain on this disease that is incurable (for now), I do so. Today is another one of those “pull back the curtain” days.
The MS Hug is an unwanted guest in the world of MS Warriors. We don’t know when it’s going to happen or how long it’s going to last. It feels like your body was tossed into a trash compactor and someone hit “go.” Your organs, your bones, all feel like they’re being crushed at the same time. But that’s not all my friends! Oh no! Why would the great hug stop there?
The pain from the hug made my skin, yes skin, react. It felt like someone poured molten lava over my body, starting at my scalp and letting it run down to my toes. Talk about a hot flash! I ended up looking like I had spent an entire day at the beach with no sunblock on. In addition to all of that delight (heavy sarcasm) it felt like thousands of bees were stinging me all at once.
Continue reading Katie's story, by clicking here

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