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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Multiple Sclerosis Bladder Problems: Two Pro Tips

Do you have urinary urgency? Frequency? Near accidents? Accidents? In this video I’ll teach you two simple pro tips you can apply immediately to improve your bladder function. Either tip works well by themselves but COMBINE them together for the BEST urinary outcomes! If you want your bladder to behave better, start watching right now! And please share your own bladder tips, suggestions and questions in comments section below!


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Proper Cane Height Adjustment: 2 Minute Tutorial


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Into the Moment: Does Mindfulness Affect Biological Pathways in Multiple Sclerosis?


Mindfulness was introduced in the Western world by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979. He defined it as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Since then, research on mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) has increased exponentially both in health and disease, including in patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's disease. Research on the effect of mindfulness and multiple sclerosis (MS) only recently gained interest. Several studies completed since 2010 provided evidence that mindfulness improves quality of life (QoL), depression and fatigue in MS patients. In addition to patient-reported outcome measures, potential effects on cognitive function have been investigated only to a very limited extent. However, research on laboratory biomarkers and neuroimaging, capable to deliver proof-of-concept of this behavioral treatment in MS, is mainly lacking. In this perspective, we illustrate possible neurobiological mechanisms, including the tripartite interaction between the brain, the immune system and neuroendocrine regulation, through which this treatment might affect multiple sclerosis symptoms. We propose to (1) include immunological and/or neuroimaging biomarkers as standard outcome measures in future research dedicated to mindfulness and MS to help explain the clinical improvements seen in fatigue and depression; (2) to investigate effects on enhancing cognitive reserve and cognitive function; and (3) to investigate the effects of mindfulness on the disease course in MS.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, mindfulness, fatigue, depression, cognitive function, immune system, stress, MRI

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Pharmacological and Non-pharmacological Therapies of Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis

Cognitive impairment is one of the most important clinical features of neurodegenerative disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS). Conducted research shows that up to 65 percent of MS patients have cognitive deficits such as episodic memory, sustained attention, reduced verbal fluency; however, the cognitive MS domain is information processing speed. It is the first syndrome of cognitive dysfunction and the most widely affected in MS. Occasionally these impairments occur even before the appearance of physical symptoms.


Therefore, this review focused on the current status of our knowledge about possible methods of treatment cognitive impairment in MS patients including novel strategies. Research and online content was performed using Medline and EMBASE databases.


The most recent research suggests that cognitive impairment is correlated with brain lesion volume and brain atrophy. The examination of the cognitive impairment is usually based on particular neuropsychological batteries. However, it can be not enough to make a precise diagnosis. This creates a demand to find markers that might be useful for identifying patients with risk of cognitive impairment at an early stage of the disease. Currently the most promising methods consist of neuroimaging indicators, such as diffusion tensor imaging, the magnetization transfer ratio, and N-acetyl aspartate levels. Diagnosis problems are strictly connected with treatment procedures. There are two main cognitive therapies: pharmacological (disease modifying drugs (DMD), symptomatic treatments) and non-pharmacological interventions that are focused on psychological and physical rehabilitation. Some trials have shown a positive association between physical activity and the cognitive function.


This article is an overview of the current state of knowledge related to cognition impairment treatment in MS. Additionally, novel strategies for cognitive impairments such as cryostimulation and other complementary methods are presented.
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, cognitive impairment, pharmacology, non-pharmacological therapies, disease-modifying drugs, neurodegeneration

Environmental factors may trigger onset of MS

October 16, 2018
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
A new study finds that certain environmental conditions like salt concentrations and temperature may precipitate structural changes that take place in myelin sheaths in the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS). Myelin sheaths are the 'insulating tape' surrounding axons; axons carry electrical impulses in neurons.
A new Tel Aviv University study finds that certain environmental conditions may precipitate structural changes that take place in myelin sheaths in the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS). Myelin sheaths are the "insulating tape" surrounding axons; axons carry electrical impulses in neurons.
The research demonstrates that myelin sheaths undergo structural transitions when triggered by changes in local environmental conditions, such as salt concentration (salinity) and temperature. These transitions, according to the study, render the body vulnerable to autoimmune attacks that can lead to MS.
The research was led by Prof. Roy Beck of TAU's School of Physics and Astronomy and conducted by Rona Shaharabani, a doctoral student in Prof. Beck's lab, and Maor Ram-On, a doctoral student in Prof. Ronen Talmon's lab at the Technion Institute of Technology. It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (PNAS).
Earlier research by Prof. Beck revealed that changes in the structure of myelin sheaths are a factor in the development of MS.
"Current therapeutic approaches have focused on the autoimmune response without identifying the culprit," says Prof. Beck. "We have found that under certain environmental conditions, such as elevated salinity and temperature, myelin sheaths protecting neurons undergo structural transitions consistent with pathological myelin structures in multiple sclerosis."
Physiological conditions are regulated in the body itself, but temperature and salinity are subject to localized external changes. The results presented in the study suggest that even minor changes in these conditions may trigger multiple sclerosis.
"The myelin sheaths undergo structural transitions at the molecular level when affected by different environmental conditions. These small modifications create structural instabilities that allow the immune system to attack neurons," says Shaharabani.
The researchers used X-ray scattering and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) to track and measure the myelin sheaths in healthy and diseased animal models. They found that healthy lamellar membranes spontaneously morphed into different pathological structures of nano-scale tubes called inverted hexagonal shapes.
"These results highlight that local environmental conditions are critical for myelin function. These conditions should be considered as alternative possibilities for early diagnosis and as a means of avoiding the onset of demyelination," says Shaharabani. "Since we believe that these structural modifications result in myelin membrane vulnerability to the immune system attacks, it can help explain the causes of MS and perhaps pave the way for a treatment or a cure.

Study uncovers potential risks of common MS treatment

Friday, November 2, 2018

A New Challenger to Medical Marijuana?

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, Oct. 26, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- A moss-like plant grown only in a few countries may offer better pain relief than medical marijuana, animal research suggests.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) from marijuana is used to treat conditions such as pain, muscle cramps, dizziness and loss of appetite. However, while medical marijuana is increasingly accepted in the United States, it's illegal in many countries and can cause significant side effects.
Swiss scientists are working with a potential alternative. They say the liverwort plant (Radula perrottetii) contains an anti-inflammatory substance called perrottetinene that's related to THC. The plant only grows in Japan, New Zealand and Costa Rica.

"This natural substance has a weaker psychoactive effect and, at the same time, is capable of inhibiting inflammatory processes in the brain," researcher Andrea Chicca said in a University of Bern news release. Chicca is with the university's Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine.
Using a synthetic version of the compound on lab animals, the researchers found that perrottetinene reaches the brain easily and activates cannabinoid receptors there. They said it also has a stronger anti-inflammatory effect in the brain than THC.
However, this is still early stage research, the scientists noted, so medical pot won't have competition anytime soon. And research on animals often doesn't produce the same results in humans.
The study was published Oct. 24 in the journal Science Advances.
Japanese researchers in the 1990s were the first to identify the psychoactive compound in the liverwort plant. Previously, it was thought that only marijuana produced psychoactive effects, according to background notes with the study.
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How does acupuncture treat multiple sclerosis?


Some people report that acupuncture, a practice that places needles at specific points in the body, relieves symptoms like pain, muscle spasms, or bladder control problems. However, scientific studies haven’t found for sure that it works for people with multiple sclerosis.

Can I Still Work if I Have MS?

fter you're diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, you may worry about how your condition could affect your work life.
You can work with MS. Many people who have it stay in their job for years after they’re diagnosed. It varies greatly from person to person. In time, you may need to ask for accommodations so you can continue there. You may even find other kinds of work that you can do.

The Effects on Your Job

Now, or in the future, you may have some symptoms that make your it harder to work.
MS causes inflammation in your brain. It may break down signals between your brain and your body. It could cause:
How it affects you may also depend on the type of work you do. If you get dizzy or have double vision, it’s unsafe to drive a delivery truck or operate machinery. Some people with MS find harder to focus their thoughts. Usually, it just takes more time. Planning or analysis may also get tougher the longer you have MS.

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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Diagnosis & Tests

It can be a challenge for doctors to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS). There’s no single test that can prove you have it. And many conditions have symptoms that seem like MS.
A neurologist -- a doctor who specializes in treating the disease -- should be able to help. They’ll ask how you’re feeling and help you figure out if your symptoms mean you have MS or another problem.

What Do Doctors Look For?

A certain set of signs points to MS. Your doctor will need to:
  • Find damage to at least two areas of your central nervous system (your brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves)
  • Prove the damage happened at different points in time
  • Rule out any other diagnosis

What Are the Tools for Diagnosis?

The doctor will start by asking you about your medical history and your symptoms. They’ll also do a few tests to see if your brain and spinal cord are working as they should. These include:
MRI: This imaging test lets the doctor take a closer look at your brain
They can see changes caused by multiple mrisclerosis like signs of inflammation in the deep parts of your brain or spinal cord.

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When Someone You Love Has Multiple Sclerosis


For decades, Dave Bexfield, who's had multiple sclerosis(MS) since 2005, was the designated "bug killer" in his house. When his wife, Laura, spotted a spider or cricket, Dave came to the rescue.
But one day, when Dave was cleaning up a dead spider, he fell -- and landed in the emergency room. The couple quickly realized that Laura, Dave's primary caregiver, needed to take on more household tasks.
Dave and Laura, who live in Albuquerque, NM, now tag-team on home chores. Dave uses a walker or wheelchair, and forearm crutches, so he does sitting-down tasks, while Laura does others.
"He loads the dishwasher and I put the clean dishes away. He folds the laundry and I hang it in the closet."
It's all part of the adjustment that comes with taking a bigger role in your loved one's care. Some simple changes can make the transition go easier.

Tips for the Caregiver

Help with daily living. Expect to take on more everyday tasks. You may need to arrange transportation and run errands for your loved one. Household chores like cleaning, cooking, shopping, laundry, and child care may shift.
Depending on your loved one's MS symptoms, you may have to help with basic care like dressing, feeding, toileting, and bathing.
Make adjustments at home. Helping your loved one to be more independent is good for both of you. You may need to do some research on equipment like a walker or wheelchair.
Take stock of your house. Ramps, wider doorways, and bathroom equipment help him stay safe and make it easier to get around. An occupational or physical therapist can come to your home to suggest specific changes.
Promote a healthy lifestyle. "A lot of people with MS are trying to improve their diet. As a caregiver, you can step in and join them," says Victoria Leavitt, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.


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Thursday, November 1, 2018

Balance Exercises for MS Patients


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