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Friday, February 14, 2020

See the latest open-label extension data for Ocrevus


Examine 2 years of controlled and 3+ years of open-label extension efficacy and safety data.











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Wednesday, February 12, 2020

3 most common vision problems in MS and how to cope

Vision problems are often the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis for many people and one of the most common invisible symptoms. Fortunately, many vision problems associated with multiple sclerosis are temporary and the prognosis for recovery is good.
However temporary vision problems may be, they are still inconvenient, uncomfortable and downright annoying. Below are some common vision problems for people with multiple sclerosis and suggestions for how to cope with them.
optic neuritis
Photo courtesy of iStock
Optic neuritis
One of the most common visual problems associated with MS is optic neuritis — inflammation of the optic (vision) nerve. During a flare up, a blurred or dim spot (scotoma) may occur in the center of your visual field, leaving your peripheral vision unaffected. You may experience aching pain with eye movement, blurred vision, dim vision, loss of vision, or dimming or loss of color vision. Optic neuritis usually occurs in only one eye however it is possible for you to experience it in the other eye at some time in the future.
While the effects of optic neuritis are frightening and uncomfortable, in most cases your vision will return once inflammation subsides. Residual symptoms are possible and include dimming or blurring of vision when you are fatigued, stressed or overheated.
How to cope: In most cases, optic neuritis will resolve on its own, but in persistent cases, you may consider talking with your doctor about high doses of glucocorticoids, such as intravenous methylprednisolone or prednisone pills to help accelerate recovery. If you are prone to flare ups, consider taking regular breaks throughout the day to rest your eyes and avoid unnecessary strain.
double vision
Photo courtesy of iStock
Diplopia
Diplopia, or double vision, occurs when the nerves that control eye movement are inflamed or damaged. Normally, the muscles work in a coordinated way sending one image of what you’re seeing to your brain, but when diplopia occurs, muscles on one side may be weak from nerve damage making your eye movements no longer coordinated. When this happens you to see two side by side images or one image on top of another.
How to cope: Diplopia can be temporary or persistent and may resolve without treatment. When diplopia is a new symptom, it may be part of a relapse of MS and a brief course of corticosteroids may be helpful. You may also consider patching one eye while driving, reading or completing other short tasks. Special eyeglass lenses known as prism lenses may also be helpful for persistent diplopia as they help align the two images into one.
nystagmus
Photo courtesy of iStock
Nystagmus
Nystagmus, or “dancing eyes,” is an involuntary and uncontrolled movement of the eyes that can impair vision. Movement is usually rapid and can be up and down, side to side or rotating. Nystagmus may occur when you look straight ahead or when you move your eyes up and down or side to side. It can make you feel like the world is moving and cause you to feel dizzy or nauseous.
How to cope: Nystagmus may come and go or may be persistent. At times when your eyes are “dancing”, try tilting your head at an angle as it may help to lessen eye movement. Using magnifying glasses, adequate lighting, large-print reading materials, tinted glasses or a hat can reduce glare and improve vision. Treatment for nystagmus is limited and may include off-label use of medications such as gabapentin.
To learn more about vision problems in MS, visit the Society’s resource page on Vision Problems.
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January 2020   - article source

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The women of WeAreILLmatic portray a powerful MS community

by Brandie Jefferson

 Victoria Reese
Victoria Reese has created a community where women living with MS can learn about the disease, ask questions, give advice and meet people who face similar challenges. Photo by Joseph Gray
Victoria Reese gets things done.
When she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 25, a few months after moving to Los Angeles, she returned home to Detroit for a week, “to deal,” she says, then headed back to California.
When working for someone else didn’t allow her to flex her creative and entrepreneurial muscles, she went into business for herself, starting her own brand management company, Victor Group LA.
“If I can’t flex my muscles,” she says, “you’re not going to see me shine.”
And when she didn’t see many people who looked like her in campaigns and organizations that support people with MS, she started her own, launching WeAreILLmatic with the blessing of the music superstar from whose album the campaign’s name is derived—legendary rapper Nas.

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WeAreILLmatic has morphed into a community where young black women living with MS can learn about the disease, ask questions, give advice and meet people who face similar challenges.
“If I know about a problem,” Reese says, “maybe I can help solve it.”
A lack of research
In 2012, Reese had a problem of her own. She visited her primary care physician after experiencing numbness in her legs. “The doctor said, ‘It’s your job. You’re stressed.’” Then came the migraines and facial paralysis. Maybe it was depression, her doctor said. Reese was prescribed antidepressants. The diagnosis, however, just didn’t seem right.
She was referred to a neurologist, and later that same year Reese was diagnosed with MS.
“I started to do my own research and didn’t see many [scholarly] articles about black people with MS and the ones I found were outdated,” she says. Brochures insisted that MS was a disease found most often in young women of northern European descent, and imagery often reflected that. “I thought, ‘Am I that rare?’ I didn’t see anything specifically geared toward me.”      
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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

People with MS should avoid dairy in their diet

By: Lucy Noble - 

Replacing Dairy Products in your Diet

There are so many dairy-free options available that avoiding dairy doesn't need to mean that you miss out on the food you love.

OMS strongly advises that people with MS avoid dairy in their diet because research shows a high correlation between MS and dairy products, specifically because of particular proteins in cow’s milk. Here you can read an easy list of foods to enjoy and avoid on the OMS recovery program
There are plenty of dairy alternatives to enjoy, and the options keep on growing. 

Dairy-free Milk Options

While soy products offer the highest protein and are better for baking, some people think almond or rice milk taste better on cereal.Check the ingredients as some alternative milks contain oils which are restricted on the OMS Program. 

Here's some pros and cons of some of the dairy-free milk options. 

Almond Milk

✔ Nutty flavour, which can taste nice in cereal or hot chocolate but doesn't work for every recipe.
✔ You can buy sweetened or unsweetened almond milk
✔ Good in coffee and hot drinks.
✔ Low in fat and calories.
X Often more expensive than other milks - watch out as cheaper versions bulk out with thickeners and have low almond content. 
X Can also split when heated. 

Oat Milk

✔ A versatile option.
✔ Sweet.
✔ Lowers cholesterol.
✔ Heats well and doesn't curdle.
✔ Good for smoothies, soups and cereal. 
✔ Good in a cup of tea as it doesn't have a strong flavour and doesn't curdle. 
X Lower in protein 

Rice Milk

✔ Thinner and more watery.
✔ Good in desserts if you want a thickening agent. 
✔ Nice refreshing drink on its own. 
 Higher in sugar 
 Low levels on arsenic - the Food Standards Agency advises against children under four-and-a-half having it at all


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Soy Milk

✔ Widely available option.
✔ Can get sweetened or unsweetened
✔ Best for baking due to higher protein content.
✔ Found to be the more nutritious plant milk. 
X Can be a common allergen. 
X Watch out for added oils in some brands. 
X Can split in hot drinks 
Click here to read about Hemp, Cashew and Hazelnut milks, plus more of this article


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An important clue on the role of diet in MS?

New research from a team of researchers from McGill University, Canada, have made a link between reducing the amount of methionine (an amino acid found in animal products) in a person's diet and development and progression of MS and other disorders.

The very fact that you are reading this likely means that you have heard about and/or are interested in the role of lifestyle interventions as a way of managing MS. 
Dating back to the pioneering research of Prof. Roy Swank in the 1940’s on the role of fats in MS progression, corroborated by more recent large-scale studies from around the globe, not to mention Prof. Jelinek’s vital work at the NEU, we know that diet and lifestyle play an enormous part in the prevention and the progression of this condition.
Further papers, published in the past two years have begun to unpick the key mechanisms behind diet qualityfasting, obesity and blood lipid levels and their effects on MS relapse rates and disability progression. 
But yet, there is still much work to be done. There is conflicting evidence on which, if any, dietary strategy works best to prevent and treat MS, and doctors generally remain extremely skeptical of lifestyle-based interventions. One of the issues is that the fundamental mechanisms underpinning this disease still evade us, and it can sometimes feel (from the outside at least) like scientists are feeling around for that elusive key in the dark.

Perhaps though, they have now found one? 

A team of researchers from McGill University, Canada, have just published a paper demonstrating a potential pathway for the essential amino acid (meaning it cannot be made by the body, but rather must be consumed in our diet) methionine in the management of MS. 

Methionine is a key building block of many proteins in the body and is known have a significant role in regulation of the immune system (an important clue!). T-cells (a type of white blood cell known to be involved in the immune attack of myelin in MS) require high levels of the amino acid to activate and to change into the types of cell that then seek out and attack a target.  The theory then would be that reducing consumption will reduce the levels of methionine in the blood available for T-cells, which in turn would reduce the inflammatory response. 

“Ok, makes sense,” I hear you say, "but will it actually work?" 


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