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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Telemedicine: Not perfect, but better than spreading the virus

written by: Ed Tobias - Apr3, 2020
Full article

Dr. Barry Singer also has moved to virtual visits. Singer, who directs The MS Center for Innovations in Care in St. Louis, Missouri, said his center treats about 4,000 MS patients. During the center’s first week of telemedicine, none have come into the office.
“It’s odd,” Singer told me, “especially for MS docs. We know our patients quite well. … [W]hen you do it visually [rather than remotely], at least you have that human connection. … There’s definitely a lot lost, but if I’m seeing 15 MS patients a day, all it takes is one asymptomatic patient and they start passing it on, patient to patient.”

Technology can be a challenge

Not everyone is computer and internet savvy. “For some people, it’s very seamless,” Singer said. “Some people come on and they’ve got audio and video, some people have video but they don’t have the audio. … I’ve had a patient who [was online] when he was a passenger in a car. I had to say, ‘Can you pull over, please, so I can see you walk.’ So, it can be a little challenging, but most of the reception from people with MS has been very positive.”
If you’ve had an experience using telemedicine for a visit with your MS neurologist, please leave a comment below. You’re also invited to visit my personal blog at

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Regular Exercise ‘Strongly Recommended’ to Ease Fatigue in MS: Findings of a Prospective, Observational, and Cross-Sectional Survey.



Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, chronic inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, whose symptoms include sexual disorders. Sexual dysfunctions can influence on quality of life (QOL) of patients with MS.


To evaluate the occurrence of sexual disorders among women with MS and correlations between QOL, prevalence of sexual disorders, and level of sexual satisfaction.


Polish women (n = 101) aged 22-66 years with diagnosed MS were included in the study.


The Female Sexual Function Index, the Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and the Multiple Sclerosis International Quality of Life Questionnaire were used. In addition, an Authors-Designed Questionnaire was used to collect sociodemographic data.


More than half of the patients surveyed were totally or somewhat unsatisfied with their sex life, and 44.55% of the patients were diagnosed with significant sexual disorders. It was shown that patients with diagnosed sexual disorders and a low level of sexual satisfaction rated their QOL the lowest among all the surveyed patients.

CONCLUSION:  CLICK here to read 

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Caring People Leverages CaringOnDemand Platform to Meet the Rising Demand for Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Caring People Leverages CaringOnDemand Platform to Meet the Rising Demand for Caregivers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
NEW YORK, March 31, 2020 ( - Caring People, a licensed home care agency servicing seniors in NY, NJ, CT, FL and TX, is meeting the increasing demand for caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic by utilizing a platform that allows multiple providers to engage in a single care delivery system, CaringOnDemand.
Steven East, CEO of Caring People, began developing this platform five years ago as a solution to fill the increasing need to meet seniors' desire to remain at home and avoid institutional placement, the demand for dedicated, committed, and passionate home care givers is at an all-time high. Since its inception, the platform has been dubbed the "Uber for home healthcare" due to its ability to provide access to homecare to patients easily, efficiently, and with the touch of a button.
CaringOnDemand links patients directly to caregivers. Patients have the unique ability to request homecare services on an as-needed basis using the home healthcare solution. The platform is accessible via the CaringOnDemand tablet or phone app and has a simple, easy to use interface. Users request assistance with the onetouch feature, track the caregiver's estimated time of arrival and can see the time spent in the patient's home. Upon completion of the visit, a request for rating and review is sent to the patient.
Due to the limited supply of caregivers available during the spread of the COVID-19 virus the need for CaringOnDemand has significantly increased.
"We are reaching out to every provider who has available staff to register with CaringOnDemand, waiving licensing fees and training costs, as well as a fast track onboarding process to expeditiously leverage the platform to help our seniors," Caring People CEO Steven East said, adding, "If 50 providers in New York City each have two to five available qualified caregivers who can assist during this crisis, we now have an additional 100-500 caregivers who can service anywhere from 500-4,000 seniors a day."

The health of our senior population is at great risk during this time. Not only because they are more susceptible to falling gravely ill due to the virus, but any secondary health needs are just that, secondary. Seniors' already critical home care needs are vitally important to maintain, even in the light of the COVID-19 crisis. CaringOnDemand can help alleviate the pressure to locate and deploy efficient and affordable home health caregivers, keeping seniors healthy and safe.
"During this time of uncertainty, we have a unique opportunity to align with existing caregiver initiatives and add a tremendous value to provider and patient resources. CaringOnDemand can help move towards the goal of excellent and efficient patient care, while being a part of the solution in the COVID-19 crisis," East said.
Annually, as the aging population in the United States increases in number, the demand for senior care services has experienced record demand year after year. Even in optimal conditions, staffing for home health aides can be scarce, especially when it comes to certified nursing assistants. The need for dedicated, committed and passionate homecare providers is at an all-time high.
About Caring People
Caring People is a family-owned and operated licensed home care agency that has proudly served over 25,000 clients over the last two decades. The agency has a number of care-based services and several types of skilled professionals who aim to deliver care with the highest degree of compassion, understanding and commitment. Learn more at

For official press release, please click here.


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30 Amazing Virtual Tours of Museums, Zoos, and Theme ...Might help to keep you busy

30 Amazing Virtual Tours of Museums, Zoos, and Theme ...

Need entertaining things to do from home? 

CLICK the above link. Share with your family and friends.


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Long-term Safety and Effectiveness of Natalizumab Treatment in Clinical Practice: 10 Years of Real-World Data From the Tysabri Observational Program (TOP)

2020 Mar 31


Objective: The Tysabri Observational Programme (TOP), which began >10 years ago, is an open-label, multinational, prospective observational study evaluating the long-term safety and effectiveness of natalizumab in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients.
Methods: These data provide a 10-year interim analysis of safety and effectiveness in TOP. Annualised relapse rates (ARRs) and disability progression/improvement were analysed using the Poisson model and the Kaplan-Meier method, respectively. Analyses included patients on natalizumab and those who discontinued natalizumab but remained in TOP.
Results: As of November 2017, TOP included 6148 patients. Overall, 829 patients (13.5%) experienced ≥1 serious adverse event (SAE), with infection the most common (4.1%). Fifty-three patients (0.9%) had confirmed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. SAE data were consistent with natalizumab's known safety profile; no new safety signals were identified. A total of 3210 patients (52.2%) discontinued natalizumab; 2117 (34.4%) withdrew from TOP. Median time on natalizumab was 3.3 (range 0-11.6) years; median follow-up time was 5.2 (range 0-10.8) years. The on-natalizumab ARR was 0.15, a 92.5% reduction from the year before initiation. Ten-year cumulative probabilities of disability worsening and improvement were 27.8% and 33.1%, respectively. On-natalizumab ARRs were similar between patients who discontinued or remained on natalizumab, suggesting limited attrition bias.
Conclusions:     CLICK here to continue reading

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Loneliness during the pandemic

By Scott Olster - Senior Editor at LinkedIn

Social distancing may help us slow the spread of COVID-19, but such isolation can exact a hefty toll on our emotional and physical health. Loneliness can be just as taxing on our health as smoking, and it is a stronger predictor of mortality than obesityreports Amanda Ripley in The Washington Post. Thankfully, even during these challenging times, there are plenty of things we can do to keep such feelings at bay. Ripley's recipe: Get exercise if you can, pick up the phone and call a friend or family member, give meditation a try and do what you can to help others.

Click here to watch.

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Entertainment for the Homebound (60+)

CBL offers a tongue ‘n cheek look at a fitness circuit for the so called ‘elderly’ ... the over 60’s apparently, using vintage workout equipment.

Share with others, if you want to see them smile

Potential Utilities of Mask Wearing and Instant Hand Hygiene for Fighting SARS-CoV-2


Background: The surge of patients in the pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 may overwhelm the medical systems of many countries. Mask wearing and hand washing can slow the spread of the virus, but currently masks are in shortage in many countries, and timely hand washing is often impossible.
Methods: The efficacy of three types of masks and instant hand wiping was evaluated using avian influenza virus to mock the coronavirus. Virus quantification was performed using real-time RT-PCR. Previous studies on mask wearing were reviewed.
Results: Instant hand wiping using a wet towel soaked in water containing 1.00% soap powder, 0.05% active chlorine, or 0.25% active chlorine from sodium hypochlorite removed 98.36%, 96.62%, and 99.98% of the virus from hands, respectively. N95 masks, medical masks, and homemade masks made of 4-layer kitchen paper and 1-layer cloth could block 99.98%, 97.14%, and 95.15% of the virus in aerosols. Medical mask wearing which was supported by many studies was opposed by other studies possibly due to erroneous judgment. With these data we propose the approach of mask wearing plus instant hand hygiene (MIH) to slow the exponential spread of the virus. This MIH approach has been supported by the experiences of seven countries in fighting against COVID-19.

TO continue reading results and conclusions, click here


Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Limited data now, but registries of COVID-19 MS patients are underway

Article provided by: Cherie C. Binns RN BS MSCN

Treating MS During COVID-19
Written by Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today 

A woman in a wheelchair shops for flowers in a greenhouse

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Most people with multiple sclerosis (MS) should continue their disease-modifying treatment (DMT) during the COVID-19 outbreak and should discuss specific risks with their physician before stopping, according to the National MS Society's Disease Modifying Treatment Guidelines for COVID-19.
Newly diagnosed MS patients should start treatment, but "many factors need to be considered when starting any DMT, including the possible increased risk of COVID-19 infection," said Kathleen Costello, MS, CRNP, MSCN, the MS Society's vice president of healthcare access. "Cell-depleting DMTs may increase the risk of infection, including COVID-19, and this potential risk must be weighed against other factors when starting a DMT."
The guidelines are the recommendations of the MS Society's National Medical Advisory Committee, a group of experts who advise the organization's leadership about medical issues in MS.
"There are no data currently available on the risk of COVID-19 infection in people with MS who are on DMTs," Costello told MedPage Today. To develop guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, "the committee reviewed the data known about DMTs and the risk for infection associated with each and COVID-19 DMT guidance from Italy and the U.K.," she said.
"The committee also recommended that people use the global advice provided from the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, keeping in mind that each decision is highly individualized and the risks and benefits of starting any of the DMTs needs a thorough discussion," Costello added.
The guidelines described three groups of treatments:
  • Immunomodulators that generally do not suppress the immune system or place patients at greater risk of infection, such as glatiramer acetate (Copaxone, Glatopa), interferons (Betaseron, Rebif, Avonex, Extavia, Plegridy), and natalizumab (Tysabri)
  • Immunomodulators that restrict the ability of the immune system to respond to infection, including dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), diroximel fumarate (Vumerity), fingolimod (Gilenya), siponimod (Mayzent), and teriflunomide (Aubagio)
  • Immunosuppressants that deplete lymphocytes, such as alemtuzumab (Lemtrada), cladribine (Mavenclad), mitoxantrone (Novantrone), ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), and rituximab (Rituxan)
Before starting a cell-depleting DMT -- or a DMT with warnings about a potential severe increase in disability after stopping, like fingolimod or natalizumab -- clinicians should consider a patient's specific risks, including age and comorbid health conditions, versus the drug's benefits, the guidance committee cautioned.
As information about COVID-19 in MS emerges, the guidelines will be updated, Costello said. Of note, the Consortium of MS Centers and the other members of the MS Coalition have endorsed the National MS Society guidance, she added.
"We just don't have answers to guide people with MS," observed Robert Fox, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who was not part of the MS Society guidelines committee.


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Congress Sets COVID-19 Resources and Relief

Provided by The National Multiple Sclerosis Society

March 30, 2020

Click here for a comprehensive list of resources and relief available through legislations passed by Congress and work done through the administration. 

On Friday, March 27th, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law. This is the third in a series of bills that have been signed into law in response to the public health and economic impact of coronavirus on the U.S. These new laws have provided additional funding, policies, and resources for people with MS. The new package includes the following provisions that MS Activists specifically advocated for through nearly 7,000 messages sent to Congress last week:
  1. COVID-19 testing is available at no cost share regardless of insurance type.
  2. $16 billion has been allocated to the Strategic National Stockpile to increase availability of equipment, including personal protective equipment for health care professionals, ventilators and masks.
  3. Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans will allow for a 90 day supply of prescriptions re-fills without restrictions, in accordance with CDC recommended guidelines.
  4. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program will allow individuals who have lost their jobs during the pandemic to receive an additional $600 per week for up to four months on top of the normal state payments. The new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program covers gig workers who don’t qualify for regular unemployment due to restrictions. 
  5. Allows taxpayers that do not itemize to deduct up to $300 of charitable donations to non-profits.
  6. Assistance for mid-sized businesses includes nonprofits between 500 and 10,000 employees. These loans are subject to an interest rate not higher than 2%. For the first six months, the Secretary may determine that no interest or principle is due. 
The list above is not an exhaustive list of resources and relief set by Congress and the administration. Please click here to learn more about resources available for people with MS in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 3548), the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), and through the administration. The Society will continue to monitor legislation moving through Congress as it related to COVID-19. Stay up-to-date on the latest information on COVID-19 from the National MS Society here


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Sunday, March 29, 2020

9 Resources to Cope with Coronavirus Anxiety

You really don’t need to check the CDC’s website again. You probably do need a break, though.
Take a breath and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve successfully managed to look away from breaking news long enough to find some resources that might actually help with your stress.
That’s no easy thing right now.
Experts are recommending social distancing and self-quarantine to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), sending most of us into isolation.
It makes sense if you haven’t been doing much at all except ruminating on updates about the virus and the availability of toilet paper.
So what can you do about your coronavirus anxiety?
I’m glad you asked, because I’ve collected a whole list of tools to help your mental health during the COVID-19 scare.
This list could also apply to any moment when breaking news headlines are all-consuming and hard to look away from.
Think of it this way: Reducing your stress is actually one of the best ways you can deal with this crisis. Too much stress can hurt your immunity and your mental health.
Plus, you just plain deserve to finally feel some relief after spiraling through your anxieties for this long.

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First things first: There’s nothing wrong with you for feeling anxious right now.
Ignoring the stress or judging yourself for feeling it is tempting, but it probably won’t help in the end.
Acknowledging your feelings — even if they’re scary — can help you cope in a healthy way.
And I’ve got news for you: You’re not the only one who’s freaking out. The news is legitimately frightening, and fear is a normal, natural response.
You’re not alone.
If you’re already living with a chronic illness, then COVID-19 might be especially frightening. And if you’re living with a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder, then the constant barrage of headlines might have you on the edge of feeling like you’re losing control.
There are plenty of resourcesTrusted Source out there about how to directly deal with coronavirus anxiety, and it’s important to have those strategies in your toolbox when you need them.
But for this list, we’re going to take a break from all of that.
Because science shows that taking a breather can help interrupt your anxiety, reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and even retrain your brain to change unhelpful thinking patterns.
Which is all the more reason to be proud of yourself for ending up here, where all you have to do is sit back, click through some helpful tools, and finally take a break from that haunting sense of impending doom.
These tools alone aren’t going to fix everything, and it’s a good idea to reach out for professional help if you’re really struggling to keep your anxiety under control.
But I hope these apps and websites can give you a moment to break the cycle of headline stress, if even for a moment.
CONTINUE READING by clicking here

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