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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, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

VIDEO: Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Algorithm: Avoiding Sins of Our Fathers!

Why do we insist on using an "escalation model" in treating MS? By escalation model, I'm referring to the common practice of starting a person with MS on a low efficacy drug (that is generally considered quite safe) and only "escalating" or "upgrading" to a more effective drug if "things don't work out". Well, what do you think "things don't work out means?" It MEANS BRAIN DAMAGE that can not be given back. This makes no sense to me. I think part of the reason that we use an escalation model is because of the "SINS OF OUR FATHERS." The men and women that were of the generation who trained me recall when there were NO therapies to treat this disease. When the 1st drug came out it was a revolution!! To go from NOTHING to SOMETHING (even if it's interferon beta- low efficacy and pretty darn safe) is a big deal. Over the subsequent 10-15 years more similar low efficacy drugs came to market and those men and women back very comfortable using these low efficacy drugs. As newer, more effective (yes, they work better guys) but more complex drugs came to market, it's my opinion that many of these men and women, who are not towards the later half of their careers, were reluctant to embrace these high efficacy drugs. It's easier for them to use what they always have used, and maybe "escalate" if things don't work out... These same men and women are of the generation who trained me. They taught me their sins and I carried them forward. Until I realized what I was taught didn't make sense and resulted in my patient's accruing brain damage. MY FELLOWS and TRAINEES do not suffer from the sins of my fathers. They will suffer from my sins, and hopefully carry forward an era of rational application of the most effective therapy a given person with MS is comfortable with, started as early as possible! I risk upsetting many people with this video. My intention is NOT to throw stones but rather to spark discussion and debate. Yes I'm very aware that many MS Neurologists HAVE embraced the use of high efficacy drugs. Yes I know I can't generalize to every person at the same time. No I'm not picking on older doctors. I'm trying to share my personal philosophy and why I disagree with what's been done in the past. Agree with me? Disagree? Sound off below and please share your comments and questions. I want to know what you think about the "sins of our fathers" and escalation therapy in treating MS!

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Multiple Sclerosis and Depression

When you're managing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), it's natural that you might find there are times you feel down. If you notice you're getting depressed, let your doctor know. He'll help you get the support and treatment you need to get back on track.

The Link Between MS and Depression

Anyone dealing with too much stress or a tough situation might have depression. So it's easy to understand how the long-term physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis can bring on changes in your mood.
But MS itself might also cause depression. The disease may destroy the protective coating around nerves that helps the brain send signals that affect mood.
Depression is also a side effect of some the drugs that treat multiple sclerosis, such as steroids and interferon.

What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

When you have depression, you may get sad or irritable, lose energy, and stop enjoying things that you used to love. You might also feel hopeless or worthless.
Continue reading 


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Multiple Sclerosis and Vision Problems

Vision problems are pretty common for people with MS. The symptoms usually come and go on their own, but you can talk to your doctor about treatments to protect your eyesight and what you should do if you start to have trouble seeing.

Vision Loss
This happens when the optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain gets inflamed. It is called optic neuritis.
About half of people with MS will have the condition at least once. It's often the first sign that someone has the disease. But other conditions can cause optic neuritis so it doesn’t always mean that a person has or will get MS.
Symptoms of optic neuritis usually come on suddenly. They include:
  • Blurred vision
  • Graying of vision
  • Blindness in one eye for a short time, especially during an MS flare
It's rare to get this condition in both eyes at once. Vision loss tends to get worse for a few days before it gets better. The inflammation could last anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks.
If you start to have any symptoms, let your doctor know. IV steroids are generally used to treat the first episode of optic neuritis, but studies suggest that the use of steroids may increase the chance of a recurrence. Although the symptoms can be disturbing, the best treatment may be no treatment at all.


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Friday, March 16, 2018

Eating Fish Might Guard Against MS

HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, March 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- People who eat fish regularly seem to have a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis, researchers report.
How much fish makes a difference? In this study, people who ate fish at least once a week -- or who ate fish one to three times a month and took daily fish oil supplements -- had a 45 percent lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to folks who ate fish less than once a month and who didn't take fish oil supplements.
"Our study showed one more potential benefit of a seafood diet," said study author Dr. Annette Langer-Gould, who noted that eating fish regularly has already been linked to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. She's the regional lead for clinical and translation neuroscience for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.


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Continue to Show Appreciation for Your Support Partners

MS Awareness Month is off to a great start! We want to thank those who have joined us — along with Biogen and other MS organizations — to help recognize all the support partners who help us rise above MS by participating in #MySupportHero! We encourage you to continue sharing your personal messages of thanks.

Want to get involved?  Here’s how:

·       Recognize someone on social media using the #MySupportHero hashtag, and consider posting a photo or short video honoring this special person in your life

·       Update your social media profile photo with our official #MySupportHero virtual flower symbolizing your support partner appreciation — download here

·       Share #MySupportHero posts from Above MS, @BiogenMS and MS Views & News on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Visit to learn how the MS community is participating in #MySupportHero, and find resources for caregivers who support people living with MS in different aspects of their lives.

Note: Biogen does not have any involvement with content unrelated to #MySupportHero on MS Views & News’ website and social media pages.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Merck’s MS Therapy Evobrutinib Significantly Reduces Brain Lesions, Phase 2 Trial Shows

Merck KGaA’s evobrutinib led to significant reductions in relapsing multiple sclerosis patients’ brain and spinal cord lesions, compared with a placebo, a Phase 2b clinical trial showed.
Researchers measured the number of lesions at weeks 12, 16, 20 and 24.
Evobrutinib, also known as M2951, is an oral inhibitor of a protein called Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase (BTK), which is vital for the development and functioning of several immune cells. These include antibody-producing B-cells and macrophages.
By inhibiting BTK, evobrutinib suppresses autoantibody-producing cells. Preclinical-trial studies have suggested it could be an effective treatment for autoimmune diseases such as MS.
The ongoing Phase 2b trial (NCT02975349) is taking place at the EMD Serono Research & Development Institute in the United States. It enrolled 267 patients with relapsing MS.



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Monday, March 12, 2018

Learning to Advocate for yourself

Learning to Advocate for Yourself with MS: A Guide

When you speak up or act on behalf of your rights and well-being, you’re self-advocating. If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), self-advocacy enables you to have more control over how your condition affects your life.
Self-advocacy is important in all aspects of your life. Your family, friends, healthcare team, and co-workers all need to know how they can support you and help you minimize the impact of your MS. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you need to.

At home

Your family is an important support network in your MS journey. Be clear about the support you need, but also about the ways in which you’re still independent and capable. If your MS symptoms are creating new limitations, adjust your household roles accordingly. For example, you may no longer be able to carry a basketful of laundry up the stairs, but you could take over someone else’s job of folding.
Remind family members about the invisible cognitive problems that can develop with MS. This may include problems with high-level brain functions such as memory, focus, language, or problem-solving. The next time you’re forgetful or unable to focus, your family won’t misinterpret it as a lack of caring. When you’re tired, tell them — don’t assume they already know. Make sure that you communicate clearly and regularly.
Recognize and respect that each person in your household has their own coping mechanism when faced with a challenging situation


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MS Altered sensations

In multiple sclerosis, it is common to experience uncomfortable, altered sensations, such as pins and needles, burning or crawling feelings, numbness or tightness. Although the feelings seem to be in the skin, they are actually due to damage caused by MS which disrupts messages passing along nerves in the central nervous system.
These feelings are a type of nerve (neuropathic) pain and may be classified as dysaesthesia, paraesthesia or allodynia by health professionals.

What are altered sensations?

Altered sensations can occur in any part of the body, most commonly in the face, body, arms or legs, but may also include the genital area in both men and women. It may occur on just one side of the body or on both sides.
There are many ways that people with multiple sclerosis describe altered sensations including:
  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Pins and needles
  • Crawling
  • Numbness
  • Prickling
  • Sensitive skin
  • Wetness
  • Stabbing
  • Electric shock
  • Itching
  • Trickling

Although altered sensations in MS may feel itchy, there is no rash or sign of skin irritation unless you’ve been tempted to scratch the itchiness.
Health professionals may ask you whether:
  • there is a lack of sensation, as in numbness, or a gain of new sensation, for example a burning feeling
  • the altered sensation is painful or not
  • the feeling is set off by touch, heat or other triggers or just happens for no obvious reason.
Your altered sensations may be classed as:
  • Allodynia where something, like a light touch, feels painful even though it shouldn’t cause pain
  • Paraesthesia which is an annoying unusual sensations, like tingling or numbness, which may be triggered or just happen spontaneously
  • Dysaesthesia, which is a more intense, sometimes painful, feeling which happens spontaneously
  • Sensory symptoms, a more general term for altered sensations.

What causes altered sensations?

Although it feels like something is going on in the skin, the sensations are really due to damage caused by MS to the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. This damage interferes with the normal transmission of messages to the brain. The brain can’t interpret the signals it is receiving as it is outside its experience. To deal with this, it tries to relate it to something the body has experienced before such as itching or burning. Alternatively, the brain may relate it to some other sensation that it can imagine like having insects crawling all over you.


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Sunday, March 11, 2018

GREAT Point to share: 4 Things to Consider Before Getting a Service Dog


Having a service dog can greatly enhance the life of someone living with a chronic disease. They allow patients to regain some of their independence by helping with small everyday tasks like opening and closing doors, fetching meds, acting as a prop or support as their owner stands, switching on lights and attracting attention in cases of emergency. As well as the help they give people with disabilities or illnesses, service dogs make great companions.
However, not every home is suitable for a service dog. According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, prospective owners need to consider a few things before deciding whether or not a service dog is right for them.

Assess your accommodations. 
You need to live in a place big enough for a service dog. Other things to take into consideration are whether or not you have a yard and if it’s secure.
Do you have any other pets?
Most service dog providers recommend that the dog is the only pet in the household, so if you already have a dog or a cat, it may be a problem.
Can you take care of the dog?
Having a service dog is a two-way street. You will need to be able to feed, groom, and clean up after your dog or have someone else who can.
Can you afford a service dog?
In addition to the initial cost of the animal, it costs an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 a year to look after a service dog, including food and healthcare. The average service dog stays with an individual or family for around eight years.


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