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Multiple Sclerosis News (Page 4)

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Medical Marijuana Pills May Ease Some MS Symptoms: Review

Posted 24 Mar 2014 by

MONDAY, March 24, 2014 – Medical marijuana pills and sprays might ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but most other alternative therapies do little to lessen the pain and muscle rigidity that often accompanies the disease, according to new guidelines. To reach that conclusion, an expert panel from the American Academy of Neurology reviewed more than 40 years of research on alternative medicine treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to the recommendations about medical marijuana use, the nine experts also found that ginkgo biloba might help with the fatigue of MS and reflexology may ease MS symptoms such as tingling, numbness and other unusual skin sensations. Bee sting therapy and omega-3 fatty acids, however, offer weak evidence supporting their use. "It's a very common practice in the MS patient population to try alternative therapies," said the author of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Fish Oil, Lovaza, Marinol, Omega-3, Dronabinol, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginkgo, Omacor, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, MaxEPA, EPA Fish Oil, Marine Lipid Concentrate, Animi-3, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, Proepa, Sea-Omega 30, TherOmega, Super-EPA, Mi-Omega

Cholesterol Drug Might Help Slow MS Progression

Posted 18 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 18, 2014 – High doses of the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin – sold under the brand name Zocor – appeared to slow brain shrinkage in patients with multiple sclerosis, according to a small, early study from England. In patients with the secondary progressive (chronic) stage of multiple sclerosis, brain shrinkage was reduced 43 percent for those taking Zocor compared to patients taking placebos, the researchers said. "This effect is provisional and requires a larger phase 3 study, but holds promise for all types of MS," said Dr. Jacqueline Palace, a consultant neurologist with Oxford University Hospitals and co-author of an accompanying journal editorial. "Because it is a repurposed drug and already has a good safety profile and is cheap, it could become available fairly quickly if further studies confirm the suggested effect," Palace said. The report was published ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Simvastatin, Zocor

Obesity, 'The Pill' May Raise MS Risk, Research Suggests

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2014 – Obesity and birth control pills may play some role in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), two new studies suggest. One team of researchers found that people who were obese at age 20 had double the risk of developing MS in their lifetime. The researchers suspect a hormone called leptin, which influences appetite, may be causing inflammation that somehow triggers MS. Meanwhile, a second group of scientists found that women who had taken birth control pills were 35 percent more likely to develop MS, and they suggest the hormones in the pills may have an influence in development of the disease. "These studies are pointing us to potential factors that might contribute to MS," said Timothy Coetzee, chief research officer at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. However, he added that it's too soon to make any changes based on either of these studies. ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Obesity, Mirena, Sprintec, NuvaRing, Provera, Implanon, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, Multiple Sclerosis, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Ortho Evra, Mononessa, Plan B One-Step, TriNessa, Lutera

Teva Announces U.S. FDA Approval of Three-Times-a-Week Copaxone (glatiramer acetate injection) 40mg/mL

Posted 29 Jan 2014 by

JERUSALEM--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 28, 2014-- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Company’s supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for three-times-a-week Copaxone 40mg/mL, a new dose of Copaxone. This new formulation will allow for a less frequent dosing regimen administered subcutaneously for patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition to the newly approved dose, daily Copaxone 20 mg/mL will continue to be available. The daily subcutaneous injection was approved in 1996. “The availability of three-times-a-week Copaxone 40 mg/mL is a significant advancement for patients as they now have the option of effective and safe treatment with Copaxone, while reducing the number of injections by 60 percent,” said Omar Khan, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Chair of the Department of Neuro ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Copaxone, Glatiramer

Risk for MS Among Patients' Relatives Not As High As Thought

Posted 27 Jan 2014 by

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2014 – A new study suggests that relatives of patients with multiple sclerosis aren't as likely to develop the disease as previously believed, even though the illness is thought to be caused mainly by genetics. The researchers, at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, tracked almost everyone within the country who had been diagnosed with the disease since 1968 – about 28,000 people. The researchers looked at whether their relatives developed the disease and then analyzed a group of people without multiple sclerosis (MS) and their relatives. Siblings of people with MS were seven times more likely to develop MS than the general population; the risk for children of MS patients was five times higher. Grandchildren and nieces and nephews, however, faced no higher risk. "The population registers in Sweden are reliable tools for finding relatives to MS patients and their possible ... Read more

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Vitamin D May Slow Multiple Sclerosis, Study Suggests

Posted 22 Jan 2014 by

MONDAY, Jan. 20, 2014 – Vitamin D may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) and also reduce harmful brain activity, a new study suggests. Correcting vitamin D deficiency early in the course of the disease is important, according to the report, published online Jan. 20 in JAMA Neurology. But some experts say it's too soon to recommend giving vitamin D supplements to people with the central nervous system disorder. "No one knows what the connection between MS and vitamin D is," said Nicholas LaRocca, vice president for health care delivery and policy research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "What they suspect is that vitamin D has some effect on the immune system." Also, what dose of the vitamin might be appropriate isn't clear, he said. "We don't know what a good level would be. There is no scientific consensus on a treatment protocol. We may get to that point ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Vitamin D, Vitamin D3, D3, Cholecalciferol, Ergocalciferol, Drisdol, Replesta, Delta D3, Calciferol, D400, D2000, D 1000 IU, Decara, D3-50, Calcidol, Maximum D3, D3-5

TB Vaccine May Work Against Multiple Sclerosis: Study

Posted 4 Dec 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 4, 2013 – A vaccine normally used to thwart the respiratory illness tuberculosis also might help prevent the development of multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, a new study suggests. In people who had a first episode of symptoms that indicated they might develop multiple sclerosis (MS), an injection of the tuberculosis vaccine lowered the odds of developing MS, Italian researchers report. "It is possible that a safe, handy and cheap approach will be available immediately following the first [episode of symptoms suggesting MS]," said study lead author Dr. Giovanni Ristori, of the Center for Experimental Neurological Therapies at Sant'Andrea Hospital in Rome. But, the study authors cautioned that much more research is needed before the tuberculosis vaccine could possibly be used against multiple sclerosis. In people with MS, the immune system ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, BCG, Tuberculosis - Prophylaxis, Tice BCG, Tice BCG Vaccine, TheraCys

Could Warmer Weather Hamper Brain Function in People With MS?

Posted 7 Nov 2013 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 7 – Warmer temperatures might reduce the ability of people with multiple sclerosis to complete mental tasks and process information, new research suggests. Although heat has long been linked to a worsening of symptoms among people with the inflammatory disease, it wasn't clear exactly how the process worked. The new study used brain-imaging technology to focus on the areas of the brain affected by rising temperatures, the researchers said. "We found there is a correlation between outdoor temperature and levels of brain activity," said study principle investigator Victoria Leavitt, a research scientist at the Kessler Foundation in West Orange, N.J. "The amount of activity in people's brains increases when the temperature is warm, and lowers when temperatures are lower." The researchers suggested that their findings could lead to the development of treatment strategies ... Read more

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Walking Speed a Good Gauge of MS Disability, Study Says

Posted 30 Oct 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 30 – Measuring the walking speed of multiple sclerosis patients can help doctors assess progression of the disease and the severity of disability, a new study suggests. In people with multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system damages the protective myelin sheath around the body's nerves. "We already know that the timed 25-foot walk test is a meaningful way to measure disability in MS," study author Dr. Myla Goldman, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. "Our study builds on that research by providing a clearer idea of how walk time can provide information about how a person's disease progression and disability impacts their everyday activities and real-world function." The study included 254 MS patients who were timed as they walked 25 feet. Those who took longer than 6 seconds to walk that ... Read more

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New DNA Discoveries Advance MS Research

Posted 1 Oct 2013 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 1 – An international team of scientists has identified 48 new genetic variants associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study says. The findings bring to 110 the number of genetic variants linked to MS and offer new insight into the biology of the progressive neurological disease. The genes pinpointed in the new study underline the central role played by the immune system in the development of MS and show significant overlap with genes known to be involved in other autoimmune diseases, according to the study, which was published online Sept. 29 in the journal Nature Genetics. The International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium included 193 investigators in 13 countries. They analyzed DNA from more than 29,000 people with MS and nearly 51,000 people without the disease, making it the largest MS study ever undertaken. Although there are now 110 genetic variants ... Read more

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FDA Medwatch Alert: Gilenya (fingolimod) - Drug Safety Communication: Investigating Rare Brain Infection

Posted 29 Aug 2013 by

ISSUE: FDA is alerting the public that a patient in Europe diagnosed with possible multiple sclerosis (MS) has developed a rare and serious brain infection after taking the drug Gilenya (fingolimod). This is the first case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), reported following the administration of Gilenya to a patient who had not previously received Tysabri (natalizumab), an MS drug associated with a higher risk of PML. BACKGROUND: PML is a rare and serious brain infection caused by the John Cunningham (JC) virus that damages the fatty covering of the brain called myelin. PML usually causes death or severe disability. Gilenya is used to treat relapsing forms of MS, a nervous system disease that affects the brain and spinal cord. Novartis reports that approximately 71,000 patients worldwide have been treated with Gilenya. RECOMMENDATION: Patients should not stop taking ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Gilenya, Fingolimod

Controversial Theory Behind Possible MS Cause Refuted

Posted 14 Aug 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 14 – New research finds that there is no evidence that multiple sclerosis is associated with reduced or blocked blood flow in the veins of the head or neck. The study results challenge a controversial theory that a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) – a narrowing of veins that drain blood from the brain and upper spinal cord – is associated with MS. The theory also holds that patients would benefit from using balloon angioplasty or stents to widen the veins, a treatment called liberation therapy. However, this Canadian study of 100 people with MS found no abnormalities in the veins in their neck or brain. The findings were published online Aug. 14 in the journal PLoS One. Each patient underwent ultrasound and an MRI of brain and neck veins on the same day. The research team included a radiologist and two ultrasound technicians who ... Read more

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New Kind of Therapy Shows Early Promise in MS Patients

Posted 5 Jun 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, June 5 – A new therapy for multiple sclerosis that teaches the body to recognize and then ignore its own nerve tissue appears to be safe and well-tolerated in humans, a small new study shows. If larger studies prove the technique can slow or stop the disease, the therapy would be a completely new way to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes. Most treatments for MS and other autoimmune diseases work by broadly suppressing immune function, leaving patients vulnerable to infections and cancers. The new treatment targets only the proteins that come under attack when the immune system fails to recognize them as a normal part of the body. By creating tolerance to only a select few proteins, researchers hope they will be able to cure the disease but leave the rest of the body's defenses on guard. "This is important work," said Dr. Lawrence ... Read more

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Blacks May Face Higher Risk of MS Than Whites

Posted 6 May 2013 by

MONDAY, May 6 – Black Americans may be at higher risk for multiple sclerosis than whites, according to study findings that contradict a widely held belief that blacks are less likely to develop the neurological disease. The theory that blacks are less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) than whites was based on faulty evidence, the study authors said. For the new study, the researchers examined three years of data from more than 3.5 million members of the Kaiser Permanente Southern California health plan and identified 496 people who were diagnosed with MS during that time. The investigators found that blacks had a 47 percent increased risk of MS compared with whites, while Hispanics and Asians had a 58 percent and 80 percent lower risk than whites. The higher risk in blacks was seen only in women, while the lower risk for Hispanics and Asians was seen in both sexes. Black women ... Read more

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Shrinkage of Brain Region May Signal Onset of Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 23 Apr 2013 by

TUESDAY, April 23 – Atrophy of a key brain area may become a new biomarker to predict the onset of multiple sclerosis, researchers say. If so, that would add to established criteria such as the presence of brain lesions to diagnose the progressive, incurable disorder. Using special MRI images, scientists from three continents found that the thalamus – which acts as a "relay center" for nervous-system signals – had atrophied in nearly 43 percent of patients who had suffered an initial neurological episode that often comes before a multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis. "The telling appearance of lesions, which is a hallmark of the disease, is only part of the pathology," said study author Dr. Robert Zivadinov, director of the Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center at the University of Buffalo, in New York. "Our finding is more related to [initiating] clinical trials, to using thalamic ... Read more

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