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U.S. Report Cites the Good and Bad on Marijuana

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2017 – Current medical science has proven there are legitimate medical uses for marijuana and cannabis-derived drugs, a new report from the National Academy of Sciences states. Conclusive or substantial scientific evidence has shown that marijuana products are effective at treating chronic pain, calming muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, and easing nausea from chemotherapy, the report said. However, there's little to no evidence supporting any of the other numerous health claims related to marijuana, the report said. And there's a downside as well – marijuana use comes with a host of potential health risks, whether someone is using the drug medicinally or recreationally, according to the report. The report calls on government to ease regulations that hamper research into marijuana, so scientists can sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Muscle Spasm, Chronic Pain, Muscle Pain, Social Anxiety Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Breakthrough Pain, Cannabis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

New MS Drug Shows 'Breakthrough' Promise for Advanced Disease

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – A new drug slows the progress of multiple sclerosis, including an advanced form of the degenerative nerve disease for which there currently is no treatment, according to a pair of new clinical trials. One MS specialist called the intravenous drug, ocrelizumab, a "breakthrough." Ocrelizumab reduced the advance of MS-related disability by 24 percent in people with primary progressive MS compared to a placebo, results from one clinical trial show. Researchers compared ocrelizumab against a placebo, or dummy drug, because there's no approved treatment available for primary progressive MS. This form affects about 15 percent of MS patients, said Dr. Stephen Hauser, chair of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco. "It does represent new hope for people with progressive MS," said Hauser, who worked on both reports. Ocrelizumab also proved superior in ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Upper Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity

Could Low Vitamin D Levels at Birth Mean Higher MS Risk?

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Newborns with low levels of vitamin D may have higher odds of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life, new research suggests. Vitamin D deficiency is common among the general population, including pregnant women. But the researchers said it's too soon to routinely recommend "sunshine vitamin" supplements for mothers-to-be. "The study does not prove that increasing vitamin D levels reduces the risk of MS. Further studies are needed to confirm our results," said study leader Dr. Nete Munk Nielsen, a researcher at the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. About 2.5 million people worldwide have MS. It's a chronic disease of the central nervous system characterized by damage to myelin, the fatty substance coating nerve fibers. MS symptoms vary, but can include walking difficulties, fatigue, numbness and vision problems. A growing body of evidence ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Delivery, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Chronic Spasticity, Caltrate 600 with D, Vitamin D Insufficiency, Spasticity, Upper Limb Spasticity, Citracal + D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Citracal Petites, Oysco 500 with D, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Oyster Shell Calcium, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet, Prematurity/Underweight in Infancy

MS Symptoms May Develop Earlier in Darker, Cooler Climes

Posted 4 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – The farther from the Equator someone with multiple sclerosis lives, the earlier symptoms begin, a new study finds. MS is a progressive disease affecting the central nervous system. Although symptoms vary, they often include fatigue, dizziness, weakness, numbness or tingling, trouble walking and vision problems. The cause of MS is thought to be an interplay of genetic and environmental factors, including latitude and/or exposure to sunlight and vitamin D levels. But it wasn't known if latitude – the distance north or south of the Equator – affected the age when symptoms start. To examine the issue, Dr. Bruce Taylor, a professor at Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, and colleagues analyzed data from more than 22,000 MS patients in Australia and 20 countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. According to the new ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Upper Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity

Powerful MS Drug Used Early May Reverse Some Disability

Posted 14 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 14, 2016 – A multiple sclerosis drug usually reserved for people in the late stages of the disease seems to offer long-term remission in newly diagnosed patients, researchers report. Because of serious side effects, the drug – Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) – is approved in the United States only for patients who have failed other treatments. But the authors of a new study believe giving it early may slow and even reverse some disease-related disability. "The expectation in MS has always been to try to slow down the progression of the disease. Now we can tell our patients that a significant number can actually improve by reversing their disability," said lead researcher Dr. Gavin Giovannoni. He is a neurology professor at Queen Mary University of London in England. The treatment is not without its downsides, however. Because of the potential for side effects, people who received ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Upper Limb Spasticity, Lemtrada, Campath, Lower Limb Spasticity, Alemtuzumab, Spinal Spasticity

Exercise May Not Lower Women's Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 29 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 – Regular workouts may cut a woman's chances for heart disease and certain cancers, but new research suggests they won't lower the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS). The new study "did not provide evidence to support" the notion that exercise lowers MS risk, said study author Kassandra Munger, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. For the study, Munger's group tracked data on more than 193,000 American women involved in the Nurses' Health Study and Nurses' Health Study 2. These women were followed for up to 20 years. They had to fill out questionnaires regarding their current physical activity as well as the exercise they got when they were growing up. Munger's team used this information to calculate the number of hours the women exercised each week. Over the course of the study, 341 of the women were diagnosed with MS. After considering a number of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Drug Shows Promise Against MS in Mouse Study

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – An experimental drug, laquinimod, appears to prevent or slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice, according to a new study. "This study has given us more insight into how laquinimod works," said study author Dr. Scott Zamvil, of the University of California, San Francisco. "But because this was an animal study, more research needs to be done before we know if it could have similar results in people." Still, "these results are promising because they provide hope for people with progressive MS, an advanced version of the disease for which there is currently no treatment," Zamvil said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. A healthy immune system has T cells and B cells that help the body prevent infections. However, for people with MS, these cells create antibodies that attack and destroy the protective outer coating (myelin) ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Diagnosis and Investigation, Upper Limb Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

Treating Early Symptoms of MS May Extend Time to Diagnosis

Posted 11 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 11, 2016 – Starting multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment when the first signs of the disabling disease appear may delay the period before the condition is definitively diagnosed or a relapse occurs, new long-term research indicates. Researchers found that people who received early treatment for symptoms consistent with the onset of MS were one-third less likely to eventually be diagnosed with MS than participants whose treatment was delayed. Those symptoms include numbness, or vision or balance problems. Patients in the early treatment group also experienced a 19 percent lower annual relapse rate, the study found. "The surprise is that after 11 years, we were still able to detect a difference favoring early treatment, although the delay in starting treatment in the delayed treatment group was only 1.5 years on average," said study author Dr. Ludwig Kappos. He's a professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Betaseron, Spasticity, Upper Limb Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

Hundreds of U.S. Clinics Sell Unapproved Stem Cell 'Therapies'

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Hundreds of clinics across the United States are marketing unapproved stem cell treatments for conditions ranging from aging skin to spinal cord injuries, a new study finds. In an online search, researchers found at least 570 clinics offering unapproved stem cell "therapies." They tend to be concentrated in a handful of states – including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New York and Texas – but are scattered across many other states, too. Most often, the clinics market stem cell procedures for orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis and injured ligaments and tendons. This does have science behind it, but is still experimental, medical experts said. In other cases with little or no supporting evidence, clinics hawked stem cell "facelifts" and therapies for serious conditions such as chronic lung disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. If ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Respiratory Tract Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Stem Cell Transplant Conditioning

Poor Sleep May Worsen Thinking Problems in MS Patients

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – Researchers report a link between sleep apnea and thinking problems in people suffering from multiple sclerosis. "Since obstructive sleep apnea is a treatable condition that is also commonly seen in MS, we wondered, 'What if some of the thinking and processing difficulties that MS patients experience do not stem directly from the MS itself, but from the effects of sleep apnea or other sleep problems?'" said study co-first author Dr. Tiffany Braley in a University of Michigan news release. Braley is an assistant professor of neurology at the university. The study included 38 MS patients who underwent thinking and memory tests and were also assessed for sleep apnea. The results showed that 33 of them had the disorder, in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Not only that, but "multiple measures of sleep apnea severity directly correlated with ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome

MS Stem Cell Therapy Succeeds But Poses Risks

Posted 10 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 9, 2016 – A treatment combining chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant could represent a major advance against aggressive multiple sclerosis, experts say. This new treatment destroys the immune system with chemo and rebuilds it with the patient's own stem cells. Researchers say it stopped MS relapses and progression in 23 of 24 patients. According to the results of this small trial, these 23 patients no longer needed medication to control their MS. Moreover, eight showed continued improvement for nearly eight years. "These patients had highly active MS with lots of relapses and lots of ongoing damage to their brain, but we've been able to stop that," said lead researcher Dr. Harold Atkins. He is an associate professor of clinical hematology at the University of Ottawa in Canada. The results are noteworthy, Atkins said. "There are lots of drugs and treatments available ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Diagnosis and Investigation, Upper Limb Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity

FDA Approves Zinbryta (daclizumab) to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 1 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

May 27, 2016 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Zinbryta (daclizumab) for the treatment of adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Zinbryta is a long-acting injection that is self- administered by the patient monthly. “Zinbryta provides an additional choice to patients who may require a new option for treatment,” said Billy Dunn, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. MS is a chronic, inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that disrupts communication between the brain and other parts of the body. It is among the most common causes of neurological disability in young adults and occurs more frequently in women than men. For most people with MS, episodes of worsening function (relapses) are initially followed by recovery periods (remissions). Over time, recovery ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Zinbryta, Daclizumab

Health Tip: Wishing for Better Balance?

Posted 5 May 2016 by Drugs.com

-- If you're not as steady on your feet as you once were, a number of medical conditions may be responsible. Here are possible reasons for poor balance, courtesy of Harvard Medical School: Having a central nervous system disorder, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis. Having an inner ear condition that causes dizziness, such as Meniere's disease. Having vision problems, such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. Having weakened muscles, notably those of the back, thigh or abdomen. Having nerve damage in the feet or legs. Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Meniere's Disease, Parkinsonian Tremor, Spasticity, Parkinsonism, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Prevention of Falls, Lower Limb Spasticity

Allergy Med Might Also Fight MS-Linked Eye Damage

Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 – An over-the-counter antihistamine used to fight allergies may have an important new role: reversing the vision loss sometimes caused by multiple sclerosis. That's the finding from preliminary research that found that clemastine fumarate partially reversed optic neuropathy in people with MS. Optic neuropathy is damage to the nerve that relays information from the eye to the brain. The study is to be presented April 19 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Vancouver. "While the improvement in vision appears modest, this study is promising because it is the first time a drug has been shown to possibly reverse the damage done by MS," said study author Dr. Ari Green, assistant clinical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of California, San Francisco. The study was small, involving only 50 people averaging 40 years of age. ... Read more

Related support groups: Allergic Reactions, Allergies, Multiple Sclerosis, Tavist-D, Tavist, Optic Neuritis, Clemastine, Visual Defect/Disturbance, Contac 12 Hour Allergy, Leader Allerhist, Dayhist-1, Dayhist Allergy, Tavist-1, Allerhist-D, Dailyhist-1, Tavist Allergy/Sinus/Headache, Dayhist-D, Acetaminophen/Clemastine/Pseudoephedrine, Tavist Allergy, Allerhist-1

Zika May Be Linked to Autoimmune Brain Disorder, Study Says

Posted 11 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 10, 2016 – The Zika virus may be linked to yet another brain disorder, this one similar to multiple sclerosis, researchers report. The mosquito-borne virus is already suspected of causing a birth defect called microcephaly – characterized by an abnormally small head and brain – and a nervous system disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. Now, a new study reports a possible link between Zika and an autoimmune disorder known as acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM). In this disease, the immune system attacks the coating (myelin) around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, much like multiple sclerosis. "Though our study is small, it may provide evidence that in this case the virus has different effects on the brain than those identified in current studies," said study author Dr. Maria Lucia Brito Ferreira, of Restoration Hospital, Recife, Brazil. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Hydrocephalus, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Encephalomyelitis (Acute Disseminated)

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