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Multiple Sclerosis News (Page 4)

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Playing Video Game May Boost MS Patients' Balance: Study

Posted 26 Aug 2014 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 26, 2014 – An exercise component of the popular Nintendo Wii video game may help multiple sclerosis patients improve their balance by rewiring their brains, a new study suggests. No medications exist to preserve balance in MS patients, and some drugs make balance worse, said study lead author Dr. Luca Prosperini, a neurologist at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. It appears that patients who use the Wii Balance Board five days a week – moving to snowboarding or dance games, for example – may help reduce their risk of falls and boost certain brain connections, possibly because they're coordinating their movements with a figure on a screen, Prosperini said. There are caveats to the research, however. The study was small, and there's a risk that patients could hurt themselves by falling, although they can play seated rather than stand on the balance board. "Patients with ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

FDA Approves Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a) for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 18 Aug 2014 by

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.- August 15, 2014 – Biogen Idec announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a), a new treatment for people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). Plegridy, the only pegylated beta interferon approved for use in RMS, is dosed once every two weeks and can be administered subcutaneously with the Plegridy Pen, a new, ready-to-use autoinjector, or a prefilled syringe. “Plegridy offers people with MS robust efficacy, a safety profile consistent with the established interferon class, and significantly fewer injections than other beta interferon treatments,” said George A. Scangos, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Biogen Idec. “Plegridy represents the most significant innovation in the interferon class in over a decade, and is the result of our deep commitment to improving the lives of people with MS and thos ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Interferon Beta-1A

People With HIV May Be at Lower Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 4 Aug 2014 by

MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2014 – People with HIV seem to have a much lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who don't have the virus, a new study finds. This lower risk may be due to constant suppression of the immune system due to the HIV infection itself and/or the antiretroviral drugs used to treat the infection, according to the researchers. They said their findings could prove important in finding new ways to treat MS, a degenerative nervous system disease. The hospital study observed more than 21,000 HIV patients and nearly 5.3 million people in England who were followed for seven years. During that time, just seven people were diagnosed with MS instead of the expected 18 people. That means people with HIV seemed to be about 60 percent less likely to develop MS compared to those who didn't have HIV. The longer a person had HIV, the less likely they were to develop MS. ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, HIV Infection

Stem Cells Reverse MS-Like Illness in Mice

Posted 16 May 2014 by

THURSDAY, May 15, 2014 – Mice disabled by a multiple sclerosis-like condition were able to walk again a few weeks after receiving human neural stem cell transplants, a new study shows. While research in mice often fails to pan out in humans, the researchers believe the finding hints at new ways to treat people with MS. The mice with the MS-like condition had to be fed by hand because they could not stand long enough to eat and drink on their own. But within 10 to 14 days of receiving the human neural stem cells, the rodents regained the ability to walk, along with other motor skills. This improvement was still evident six months later, the researchers said. The study authors said they were surprised by the results of what they believed was to be a routine experiment. They had expected that the transplanted cells would be rejected by the mice. "My postdoctoral fellow Dr. Lu Chen came to ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

Medical Marijuana May Ease Some MS Symptoms, Study Concludes

Posted 28 Apr 2014 by

MONDAY, April 28, 2014 – Medical marijuana can help relieve some symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but whether it can benefit patients with other neurological disorders is still unclear, according to a new review by top neurologists. Doctors with the American Academy of Neurology reviewed current research and found certain forms of marijuana – but not smoked marijuana – can help treat MS symptoms such as muscle stiffness, certain types of pain and muscle spasms, and overactive bladder. "There are receptors in the brain that respond to marijuana, and the locations of the receptors are in places where you would expect them to help with these symptoms," said Dr. Barbara Koppel, a professor of neurology at New York Medical College in New York City and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. But marijuana can't help tremors caused by MS or involuntary muscle spasms caused by the use ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Marinol

Cell-Targeted Therapy Shows Early Promise Against MS

Posted 24 Apr 2014 by

THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 – Treatment targeting specific white blood cells in the immune system known as B cells may help people with multiple sclerosis (MS), new research suggests. The study involved 231 people with a form of MS that's called relapsing-remitting. For these patients, there are times when their disease is very active. At other times, the condition becomes less intense and they may experience a full or partial recovery of function. Researchers gave the participants either several low doses of a drug called ofatumumab or a harmless placebo pill. Ofatumumab is an "anti-B cell antibody" and is not yet approved for the treatment of MS. The research was funded by GlaxoSmithKline, the drug's maker. Researchers led by GlaxoSmithKline investigator Darrin Austin analyzed the effects of this drug compared to the dummy pill on the total number of new brain lesions the patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

Rare, But Serious, Side Effect Reported With One MS Drug

Posted 2 Apr 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, April 2, 2014 – A handful of people taking a medication called Rebif to treat multiple sclerosis have developed a serious condition that causes blood clots to form in small blood vessels throughout the body. In a letter in the March 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Scottish researchers reported that they found an unexpectedly high number of cases of "thrombotic microangiopathy" in people taking Rebif who suddenly developed severe high blood pressure. The condition is a combination of the clotting disorders hemolytic-uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (HUS/TTP). The two disorders often occur together. In HUS, the red blood cells are destroyed, and the debris from that destruction clumps together and clots. Those numerous blood clots cause TTP, which occurs when small blood vessels throughout the body become blocked with blood clots, ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Rebif

New Clues to Link Between MS Drug Tysabri and Rare Brain Disease

Posted 25 Mar 2014 by

TUESDAY, March 25, 2014 – Researchers report that they think they have figured out why patients who take the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri face a high risk of developing a rare, and sometimes fatal, brain infection. A common virus that can cause the brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) likes to infect and hide in certain blood cells that are triggered to mobilize by Tysabri, the study authors explained. Even more troubling, the researchers discovered that current tests may be missing some who harbor the virus. "Right now, the risk of PML in patients treated with [Tysabri] for more than two years is about one in 75 patients. That's a very high risk," said study author Eugene Major, a senior investigator at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in Bethesda, Md. "We need to be able to understand why this therapy puts patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Tysabri, Natalizumab

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, Ginkgo Biloba, Omacor, MaxEPA, Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, EPA Fish Oil, Marine Lipid Concentrate, Animi-3, Omega 3-6-9 Complex, Mi-Omega, Vascazen, Omega-500, Sea-Omega, Divista

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, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Yasmin, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Multiple Sclerosis, Ortho Evra, Plan B One-Step, TriNessa, Lutera, Mononessa

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

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

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, Calciferol, Delta D3, Decara, D 1000 IU, D3-50, Calcidol, Maximum D3, D3-5, D400, D2000

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

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