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Multiple Sclerosis News (Page 4)

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New Drug Shows Promise for MS

Posted 14 Apr 2015 by

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 – An experimental drug appears to repair nerve damage seen in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, results of an early trial suggest. MS, an often disabling disease of the central nervous system, damages myelin, the fatty substance that protects nerves. Now, for the first time, researchers show evidence of repair of damaged myelin in the human brain, said lead researcher Dr. Diego Cadavid, who is with Massachusetts-based Biogen Idec, which makes the drug and funded the trial. The trial was the second of three phases required for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug, known as anti-LINGO-1. "These data support our ongoing development of anti-LINGO-1," said Cadavid. The trial included 82 people with acute optic neuritis, an eye problem that causes inflammation, damage to nerve fibers and loss of myelin within the optic nerve. About half of those with ... Read more

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New Specialty Medicines Drive Up Drug Spending

Posted 14 Apr 2015 by

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 (HealthDay New) – New medicines targeting conditions like hepatitis C, cancer and multiple sclerosis helped to propel drug spending to its highest level in more than a decade, a new report finds. Medicine sales jumped 13 percent, to nearly $374 billion, in 2014 after a period of mostly low single-digit growth, according to the report released Tuesday by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics in Parsippany, N.J. Last year's increase was the largest since 2001, as spending rose 17 percent to nearly $174 billion on the growth of new "blockbuster" drugs, the report said. For the report, the IMS Institute tallies U.S. drug spending across all settings – from hospitals to retail pharmacies – and outlines the forces channeling that growth. The institute received no drug company or government funding for the report. New drug innovation, higher sticker prices and ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Hepatitis C, Multiple Sclerosis

Ingredient in MS, Psoriasis Drugs Linked to Two Deadly Brain Infections

Posted 9 Apr 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, April 8, 2015 – An active ingredient in some psoriasis and multiple sclerosis medications has been linked to two cases of a rare and sometimes lethal brain infection. The ingredient, dimethyl fumarate, appears to have contributed to the deaths of two European women. The women contracted progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML, according to two letters published in the April 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. One case involved a 54-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis. She died in October 2014 from complications related to PML and pneumonia, following 4.5 years of treatment with a time-delayed form of dimethyl fumarate carrying the brand name Tecfidera, researchers reported. The second case was a 64-year-old woman with psoriasis. She died in August 2014 from PML after being treated with a delayed-release dimethyl fumarate compound with the brand name ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Tecfidera, Dimethyl Fumarate

Clues to 'Brain Fog' in Chronic Fatigue Patients Found in Spinal Fluid

Posted 31 Mar 2015 by

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 – People with chronic fatigue syndrome show a distinct pattern of immune system proteins in their spinal fluid – a finding that could shed light on the "brain fog" that marks the condition, researchers say. The new study found that, compared with healthy people, those with chronic fatigue syndrome had lower levels of certain immune-system proteins called cytokines in the fluid that bathes the spinal cord and brain. The exception was one particular cytokine, which was elevated in not only people with chronic fatigue, but also those with multiple sclerosis. The finding could offer clues as to why people with chronic fatigue syndrome typically have problems with memory, concentration and thinking, said lead researcher Dr. Mady Hornig, a professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City. The study also bolsters evidence that some ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Diagnosis and Investigation

Could Coffee Lower Risk of Multiple Sclerosis?

Posted 26 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 26, 2015 – People who down several cups of coffee every day may have a decreased risk of developing multiple sclerosis, a new study suggests. The study, of 5,600 Swedish and U.S. adults, found that those who drank four to six cups of coffee a day were about one-third less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS), compared with people who did not drink coffee. Researchers stressed that the findings do not prove that coffee fights MS – a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective sheath around nerve fibers in the brain and spine. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems and difficulty with balance and coordination. "This doesn't mean we should be recommending rampant coffee drinking," said lead researcher Dr. Ellen Mowry, an assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. There could, for ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Caffeine, Fioricet, Excedrin, Alert, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Cafergot, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Esgic, Headache Relief, Fioricet with Codeine, Esgic-Plus, Acetaminophen/Butalbital/Caffeine, Excedrin Extra Strength, Trezix, Norgesic Forte, Dolgic Plus, KneeRelief

Multiple Sclerosis Linked to Lower Levels of Key Nutrients in Women

Posted 20 Feb 2015 by

FRIDAY, Feb. 20, 2015 – Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) have lower levels of important antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients than those without the disease, new research finds. "Since MS is a chronic inflammatory disorder, having enough nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties may help prevent the disease or reduce the risk of attacks for those who already have MS," study author Sandra Cassard, of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. The study included 27 white women with MS, aged 18 to 60, and a "control" group of 30 age-matched healthy white women. On average, the MS patients had lower levels of five antioxidant or anti-inflammatory nutrients: folate from food, vitamin E, magnesium, lutein-zeaxanthin and quercetin. Among the women with MS, average daily intake of food folate was 244 micrograms (mcg), compared ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

Mercury in Seafood May Raise Risk of Autoimmune Diseases in Women: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – The mercury found in some seafood may be linked to autoimmune disorders among women of childbearing age, new research suggests. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body's immune response goes awry and starts to attack healthy cells. Such diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and "Sjogren's syndrome." All told, these diseases affect roughly 50 million Americans, most of whom are women, the University of Michigan researchers said. "We don't have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders," study author Emily Somers said in a university news release. "A large number of cases are not explained by genetics," she added, "so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus Erythematosus, Mercury Poisoning

Early Study Says Stem Cells May Reverse Multiple Sclerosis Disability

Posted 20 Jan 2015 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 – A therapy that uses patients' own primitive blood cells may be able to reverse some of the effects of multiple sclerosis, a preliminary study suggests. The findings, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, had experts cautiously optimistic. But they also stressed that the study was small – with around 150 patients – and the benefits were limited to people who were in the earlier courses of multiple sclerosis (MS). "This is certainly a positive development," said Bruce Bebo, the executive vice president of research for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. There are numerous so-called "disease-modifying" drugs available to treat MS – a disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective sheath (called myelin) around fibers in the brain and spine, according to the society. Depending on where the damage is, ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

Ulcer Bacteria Tied to Lower Multiple Sclerosis Risk in Women

Posted 20 Jan 2015 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 20, 2015 – Women who harbor the stomach bacteria Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study suggests. In the study, researchers found that among women with MS – an often disabling disease of the central nervous system – 14 percent had evidence of past infection with H. pylori. But 22 percent of healthy women in the study had evidence of a previous H. pylori infection. H. pylori bacteria settle in the gut, and while the bug usually causes no problems, it can eventually lead to ulcers or even stomach cancer. It's estimated that half of the world's population carries H. pylori, but the prevalence is much lower in wealthier countries than developing ones, according to background information in the study. "Helicobacter is typically acquired in childhood and correlates directly with hygiene," explained Dr. Allan ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Study: HPV Vaccine Doesn't Increase Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 6 Jan 2015 by

TUESDAY, Jan. 6, 2015 – The HPV vaccine for cervical cancer and other diseases doesn't increase the risk for multiple sclerosis or other central nervous system disorders, according to a new study. More than 175 million doses of HPV vaccines have been distributed worldwide to girls and young women – and more recently males – since 2006. Unconfirmed reports in social and news media suggested the possibility of some safety concerns about the vaccine, including increased risk for multiple sclerosis and similar diseases, according to background information with the study. To investigate this possible risk, researchers led by Nikolai Madrid Scheller, of the Statens Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark, examined data on nearly 4 million Danish and Swedish girls and women from 2006 to 2013. The participants ranged in age from 10 to 44 years. Using national registers, the researchers ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Gardasil, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Cervarix, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis

Stem Cell Therapy for MS Shows Promise

Posted 5 Jan 2015 by

MONDAY, Dec. 29, 2014 – An experimental therapy that kills off and then "resets" the immune system has given three years of remission to a small group of multiple sclerosis patients, researchers say. About eight in 10 patients given this treatment had no new adverse events after three years. And nine in 10 experienced no progression or relapse in their MS, said lead author Dr. Richard Nash of the Colorado Blood Cancer Institute at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver. "I think we all think of this as a viable therapy," Nash said. "We still need to perform a randomized clinical trial, but we're all pretty impressed so far, in terms of what we've seen." In multiple sclerosis, the body's immune system for some unknown reason attacks the nervous system, in particular targeting the insulating sheath that covers the nerve fibers, according to the U.S. National Institutes of ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis

FDA Medwatch Alert: Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) by Biogen Idec: Drug Safety Communication - Case of Rare Brain Infection PML Reported

Posted 26 Nov 2014 by

ISSUE: FDA is warning that a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) who was being treated with Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) developed a rare and serious brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and later died. The patient who died was not taking any other drugs that affect the immune system or drugs that are thought to be associated with PML. As a result, information describing this case of PML is being added to the Tecfidera drug label. PML is a rare and serious brain infection caused by the John Cunningham (JC) virus. The JC virus is a common virus that is harmless in most people but can cause PML in some patients who have weakened immune systems. See the FDA Drug Safety Communication for additional clinical information about this case. BACKGROUND: Tecfidera is a drug used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), a brain and spinal cord ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Tecfidera

FDA Approves Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) for Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 16 Nov 2014 by

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., November 14, 2014 --(BUSINESS WIRE) --Genzyme, a Sanofi company, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its safety profile, the use of Lemtrada should generally be reserved for patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more drugs indicated for the treatment of MS. “Today’s approval is the culmination of more than a decade of work by Genzyme to develop Lemtrada,” said Genzyme President and CEO, David Meeker. “Lemtrada demonstrated superior efficacy over Rebif on annualized relapse rates in the two studies which were the basis for approval. A comprehensive risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) will be instituted in order to help detect and manage the serious risks identified with treatment.” The FDA ... Read more

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Research Shows No Link Between Vaccinations, Risk for Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 21 Oct 2014 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2014 – A new study finds no link between vaccines and increased risk of multiple sclerosis or similar nervous system diseases. Even though some have questioned whether vaccines – particularly for hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) – might be associated with a small rise in the risk of MS, prior studies yielded mixed findings on the issue, with most studies showing no link. Many of those studies were limited by small numbers of participants and other factors, said the new team of researchers led by Dr. Annette Langer-Gould of Kaiser Permanente, Southern California, and colleagues. In their new research, Langer-Gould's team analyzed data from 780 patients with MS or related diseases and compared their vaccination histories with that of more than 3,800 healthy patients. The participants included females aged 9 to 26, which is the indicated age range for HPV ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

New Myelin Loss Linked to MS Severity: Study

Posted 12 Sep 2014 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 12, 2014 – There's a strong connection between the severity of disease and the loss of myelin in the brain's gray matter for who have multiple sclerosis (MS), a new study says. MS causes the loss of myelin, the fatty, protective sheath around nerve fibers that is most abundant in the brain's signal-conducting white matter. That's why MS is typically considered a disease of the white matter, the researchers noted. But myelin is also present in smaller amounts in gray matter, which is the brain's information processing center, and the researchers used MRI to spot the impact of that loss as well, according to the study, published online Sept. 10 in the journal Radiology. "The fact that MS patients lose myelin not only in white but also in gray matter has been proven by earlier post-mortem pathological studies," Vasily Yarnykh, an associate professor in the radiology ... Read more

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