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MS-Related Brain Changes May Affect Social Skills

Posted 1 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 – Subtle brain changes may explain why some people with multiple sclerosis (MS) lose their ability to interpret clues about what other people are thinking and feeling, a new study suggests. Until now, there has been little study of the way MS affects the so-called "social brain." Portuguese researchers wanted to learn why some people with MS develop a social disconnect that can hurt relationships and breed isolation. It doesn't happen to everyone with MS, but experts agree that it's a big deal for those who experience it. "It could interfere with all spheres of social interaction," said lead researcher Dr. Sonia Batista, a neurologist at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. "The ability to interpret other people's feelings and intentions may influence people's ability to maintain a job and their relationships with family and friends," said Batista. That's ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Social Anxiety Disorder, Multiple Sclerosis, Performance Anxiety, Chronic Spasticity, Spasticity, Diagnosis and Investigation, Upper Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity

Immune-Based Therapy Shows Early Promise Against MS

Posted 21 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 20, 2017 – An experimental immune-system therapy appears safe for people with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. And it may ease symptoms in some, a preliminary study suggests. The findings are based on just six patients, and the Australian researchers stressed that a lot of work still lies ahead. But they were encouraged that this new approach to MS had no major side effects. In addition, three of the six patients showed symptom improvements, including reduced fatigue and better mobility. It's not clear, however, what to make of those improvements, said Bruce Bebo, executive vice president of research for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The study was a "phase 1" trial, meaning it was designed only to test the therapy's safety. "Based on this very preliminary study, the therapy appears safe," said Bebo, who was not involved in the research. "But I'd be ... Read more

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

Ocrevus Approved to Treat Severe Form of Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – The injected drug Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and relapsing forms of the disease, the agency said Wednesday in a news release. MS is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, characterized by periods of active symptoms (relapses) and recovery periods (remission). Disrupting communication between the brain and the rest of the body, it's among the most common neurological causes of disability in young adults. More women than men are diagnosed, typically between ages 20 and 40. About 15 percent of people with MS have PPMS, the FDA said, citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In clinical trials, upper respiratory infection was the most common side effect of Ocrevus among users with either PPMS or ... Read more

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

FDA-OK'd Drug Offers Hope to Sickest MS Patients

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – A new multiple sclerosis drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Tuesday offers hope to patients with the most severe form of the progressive disease. The intravenous drug, made by Genentech, is called ocrelizumab (Ocrevus). Given every six months, it worked best for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) – the most common form of the disease, the FDA reported. But Ocrevus also appeared to slow progression of a more severe type of the disease, called primary progressive MS. "If the side effect profile continues to hold up ... I think ocrelizumab will become the leading MS therapy," said Dr. Steven Galetta, chairman of neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. He wasn't involved in the clinical trials that led to the drug's approval. "The drug offers the first option for patients with primary progressive MS," he ... Read more

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

Controversial MS Treatment Seems Ineffective

Posted 8 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 – An invasive multiple sclerosis treatment called liberation therapy is not only costly, it's also ineffective, new research contends. Since 2009, thousands of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients have undergone the controversial treatment. Liberation therapy involves opening up narrowed veins from the brain and spinal cord. However, many specialists have had doubts about the success of the procedure, the study authors said in background notes. In this Canadian study, 49 MS patients underwent liberation therapy and 55 other patients received a sham procedure. One year later, brain scans, doctors' reports and patient self-assessments of MS symptoms found no differences between the two groups of patients. "We hope these findings, coming from a carefully controlled, 'gold standard' study, will persuade people with MS not to pursue liberation therapy," said Dr. Anthony ... Read more

Related support groups: Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Disorders, Chronic Spasticity, Caltrate 600 with D, Spasticity, Calcium/Vitamin D, Citracal + D, Upper Limb Spasticity, Oysco 500 with D, Citracal Petites, Oyster Shell Calcium, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcium 600 D, Calcet, Lower Limb Spasticity, Calcarb with D, Spinal Spasticity, Calcio Del Mar, Dical-D, Citracal Maximum

Stem Cell Transplants May Help Some With Multiple Sclerosis

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Stem cell transplants may halt the progression of aggressive multiple sclerosis (MS) in nearly half of those with the debilitating disease, but picking the right patients for the treatment is key, a new study suggests. Specifically, younger patients with a relapsing form of MS who were not severely disabled and who hadn't found relief with other treatments fared better than others over five years, the international team of researchers found. However, in some cases the treatment proved fatal, the researchers reported. "Stem cell transplantation cannot be considered a cure for MS. However, it can be considered a concrete option for patients showing aggressive MS who have not responded to approved treatments," said study co-author Dr. Riccardo Saccardi. He's from the cell therapy and transfusion medicine unit at Careggi University Hospital in Florence, Italy. Using ... Read more

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

Specially Designed Video Game Might Ease 'Phantom Limb' Pain

Posted 2 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 1, 2016 – Amputees who experience what is known as phantom limb pain may benefit from playing a virtual reality game that simulates the movement of missing limbs, a small study suggests. "Phantom limb pain is a difficult condition to treat that can seriously hinder patients' quality of life," said study lead author Max Ortiz Catalan. He is an assistant professor at Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology. Phantom limb pain occurs when amputees feel painful sensations that appear to be coming from limbs that no longer exist. In about one-third of cases, the pain can lead to poor mental health and worsening disability, the study authors noted. "The results from our study suggest that it may be useful to 'exercise' the phantom limb," Catalan explained. "Our treatment offers an engaging way to do this while also providing a non-invasive and non-pharmacological treatment, ... Read more

Related support groups: Neuropathic Pain, Periodic Limb Movement Disorder, Spinal Cord Trauma, Autonomic Neuropathy, Central Nervous System Disorders, Upper Limb 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, Chronic Spasticity, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Caltrate 600 with D, Spasticity, Vitamin D Insufficiency, Upper Limb Spasticity, Citracal + D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Oysco 500 with D, Citracal Petites, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Lower Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Oyster Shell Calcium, Citracal Creamy Bites, Calcet

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

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

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

Botox Can Be Used for Chronic Migraine, Experts Say

Posted 18 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 18, 2016 – Botox is a safe and effective treatment for chronic migraine and three other neurological disorders, an updated guideline from the American Academy of Neurology says. Long used to smooth wrinkles, botulinum toxin is made by a type of bacteria. The toxin blocks the release of substances at nerve endings, reducing muscle contraction and the transmission of pain signals, the researchers explained. The authors of the updated guideline reviewed scientific studies on the four preparations of botulinum toxin available in the United States. They concluded that the treatment is generally safe and effective for four neurological conditions: chronic migraine, spasticity in adults, cervical dystonia and blepharospasm. Chronic migraine is defined as having migraines 15 or more days a month, the study authors explained. Spasticity in adults is muscle tightness that ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Migraine Prevention, Migraine Prophylaxis, Facial Wrinkles, Cervical Dystonia, Chronic Spasticity, Blepharospasm, Spasticity, Upper Limb Spasticity, Spinal Spasticity, Lower Limb Spasticity, Botulinum Toxin Type B, Myobloc

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