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'MS' posts

MS Book Club Launch at the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

What: Book club launch, hosted by author of Chef Interrupted, Trevis Gleason

When: Friday, March 6, noon - 3 p.m.

Where: MS Center at Swedish
1600 East Jefferson Street, A Level
Seattle, WA 98122

RSVP: Mallory Higgins, 206-320-2200
 

Fall Prevention Program for Multiple Sclerosis

Falls happen.  Fall incidence can increase with disability.  Falls in multiple sclerosis (MS) are common and often occur due to motor weakness, imbalance, gait impairment, and not using the adaptive equipment (cane, walker, orthotic) designed to help one ambulate more effectively and safely.

Falls can result in injury. This injury might only be an embarrassment to one’s pride; however, at other times, falls can contribute to more serious problems such as a fractured hip, a head injury, and in the worst case scenario, death.  It is therefore important that we take a proactive approach to fall prevention.

The International Multiple Sclerosis Falls Prevention Research Network has examined the roles of various fall prevention rehabilitation programs to learn which might be the most effective in reducing fall risk and falls (click here to read the research).  A critical element, in all programs, is that participant improvement in fall risk and fall reduction is primarily achieved  in the short term but not sustained over the long term.  The reality is that most people's motivation, to continue a program, dramatically "falls off" over time.

Here's a summary of the different types of program settings:

The ABLE Act (Achieving A Better Life Experience Act) Approved by Congress: A Step in the Right Direction for Individuals with Disability

The ABLE Act, also known as The Achieving A Better Life Experience Act, was finally approved by Congress on a 76-16 vote and was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.  Although the ABLE Act does not directly benefit individuals with disabilities acquired later in life, it is a bold first step in recognizing the financial needs of individuals with disabilities and not penalizing these individuals from receiving public benefits.

What is the ABLE Act?

The ABLE Act allows people with disabilities and their families to set up a special savings account for disability related expenses.  Earnings on an ABLE account would not be taxed.  Disability related expenses is broad in definition and includes: medical and dental care, education, community based support, personal support services, employment training, assistive technology, housing, and transportation. 

How is the ABLE Act different from existing law?

Current law makes savings for disability related expenses difficult.  Individuals  ...

Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Multiple Sclerosis

The MS Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute played a major role in a research study that recently garnered national attention. This research was published in JAMA Neurology. This research investigated the effect of high dose immunosuppressive followed by hematopoietic stem cell therapy.

This therapy consists of collecting hematopoietic stem cells from patients' blood. Patients then undergo an intense course of immunosuppressive therapy with four medications. This therapy is sufficient to eliminate most of the patient’s bone marrow including white blood cells. The hematopoietic stem cells are then given back to the patient so that their bone marrow may be reconstituted. In multiple sclerosis (MS),  the immune system attacks the brain. The hope is that with this therapy the reconstituted immune system will have less of a tendency to attack the brain and that the disease will stabilize.

This is our second study on this technique in MS. The first study investigated the effect of this treatment on patients with more advanced disease. All but  ...

Gilenya fails in primary progressive multiple sclerosis trial

We recently found out that Gilenya (fingolimod), an oral treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), did not slow down disability progression in a phase III trial among primary progressive MS (PPMS) patients. The trial, called INFORMS, was the largest to date in PPMS, involving 970 patients in North America, Europe, and Australia. Patients were assigned to placebo or Gilenya for 3 years, and the primary outcome was a composite of walking, arm function and overall disability measures. Unfortunately, the progression rates in Gilenya and placebo groups were not statistically different. A full report of the trial will be presented at one of the upcoming neurology meetings, possibly in April 2015.

What type of MS do I have?

Traditionally, MS has been divided into four clinical courses: relapsing/remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive and progressive relapsing. These four were intended as descriptions of the different courses that MS could take in patients, and were not based on any particular understanding of the biology of the disease, the cause of the disease, or even the prognosis of patients with the different types of MS. Over the years, our understanding of MS has improved, and these descriptions of the disease course no longer meet our needs to describe the disease.

Over the past couple of years, there has been a revision of our classification of MS, resulting in a publication in July 2014. The recommendations of this revision have been  ..

Video: Music, Movement and Meditation Class at the Multiple Sclerosis Center


Click on the link below to watch footage of the Multiple Sclerosis Center’s Music, Movement and Meditation class with instructor, Gayle Cloud. This upbeat class is a blend of music and song combined with lighthearted activities. Bring your dancing shoes or wheels—Gayle will have you doing gentle movements to the beat. Music is offered to all patients with MS, Parkinson’s, stroke, or similar disease. Family members, caregivers, and friends are welcome to attend as well. No music experience required; wheelchairs are welcome.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) published research that shows how music can help:
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