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Swedish Presents Research at 2013 AAN Annual Meeting

Neurologists and neuroscience professionals this week from around the world gathered at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego. The Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute was pleased to co-author a few research trials presented at the meeting:

 

Teriflunomide and pregnancy

Dr. Lily Jung-Henson speaking at the AAN 65th Annual MeetingDr. Lily Jung-Henson, neurologist and Chief of Staff at Swedish Issaquah, spoke on behalf of a team of researchers about teriflunomide and a report on the safety of women who became pregnant on the medication. Teriflunomide is a once-daily, oral disease-modifying therapy (DMT) recently approved in the United States to treat relapsing multiple sclerosis. Clinical trials for teriflunomide took place among the many research studies for new treatments Swedish Neuroscience Institute offers patients with multiple sclerosis. (Read the full abstract here.)

Subset of a trial looking at endurance effects of Dalfampridine (AMPYRA®)

Dr. Angeli Mayadev, physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the MS Center, participated in this study of a medication to improve walking speed in people with MS. Dalfampridine -ER 10 mg twice daily significantly improved 6-minute walking distance compared to placebo. Dalfampridine 5 mg twice daily did not improve distance compared to placebo. Researchers also found that ....

MS Research Update: Pulse therapy for breakthrough multiple sclerosis

A small pilot study from the University of Southern California suggests a pulse adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) therapy could be effective in patients with breakthrough multiple sclerosis attacks while on beta-interferon. “Breakthrough” attacks that occur after starting a disease modifying therapy (DMT).

 

The study compared the safety and benefits of monthly pulse ACTH to monthly methylprednisone (MP) pulse in patients on beta-interferon. Over 15 months, researchers found that those treated with ACTH had fewer relapses and fewer psychiatric side effects. ACTH gel is currently used to treat MS relapses, but researchers note it may be able to alter the body’s immune responses beyond producing steroids.

 

As I discussed with the Medscape reporter, Megan Brooks, last week, the results of this study are ....

Seahawks’ Blitz and Dr. Bowen Demystify MS

Dr. James Bowen appeared today with Ryan Asdourian, “the man behind the bird” and Seahawks’ mascot Blitz, on the Seattle talk show New Day Northwest to shed some light on common misconceptions about multiple sclerosis (MS).

 

Host Margaret Larson asked Dr. Bowen about myths about MS as part of the program to promote this year’s Walk MS events in Seattle. Ryan Asdourian is proof of the full life many people lead with MS, rallying fans at Seahawks games and raising MS awareness as an active advocate for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

 

You can check out the video from KING5 TV’s website below. Find out more about how to join or donate to the Swedish S’myelin Strider’s Walk MS team at www.swedish.org/MS.

MS Research Update: Salt and Multiple Sclerosis

Increased dietary salt was reported to increase the immune attack on myelin in three studies this week. All three were published in the journal Nature.

  1. A study by Kleinewietfeld, et al, looked at TH17 cells, which is a type of lymphocyte that is highly inflammatory and that causes substantial tissue damage. These cells were grown in cultures in the lab. Some had normal and others high salt levels in their cultures. Those grown in a high salt environment had increased markers for inflammation. This seemed to be due to activation of one particular set of chemical signals in the cell, called the p38/MAPK pathway. They also looked at mice with an MS-like disease called experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). Mice fed a high salt diet had worse EAE than those fed a normal diet.
  2. A study by Wu, et al, also looked at TH17 cells. An analysis was done on genes associated with activation of TH17 cells, and SGK1 was identified as an important protein in this process. The SGK1 pathway was found to be more active if cells were cultured in a high salt environment. This was then studied in mice with EAE. Mice fed a high salt diet had more severe EAE. Blocking the SGK1 pathway seemed to reverse the effect of the high salt diet on the EAE.
  3. A study by Yosef, et al, also looked a the genes associated with activation of TH17 cells. They identified 22 sets of related genes that increased TH17 cell activity and 5 that decreased activity.

TH17 cells are highly inflammatory and likely contribute to the severe damage done to tissues in a number of diseases. Their precise role in MS is not fully understood, but it is believed that ...

Moving with MS through music

It is well documented that exercise is beneficial for the body and mind because it promotes strength, endurance, flexibility, range of motion, mood, and a general sense of health and well-being. All these “perks” improve function in our daily lives. Add music to the aerobics routine and the soul is uplifted. After all, music can calm or energize the spirit and often allows us to move more freely.

The MS Center at Swedish offers free aerobics classes to the MS community for the joy of movement and music. In contrast to the typical dance-like moves that might come to mind when you think of aerobics, the exercises in Aerobics for MS are designed to increase strength and mobility for functional movements part of everyday life. Most of all, they’re meant to be fun! Classes take place in a supportive and relaxed environment, and all abilities are invited.

For more information about MS aerobics classes...

Swedish Contributes to New Treatment Option for Multiple Sclerosis

 On September 12, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved teriflunomide for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Teriflunomide (AUBAGIO) is a once-daily pill for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. Led by Dr. Lily Jung Henson, the Swedish Neuroscience Institute was among several clinical sites that tested the drug. Results of the research showed that teriflunomide can lessen MS disease activity. Specifically, it behaves similarly to injectable therapies by slowing MS relapse frequency, the rate of disability and MRI activity.

The safety profile, however, is more challenging than ....

Finding Art in the Multiple Sclerosis Experience Third-Annual MS Art Show Set for June 16

SEATTLE, June 11, 2012 – Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sucks, as the painting says, but it also inspires art. The MS Center at Swedish is set to unveil its third-annual Art Show. Those touched by MS and living in the Pacific Northwest have been invited to submit their work. No visual media is off limits; all people living with and affected by MS from the Northwest region are accepted. The show's goal is to enhance wellness and quality of life for individuals affected by the disease.

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