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'multiple sclerosis' posts

Research and progress for progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

I am delighted to write the blog over the Progressive MS session that was given at ECTRIMS 2013.  Much emphasis has been given to the need for more research in the fields of progressive MS.  The majority of MS patients fit into this broad category: primary progressive MS, secondary progressive MS, and progressive relapsing forms of the disease.  During a session devoted to progressive MS, leaders in the field discussed several initiatives underway to address the challenges presented by these forms of the disease. 

Rehabilitation is a mainstay and key to improving the lives of patients with progressive MS. Many patients describe their progression in terms of mobility decline, which is a major target of improvement in rehabilitation programs.

The first session was devoted to confusion surrounding the definition of “progression in MS.”  We use ...

Service animals help support people with MS

On October 21, 2013 the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute hosted a meet and greet with Buddy Hayes, national speaker for Canine Companions for Independence.  Buddy, as she prefers to be called, is a military veteran and the owner of Stanford, a handsome Labrador Retriever service dog given to her by Canine Companions for Independence.

Canine Companions for Independence is the largest national nonprofit organization provider of assistance dogs in the United States.  Canine Companions proudly provides assistance dogs to people in need completely free of charge.  They use hundreds of volunteers around the country and an expert team of professionals to deliver a service that allows people to continue living active and independent lives with the help of a professionally trained dog.

Stanford has been taught to make Buddy’s life easier and safer.  For example, Stanford can help open doors, turn lights on/off, pick up dropped items, and pull her lightweight wheelchair if needed.  One of the very practical lessons a dog is taught is to go to the bathroom on verbal command.  To obtain a service dog, one must ...

Testosterone is associated with worse disease severity in men with early relapsing onset multiple sclerosis

MS and many other autoimmune diseases are less common in men than in women. This is especially true during reproductive years. Sex hormones, including testosterone and estrogen, may be responsible for the difference. It is thought that men with multiple sclerosis may have lower testosterone levels than healthy controls.

Dr. Bove and his group assessed the prevalence and clinical associations of hypogonadism in men with recent onset relapsing multiple sclerosis.  Male subjects from the Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigations of MS at the Brigham and Women's Hospital (CLIMB) cohort were included. Hormonal measures included testosterone, the testosterone: estradiol ratio, leutinizing hormone (LH), and free testosterone. Clinical outcomes were collected every 6 months for Expanded Disease Severity Scale (EDSS), and annually for Symbol Digit Modalities test (SDMT).

The analysis included 96 men with a mean age of 40 years, disease duration of 4.6 years; 71% subjects were untreated at baseline. Of these men, 39% were ...

Gut Microbiome: Studying the links between people, bacteria, and MS

Our bodies are made of billions of cells. However, the cells in our bodies are far outnumbered by the bacteria that cover our skin and inhabit our gut. These bacteria are now increasingly recognized to have an important role in maintaining our health. For example, skin bacteria help protect us from more dangerous bacteria that could invade us. Gut bacteria help digest our food. There are suggestions that changes in these bacteria, particularly those in the gut, might play a role in several diseases.

Swedish MS Center represented at Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in MS

The 29th Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) and the 18th Annual Conference on Rehabilitation in MS (RIMS) were held on October 2-5 in Copenhagen, Denmark. These two meetings are the largest scientific meetings on MS and rehabilitation in MS, with over 8,000 people attending this year.

The MS Center at Swedish was well-represented with five people attending. The meeting consisted of educational courses, symposia and scientific research presentations. The scientific presentations included over 1200 posters describing recent research in MS. There were also over 200 oral scientific research presentations. Upcoming blog posts will cover some of the reports that were of most interest to us.

Wondering how a service dog may help you?

It’s our pleasure to announce that Buddy Hayes will be coming to the MS Center on October 21! Buddy is a motivational speaker who’s passionate about educating the public on the daily challenges that people with disabilities face and how they overcome them. She is a retired certified therapeutic recreation specialist as well as a veteran of the US Army.

Buddy has been living with multiple sclerosis for many years and she’s turned her diagnosis into an opportunity to change the way that the world perceives people with disabilities. Buddy has shown that she is not only an inspirational speaker, but she’s also unafraid to take on any challenge. Just a few of her many accomplishments include skiing, rock climbing, surfing, scuba diving, and winning the title of Ms. Wheelchair Virginia 2007-2008. One of the many ways that Buddy takes on challenges is with the help of her service dog, Stanford.

On October 21, Buddy (and Stanford) will be coming to the MS Center to talk about what a service dog is, how to obtain one, and how they can change a life forever.

We welcome all who’d like to attend Buddy’s presentation:

October 21st 1:00-2:00 pm
Hedreen Wellness Studio, MS Center
Jefferson Tower, Level A

New MS therapy approved by the European Commission

On September 17, the European Commission, the European equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approved the release of alemtuzumab (Lemtrada™.)

Alemtuzumab is an intravenous monoclonal antibody that selectively reduces circulating T lymphocytes, which are thought to be involved in inflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS). This reduction is followed by repopulation of T and B cells over time. It is administered on five consecutive days in the first year of therapy, followed by three consecutive days 12 months later.

Swedish Neuroscience Institute was involved in Care-MS II, one of the pivotal Phase III studies in which MS patients who had relapsed on other therapies were randomized to either alemtuzumab or interferon beta-1a. The drug was found to be significantly ...

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