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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 ...

Team Swedish Bikes for Multiple Sclerosis

The Swedish S’myelin Babes, Swedish’s Bike MS team, raised more than $46,000 this year. The annual event raises funds for multiple sclerosis research and local programs to support people living with the disease.

Check out a few photos captured by Dr. Lily JungHenson from this year’s event:

Proteomics identifies protein changes in multiple sclerosis and CIS

A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE found differences in protein levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) among people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).

Using the relatively new field of proteomics, researchers were able to identify each individual protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)—86 total—and compares their levels among people with relapsing MS, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and healthy individuals. People with RRMS had different levels of 20 proteins compared to people with CIS. Seventy five percent of those proteins related to neurons (rather than myelin). Changes were particularly notable for proteins related to neurons in participants with CIS.

This study is one of many MS studies coming from the relatively new field of proteomics. This field uses ...

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