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Copaxone and the Interferon Betas Are Clinically Similar

Peiqing Qian

Peiqing Qian
Neurologist, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Copaxone and the interferon betas (IFN-β) are both effective treatments for a relapsing form of multiple sclerosis (MS). A new study finds that MS patients followed over 10 years have similar annualized relapse rates (ARR) whether they take Copaxone or one of the interferon betas.

This recent study looked at 10 years of data on over 3,000 RRMS patients and found that Copaxone and IFN-β were similarly successful in reducing relapses. In the new study, researchers collected data on 3,326 RRMS patients who were using either IFN-β or Copaxone as their first-ever disease-modifying therapy (DMT) for at least 6 months, and had started treatment within 10 years of their first symptom. To be included in the study, patients also had to have had at least one relapse recorded during the two years leading up to the start of their initial DMT.

The researchers looked at ...

MS Patient Enjoys Skiing Again

Mallory Higgins

Mallory Higgins
Education Coordinator and Marketing Specialist, Swedish MS Center

Bud Feuerstein is flying down the mountainside on an adaptive mono ski, a product of Outdoors For All (a nonprofit organization that enables recreational activities for individuals with disabilities).



Eight years prior, Bud would have been carving the slopes on his own set of skis, but due to a rare disease, he was left paralyzed from the chest down. Bud will never forget the night he was lying in bed and an odd sensation came over his body. Within seconds, he was paralyzed. Months later, he was diagnosed with transverse myelitis, a disease in the multiple sclerosis family. Having a better chance of winning the lottery, Bud was blindsided by this diagnosis, and his life was forever changed.

With this earth-shattering news, Bud had two fears:

Preliminary results from study of myelin repair

James D. Bowen, MD

Results were released recently from a study of a medication that may promote myelin repair. The MS Center at Swedish was one of the research sites for this study. The medication, rHIgM22, is an antibody that encouraged myelin repair in animal models. The way that it helps with myelin repair is not known. This study was a phase I study, which means that it was the first time that this medication was used in humans. Phase I studies are done to determine the safety of a medication, and also to help determine the dose of the medication.

In this study, patients ...

Recommended vaccinations for those with IBD

Karlee J. Ausk, MD

Karlee J. Ausk, MD
Gastroenterologist

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a persistent inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal system affecting over one million Americans. Treatment of IBD often requires altering a patient’s immune response and can increase the risk for infectious complications. To help prevent this, the American Gastroenterological Association and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation have published immunization guidelines for IBD patients. Despite these recommendations, less than half of IBD patients are up-to-date on their recommended immunizations. Studies show that the most common reason for missing vaccinations is the lack of awareness that immunizations are safe and recommended.


If you are immune-suppressed, inactivated vaccines are safe and should be given. I would recommend:

World Cancer Day 2015: Not Beyond Us

Damarise Navarro, MPH

Damarise Navarro, MPH
Health Education Specialist, Swedish Cancer Institute

World Cancer Day is an initiative created to give the entire world an opportunity to fight against the cancer epidemic together.

Cancer is the uncontrollable growth and spread of cells.  The cancerous cells originate in one area and have the potential to invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize/spread to other sites through the blood and lymph system. There are different types of cancers such as carcinoma, sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and the central nervous system. Avoiding common risk factors such as smoking can help reduce the risk of developing cancer.  Based on the time of diagnosis, cancer may be treated using surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.

World Cancer Day occurs the 4th of every February. The primary goal is to significantly reduce the illness and death caused by cancer.  In order to prevent the loss of millions of lives, this initiative aims to raise awareness and education about cancer as well as motivating government entities and individuals to take a stance against the disease.

Are trampolines safe for kids?

Kathleen Moen, MD

Kathleen Moen, MD
Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Trampolines are fun and children get a good amount of exercise when using them. However, thousands of children every year are injured on trampolines. In 2009, 98,000 people were seen in emergency rooms with injuries sustained while on trampolines. While many of these injuries were bumps and bruises, others were fractured bones that required casting and injuries requiring hospitalization and surgery. Sadly, a small percentage of people sustained life-threatening and permanently life-altering injuries, including closed head injuries and spinal cord injuries. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the America Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons have discouraged the recreational use of trampolines. What do we know about how these injuries occur and can we avoid them?

About 75% of injuries happen when more than one child at a time is on the trampoline. The smallest children are most at risk, because:

All about fibroids

Karen Jones, MD

Karen Jones, MD
Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Swedish Healthcare for Women

Fibroids are a benign growth of the muscular wall of the uterus. In some women, the cells of the muscle of the uterus start to grow and form a ball of tissue. This ball of tissue, or fibroid, can be very small such as the size of a pea to 10 cm or more in diameter. Fibroids can cause a woman to have heavy periods and bleed between periods, or may cause pressure on the bladder so she needs to urinate frequently, or may cause a large mass in the abdomen. Fibroids sometimes cause discomfort or pain, but not as often.

What a woman who has fibroids notices depends on ...
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