Swedish News Blog

Multiple Sclerosis Cyclists Ride Cross-Country to Swedish

James D. Bowen, MD

Help us thank and congratulate them Sunday, August 4. Photo from Diane Mattens.

More than 30 bike riders will arrive at the MS Center at Swedish on the afternoon of Sunday, August 4 to celebrate their cross-country bike ride and to make a contribution in support of the Center. We are seeking MS Center patients and friends to help us welcome the riders, including Swedish patient, Diane Mattens, and to thank them for their generous support.

The cyclists will be wrapping up their 4,295 mile bike ride that began...

Do injectable therapies benefit progressive forms of MS?

Lily K. Jung Henson, MD

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recently published their Top Five Recommendations in the Choosing Wisely Campaign in promoting high value neurological care. This was done in collaboration with the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation and Consumer Reports to reduce ineffective and costly care.

One of the AAN’s recommendations was to stop prescribing interferon-beta and glatiramer acetate to people who have progressive, non-relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The AAN made clear that  the recommendations were intended to promote discussion between patients and their providers about the value of these therapies, not to completely stop the use of specific treatments.

The recommendation to stop prescribing interferon-beta and glatiramer acetate is not unanimously supported by all MS neurologists, many of whom feel that this was an oversimplification.

People with ...

Heat Sensitivity and Multiple Sclerosis: Resources to help cool off MS symptoms

Kate Floyd

Kate Floyd
Education Coordinator, Swedish MS Center

The summer months have arrived and the weather is warming up. While many sun-deprived residents of the Pacific Northwest are enjoying more sunshine, many people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience a temporary worsening of their symptoms when the weather gets warmer.

Air conditioners, fans, and cooling products like vests and neck wraps can help keep the body cool and prevent or reverse the symptoms. But what if you can’t afford it, or think your income is too high to get financial assistance?

Multiple sclerosis MRI technique can spot tissue damage months before an MS attack

James D. Bowen, MD

A study published in this week’s Neurology found that a relatively new MRI technique could spot changes in the brain up to three months before inflammation causes a multiple sclerosis (MS) attack.

Traditionally, we have viewed MS as a disease where the immune system attacks the brain, causing the abrupt onset of inflammation (measured by gadolinium enhancement). This inflammation causes damage to the brain, which causes symptoms.

The new technique, called susceptibility-weighted imaging, allows researchers to see that tissue damage is happening up to three months prior to the inflammation.

Susceptibility-weighted imaging measures the amount of magnetic susceptibility of tissues aligned in different directions. The amount of alignment in different directions is called the phase image. In tissues like myelin, the magnetic susceptibility lines up with the direction of the myelin because molecules can move alongside the myelin more easily than they can move across it.

When myelin is damaged, the tissue becomes disorganized and magnetic susceptibility changes from aligning primarily in one direction to alignment in many different directions. The phase image can be used to measure the degree of myelin damage.

In this study, 20 patients ...

Multiple Sclerosis Center welcomes new pet therapy pup

Kim Lozano, RN

Kim Lozano, RN
Registered Nurse

We are very excited to welcome the newest volunteers for the Leo Project to the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center: Peggy and her chocolate lab Gracie! Peggy and Gracie will be at the MS Center on Mondays from 9:00-11:00 a.m. Just like Kathy and Ocho, Peggy and Gracie will be here for two hours at a time and will be circulating around the lobby, the Wellness studio, and the physical therapy gym.

Peggy and Gracie are old friends with Swedish. They also visit people in inpatient rehabilitation and the Swedish Behavioral Health Program at the Cherry Hill Campus.

 

Through the Leo Project, we hope to...

Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center artists share their stories for 4th annual art show

Kate Floyd

Kate Floyd
Education Coordinator, Swedish MS Center

The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center Art Show was this weekend at Seattle Center.

A couple of artists in this year’s show shared how art has made a difference in their life and their multiple sclerosis:

  • Darren Baker and his daughter, Sarah, have entered the show every year. Darren is a former electrical engineer who found art after his diagnosis in the late 90s. Art has taught both of them powerful lessons about what perfection really looks like.

    He and his wife, Amy, and their daughter, Sarah, shared their experiences and talked about their involvement in the Swedish MS Center Art Show. Watch their moving story in the video below. The entire family displayed ...

Organizing an Efficient Kitchen to Fight Fatigue with MS

Jessica Bratrude, RD

Jessica Bratrude, RD
Nutritionist, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

In the last few weeks, I’ve shared tips to help create healthful meals that are fatigue-friendly for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Your meal plan is set and your pantry is stocked with nutritious, easily-prepared foods. Here are a few helpful kitchen gadgets and some minor adjustments that can make cooking more efficient and feel like less of a chore:

  • Secure your cutting board. When you are not able to buy pre-cut vegetables and fruits and need to do the chopping yourself, make sure to secure your cutting board. Placing a non-slip mat or wet towel under the board works well. This keeps it from slipping when you slice, dice and grate.
  • If you are sensitive to heat, keep the kitchen cool. Try ...
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