Swedish News Blog

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 ...

Stocking a Fatigue-Fighting Pantry for Multiple Sclerosis

Jessica Bratrude, RD

Jessica Bratrude, RD
Nutritionist, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Most people have experienced feeling too tired to prepare a meal, or the comfortable convenience of fast food options. For many people with multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue can be a persistent issue that leaves them feeling without a choice.

However, a little planning can make preparing healthy, fatigue-fighting meals possible. A small amount of preparation every week can go a long way in saving you time and energy and allow you to eat healthfully all week long. Start by sitting down each week and make a meal plan.

Here are some nutritious, easily prepared food ideas to consider to putting on your shopping list:

Nutrition for MS fatigue: Tips for planning and preparing healthy meals

Jessica Bratrude, RD

Jessica Bratrude, RD
Nutritionist, Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center

Planning and preparing healthy meals can be challenging for anyone. When you have multiple sclerosis (MS), fatigue can be another obstacle preventing you from packing healthy snacks or fixing a home-cooked dinner.

Eating healthy foods can help you fight fatigue and avoid the crash you may experience after eating fast food and sugary drinks. Here are a few tips to make food shopping and cooking more efficient and manageable so that a healthy diet can fit into your lifestyle:

  1. Make a game plan

    Take a few minutes every week to map out some easy dinners for the week. Choose recipes that can be prepared ahead of time, will store well and will produce leftovers that can be packed for the following day’s lunch or repurposed for another meal.

    Brainstorm ....

Inspiration from the artists of the Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center Art Show

Kate Floyd

Kate Floyd
Education Coordinator, Swedish MS Center

 

We are just a few weeks shy of the 4th Annual Multiple Sclerosis Art Show. We are excited to share the talented submissions we have received at the Seattle Center Armory on July 6-7 and share how art has helped them.

Today we congratulated artists who collectively submitted more than 100 entries for display in this year’s show. Each person has a unique connection to multiple sclerosis (MS), either as a person who has been diagnosed, a family member or friend.

The annual Art Show is part of the Swedish MS Center's commitment to helping people thrive apart from their disease. It was created and is put on each year by staff, patients and family members with the purpose of spreading awareness about the disease--and life beyond it.

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