How many people in the United States have multiple sclerosis? As it turns out, to answer this seemingly simple question is quite challenging.
Undoubtedly the most talked-about study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Washington, DC, was the study of high-dose biotin for progressive MS (PPMS or SPMS). The authors conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study across 16 MS centers in France, comparing placebo with MD1003, a proprietary purified high dose biotin. 154 patients participated in this 12-month study. The primary endpoint of the study was the proportion of patients who improved at 9 months (compared to the entry at the study), with sustained improvement at 12 months. 12.6% of patients in the MD1003 arm improved, compared to 0% in the placebo arm. The treated group, as a whole, had improved disability scores compared to placebo group. MD1003 was well-tolerated.
The Swedish MS Center is proud to participate in the annual Multiple Sclerosis Walk organized by the National MS Society. The annual MS Walk raises awareness of multiple sclerosis in our community and also raises funds for new cutting-edge research and life changing programs and services of the National MS Society Greater Northwest Chapter. The NMSS Greater NW Chapter serves more than 15,000 people with MS living in Alaska, Montana and Central and Western Washington.
The Swedish MS Center has formed a Walk MS team to join in the fundraising efforts. Anyone is welcome to join the team-patients, friends, family or concerned community members. By joining, you can make a powerful statement and real difference for people living with multiple sclerosis. The money raised by the team will give hope to thousands of people living with MS in the Northwest. Join or donate to the team now!
The 2013 World Atlas of MS has been published by MS International Foundation and is available here. The key findings are:
A survey from the United Kingdom published in the Journal of MS and Related Disorders polled 396 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) about how they would like to be referred to in conversation. The winning term ("MSer") was supported by 43% of the respondents, while "person with MS" received 34% votes. When a United States-based blog reported on the story, 2 out of 3 respondents disagreed.
What do you think? Comment below with your preference and why.
(Ed. note: You can comment anonymously - feel free to use your initials if you are more comfortable sharing that way.)
A couple recent announcements may be of interest to people living with multiple sclerosis. Read the articles below and click through the links for more information about the individual studies.
Trial shows no benefit of cannabinoid in slowing multiple sclerosis progression
A UK trial of dronabinol (delta-9-THC) in 498 patients did not slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) compared to placebo. Critics will point out that this is only one of many cannabinoids found in marijuana; and that the placebo arm did better than expected (thus limiting the ability to detect the effects of the drug). Nonetheless, the result is the strongest argument yet against the neuroprotective effects of THC in MS population.
New trials in progressive MS are coming
Later this year, two trials will ...
Cognitive dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) is a recognized, but poorly understood phenomenon. Detection of cognitive dysfunction is hampered by the fact that cognitive testing is often long, sometimes costly and at times frustrating for patients. A brief, acceptable screening tool for cognitive dysfunction in MS is lacking.
A new study shows potential progress toward such a tool. Authors of a paper published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal describe a 10-minute battery of computerized tests that was able to identify with fairly good sensitivity those patients who experienced cognitive impairment. This study, like several other similar efforts, awaits verification before they are more broadly accepted. It is hoped that such tools will come at no or minimal cost to the patients.
Identifying cognitive dysfunction early may be importan...
On September 12, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved teriflunomide for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Teriflunomide (AUBAGIO) is a once-daily pill for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. Led by Dr. Lily Jung Henson, the Swedish Neuroscience Institute was among several clinical sites that tested the drug. Results of the research showed that teriflunomide can lessen MS disease activity. Specifically, it behaves similarly to injectable therapies by slowing MS relapse frequency, the rate of disability and MRI activity.
The safety profile, however, is more challenging than ....
Considering that multiple sclerosis (MS) affects primarily women of childbearing age, it comes as no surprise that for many patients MS and pregnancy often occur together. The issues to consider when discussing pregnancy and MS include:
The Pregnancy in MS (PRIMS) study of 254 patients revealed that pregnancy is generally protective against MS relapses, in particular during the third trimester. In contrast, the same study found a rebound of relapses during three months post delivery, with 30 percent of women experiencing a relapse within three months after delivery. Several strategies have been proposed to avert the risk of postpartum relapse, including the use of pro...
Peer-reviewed original contributions:
1) Repovic P, Lublin F (2010) Treatment of multiple sclerosis exacerbations. Neurol Clinics North America, in press.
2) Repovic P, Fears C, Gladson CL, Benveniste EN (2003) Oncostatin-M induction of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in astroglioma cells. Oncogene 22(50), 8117-24.
3) Repovic P, Mi K, Benveniste EN (2003) Oncostatin M enhances the expression of prostaglandin E2 and cyclooxygenase-2 in astrocytes: synergy with interleukin-1beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha and bacterial LPS. Glia 42(4), 433-46.
4) Repovic P, Benveniste EN (2002) Prostaglandin E2 is a novel inducer of Oncostatin M expression in macrophages and microglia. J Neurosci 22(13), 5334-43.
5) Van Wagoner NJ, Choi C, Repovic P, Benveniste EN (2000) Oncostatin M regulation of interleukin-6 expression in astrocytes: biphasic regulation involving the mitogen-activated protein kinases ERK1/2 and p38. J Neurochem 75(2), 563-75.
6) Van Wagoner NJ, Oh JW, Repovic P, Benveniste EN (1999) IL-6 production by astrocytes:autocrine regulation by IL-6 and soluble IL-6 receptor. J Neurosci 19(13), 5236-44.
7) Waddel TG, Repovic P, Melendez-Hevia E, Heinrich R, Montero F (1997) Optimisation of glycolysis: a new look at the efficiency of energy coupling; Biochem Educ 25(4), 204-205.
Books and Chapters:
• Repovic P. Molecular Neurobiology and Neurotrauma chapters in the 2006 Psychiatry In-Review Study Guide, ed. S. J. Ferrando, ETAS. New York, 2006
The Patient Rating score is based on responses given during the CAHPS Patient Experience Survey.Responses are measured on a 10 - point scale, with 10 being the best score. These scores are then translated to a 5 - point scale in order to display results in a 5 - star rating.Comments are also gathered from the same survey and displayed in their entirety with the exception of any language that may be considered slander, libel or contain private health information, which will be removed prior to publishing the comments.