Neuroscience

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Hematopoietic Stem Cells for Multiple Sclerosis

January 13, 2015

The MS Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute played a major role in a research study that recently garnered national attention. This research was published in JAMA Neurology. This research investigated the effect of high dose immunosuppressive followed by hematopoietic stem cell therapy.

This therapy consists of collecting hematopoietic stem cells from patients' blood. Patients then undergo an intense course of immunosuppressive therapy with four medications. This therapy is sufficient to eliminate most of the patient’s bone marrow including white blood cells. The hematopoietic stem cells are then given back to the patient so that their bone marrow may be reconstituted. In multiple sclerosis (MS),  the immune system attacks the brain. The hope is that with this therapy the reconstituted immune system will have less of a tendency to attack the br...

Gilenya fails in primary progressive multiple sclerosis trial

December 29, 2014
We recently found out that Gilenya (fingolimod), an oral treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), did not slow down disability progression in a phase III trial among primary progressive MS (PPMS) patients. The trial, called INFORMS, was the largest to date in PPMS, involving 970 patients in North America, Europe, and Australia. Patients were assigned to placebo or Gilenya for 3 years, and the primary outcome was a composite of walking, arm function and overall disability measures. Unfortunately, the progression rates in Gilenya and placebo groups were not statistically different. A full report of the trial will be presented at one of the upcoming neurology meetings, possibly in April 2015.

What type of MS do I have?

December 23, 2014

Traditionally, MS has been divided into four clinical courses: relapsing/remitting, primary progressive, secondary progressive and progressive relapsing. These four were intended as descriptions of the different courses that MS could take in patients, and were not based on any particular understanding of the biology of the disease, the cause of the disease, or even the prognosis of patients with the different types of MS. Over the years, our understanding of MS has improved, and these descriptions of the disease course no longer meet our needs to describe the disease.

Over the past couple of years, there has been a revision of our classification of MS, resulting in a publication in July 2014. The recommendations of this revision have been  ..

Video: Music, Movement and Meditation Class at the Multiple Sclerosis Center

December 20, 2014

Click on the link below to watch footage of the Multiple Sclerosis Center’s Music, Movement and Meditation class with instructor, Gayle Cloud. This upbeat class is a blend of music and song combined with lighthearted activities. Bring your dancing shoes or wheels—Gayle will have you doing gentle movements to the beat. Music is offered to all patients with MS, Parkinson’s, stroke, or similar disease. Family members, caregivers, and friends are welcome to attend as well. No music experience required; wheelchairs are welcome.

The American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) published research that shows how music can help:

December Pet of the Month

December 18, 2014

Pup: Katie
Age: 14
Owner: Carlo
Breed: Australian Cattle Dog
Favorite toy: Hedgehog Baby
Unique fact: Katie has three legs

What makes your pet special?

I am her focus.  She is my shadow.  We have been together for over 10 years.  We went across country on an antique wheelchair trying to raise money and awareness for MS.  We started the nonprofit, "The Spirit of Hope Foundation."  The U.S. government asked Katie and I to attend one of their events in Washington D.C.  It was a  ...

Seasonal Celebration at the Multiple Sclerosis Center

December 12, 2014

Join us!

The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Center is hosting a gathering to celebrate the holidays and show our appreciation for the MS Community. Join us for refreshments, appetizers, music, activities, and a raffle of prizes. This is a FREE event.

FREE gift wrapping

Bring your gifts and we will wrap them for you! Wrapping paper and ribbon will be provided by the MS Center.

 
When:   Friday, December 19
Time:  Noon – 3 p.m.
Where:  MS Center at Swedish
1600 Jefferson Street, ...

Catching Kayla � High School Girl with MS Becomes Top Runner in Country

December 08, 2014

Here is a remarkable story about high school runner Kayla Montgomery -- who, despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, has become one of the best young distance runners in the country. Click here to watch the video.

Multiple Sclerosis and Affordable Care Act

December 05, 2014

Take a look at this panel discussion interview where Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center neurologist Dr. James Bowen and a nationally recognized health insurance expert discuss the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace as it specifically relates to the needs of the multiple sclerosis community. Some of the key topics include cost and coverage of MS medications, the benefits of a selecting a silver-level plan, ways to ensure access to care, expansion of Medicaid, and how to appeal coverage denial.
 

Power of reflection: Mirror therapy in MS

November 25, 2014
The great wisdom traditions teach us that internal reflection is a useful means to grow.  Reflecting upon that. I thought that we could spend some time reviewing a technique of external reflection in rehabilitation known as mirror therapy. This was first described in 1995 by Ramachandran and his team who studied phantom limb pain.

Many concepts in multiple sclerosis (MS) rehabilitation come from stroke and pain rehabilitation fields.  There is evidence in these fields that supports the use of mirror therapy to help rehabilitation of the weaker side.  It also helps reduce neuropathic pain in patients who have phantom limb ( arm or leg) pain after an amputation.

There is very limited published research on the use of mirror therapy in MS.  We think that adding this type of therapy in the care of MS patients might be beneficial to reduce pain and weakness, and perhaps reduce "learned disuse" of the limb.

A brief summary of how to perform M...

Lemtrada is FDA approved for people with relapsing MS

November 21, 2014
On November 14, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) who have responded inadequately to two or more MS drugs.  Lemtrada is already approved in over 40 countries around the globe including the EU, Canada and Australia.

The FDA approval of Lemtrada is a significant milestone for people living with relapsing MS.  Lemtrada demonstrated superior efficacy over Rebif on annualized relapse rates in two pivotal randomized Phase III open-label rater-blinded studies in patients with relapsing remitting MS which were the basis for approval.  The clinical development program for Lemtrada involved nearly 1,500 patients including patients at the Swedish MS Center with more than ...