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November 13, 2014
Currently the standard protocol for diagnosing depression involves asking a patient a series of questions or administering a self-report questionnaire about a patient’s mood, energy level, interest and engagement in activities, appetite, sleep, and so on. A patient’s responses as well as observations of mood and behavior would then be used as an indicator for depression. Depression is often difficult to diagnose because diagnosis is dependent on patients being truthful in reporting symptoms and being clear in their description of symptoms.
Researchers at Northwestern University (Redei et al., 2014) have developed a blood test that ...
November 11, 2014
A service dog is an assistance dog that has been specially trained to help someone who has a disability. Service dogs work only with one owner/handler. They are trained for the person’s specific needs. For example, an owner/handler may have mobility limitations, hearing loss or deafness, visual impairment, or autism.
A service dog may be provided to the owner/handler at no cost. In some cases, the owner/handler may purchase the dog.
Some service dogs wear a vest, working harness or a bandana to signify that they are trained. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act does not require them to do so. The ADA covers public access for service dogs ...
November 06, 2014
Experts from the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society are bringing this traveling roadshow of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) education and information to Bremerton, Washington. Where: Kitsap Conference Center Bremerton Harborside
100 Washington Avenue Bremerton, Washington 98337 When:
Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Workshop Topics
- Comprehensive Care for MS
- Role of MRI in MS Diagnosis and Treatment
- Exercise and MS
- Cognition in MS &nb...
November 04, 2014
Pilates is a system of gentle exercises that stretch, tone, and lengthen the muscles. This class is designed to improve posture, flexibility, balance, and core strength.
This class, beginning Friday November 14, 2014, is appropriate for all mobility levels and those new to Pilates. Wheelchairs are welcome. Family members, caregivers, and friends are welcome to ...
October 27, 2014
Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) have higher risk of relapse during the postpartum period. Can exclusive breastfeeding alone prevent relapses? How soon after delivery should disease modifying therapies (DMTs) be reintroduced? Are any DMTs safe to take while breastfeeding?
While disease modifying therapies (DMTs) have been shown generally to reduce relapse rates, none of them are indicated for use during pregnancy and lactation. Therefore, the question of when to restart DMTs postpartum remains a difficult one for physicians counseling MS patients who wish to breastfeed their children.
Trying to predict the risk of relapse for any one individual is very difficult. The risk factors for postpartum attacks include ...
October 24, 2014
On Tuesday 10/21/14 Biogen announced that a patient treated with Tecfidera developed a rare infection, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). This patient was from Europe and had been treated with Tecfidera for 54 months. For approximately 3 ½ years, this person’s lymphocyte counts were very low, in the 200-500/mm3 range. After an illness lasting about 4 months this patient died from complications of the infection.
PML is an infection caused by the JC virus. About half of the population has the JC virus. Once a person has the JC virus, the immune system quickly brings it under control, but the virus remains hidden in the kidneys after that. From the kidney, the virus can periodically flare up and the immune system quickly brings it under control again. There are many other viruses that have this ability to periodically flare up, for example a virus that remains hidden in the nerves of the face can periodically flare up causing fever blisters, or chicken pox virus r...
October 23, 2014
6 years old Born:
Bootsy was ...
October 21, 2014
Interferons have been used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1993. The existing line-up of interferons for MS (Avonex, Betaseron, Extavia and Rebif) will soon be joined by Plegridy, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in August 2014. Plegridy will become commercially available in November 2014.
Plegridy is a pegylated form of interferon beta. Pegylation is a process, used by several other non-MS medications, whereby a long string of polyethylene glycol molecules is attached to the interferon beta molecule, to extend its half-life by reducing clearance via kidneys or other elimination pathways in the body. This modification allows less frequent dosing of Plegridy – once every two weeks – although it is still administered as an injection under the skin.
In the ADVANCE trial, Plegridy was ..
October 08, 2014
I was recently asked if I could provide advice on how patients could get the most out of their Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center visits. In reality, I think most of us have been patients at least once in our lives. The list of tips I provide is comprehensive. However, critical information may be missing. If you notice omissions, please respond with your own advice in the comments since we can all learn from each other.
One of the most important MS life survival lessons is that we are all part of the same team. As a member of that team, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to live your life to the fullest. This starts with the MS Center visit. Where you go with the information, is all part of our journey together:
October 01, 2014
Study is one of three trials at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle examining novel technology’s treatment potential
SEATTLE — Oct. 1, 2014 — Surgeons from the Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI) in Seattle have used focused ultrasound waves to noninvasively treat a metastatic brain tumor. The procedure was performed by Swedish neurosurgeon Stephen Monteith, M.D. and assisted by Charles Cobbs, M.D. and is part of an early stage clinical trial examining the novel technology.
The trial is one of three ongoing studies being conducted by SNI to evaluate the use of focused ultrasound – a technology traditionally associated with imaging and diagnostic procedures – for the noninvasive treatment of neurological disorders. The brain tumors trial, along with separate clinical trials examining focused ultrasound for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor, make SNI one of the nation’s leading research centers for the study of focused ultrasound.