Friday, November 02, 2007

Study Shows Antibiotic Harms ALS Patients

Study Shows Antibiotic Harms ALS Patients
iVillage Total Health Fri, 02 Nov 2007 8:37 AM PDT
A trial of the antibiotic minocycline against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- Lou Gehrig's disease -- has been halted because patients taking the drug had a significantly accelerated decline in neurological function. The finding calls into question plans to try minocycline against other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, said a report published online Nov. 1 in Lancet ...

Simple antibiotic may ease MS symptoms
Vancouver Sun - British Columbia, Canada
... weapon against multiple sclerosis. A $4-million study will try to confirm that minocycline pills can help stop MS in its early stages from progressing. ...
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Common antibiotic tested as treatment for multiple sclerosis
Montreal Gazette - Montreal,Quebec,Canada
... the test against multiple sclerosis. Researchers hope the $4-million study, involving more than 200 people in 13 Canadian cities, will prove minocycline ...
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Schoolgirl struck by MS at 14
ChronicleLive - Newcastle upon Tyne,England,UK
And the pupil at Gateshead's Thomas Hepburn School is the only under-18 to try out the MS wonderdrug Campath. Specialists at Newcastle General Hospital ...
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Opexa Therapeutics to Present at the BIO Investor Forum 2007
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
The Company's lead product, Tovaxin ® , a T-cell therapy for multiple sclerosis is in Phase IIb trials. The Company holds the exclusive worldwide license ...
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Teenager struck by MS at just 14


Patsy Peebles with her dad Bill, and mum, Joanna

HER body wracked with pain, brave schoolgirl Patsy Peebles wishes her only worries were boys and class work.

But shattering news from doctors has forced her to grow up fast.

At just 14, Patsy became one of the youngest people in the UK ever diagnosed with debilitating multiple sclerosis.

And the pupil at Gateshead's Thomas Hepburn School is the only under-18 to try out the MS wonderdrug Campath.

Specialists at Newcastle General Hospital waived the age limit on the new trials, allowing Patsy to undergo a five-day treatment.

She is determined to fight the condition and is campaigning for better support for teenage sufferers.

She suffered terrifying bouts of blindness, headaches and numbness for over eight months before specialists diagnosed her with MS, an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.

Patsy, who has now turned 15 , said: “It started with horrific headaches. I took lots of tablets but nothing seemed to work.

“My hand started to go numb. It scared me. I didn’t know what was happening.

“My back started hurting and my mum couldn’t even cuddle me because of the pain on my skin. Eventually I was told by the doctor he was 60% sure I had MS but I clung to the 40% hope that it wasn’t.

“Now, the Campath has really helped. I feel 100% better. The first day of treatment was the worst because I suffered all the side effects we’d been warned about.

“But I’m back at school now. I’m trying to stay positive and I want to help other young people to cope with MS.”

Patsy and her parents, Bill and Joanna, sister Anna, 13, and twin brothers Connor and Kyle, 11, of Medway Close, Mount Pleasant, Gateshead, have been through dark times.

Joanna, 38, recalls the agonising moments when her oldest daughter showed the first signs of serious illness.

“I remember the day it started clearly,” she said. “It was on October 21 last year when Patsy started vomiting and had a high temperature. We thought a bath might make her feel better but she shouted that she felt light-headed and her hands looked curled up.

“As I helped her out of the bath her legs gave way and she had lost all her colour. I telephoned for an ambulance. The doctors thought she was just dehydrated and gave her fluids but a week later she suffered severe headaches and tingling in her left hand which soon became numb half-way up her forearm. Then I noticed that Patsy was walking to one side.

“The doctors arranged a brain scan. Waiting for the results was the longest two weeks of our lives. We’ll never forget when the hospital rang with the results and told us there were lesions on Patsy’s brain. From then our lives changed.

“But we’re now looking to the future. Patsy is back at school full-time and the drug has made her a lot better.”

Patsy’s story will now be used by the Multiple Sclerosis Society to highlight issues faced by young people with the condition. And a journal of her daily highs and lows will be published in the society’s newsletter.

Bill, 39, a learning disabilities support worker, said: “We’ve had to say to Patsy ‘There’s nothing we can do about this. We have to just get on with it’.

“It’s been hard. Patsy asked us ‘Am I going to die early?’ But what’s made it harder is that there’s nothing for young people with MS: no groups where Patsy can talk to other young sufferers. We intend to change that.”

Campath works by destroying the body’s T cells believed to be responsible for initiating the destructive process seen in multiple sclerosis. In one small trial of 27 people with Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), the drug was found to virtually eliminate the formation of new lesions and the inflammation associated with the disease for at least 18 months.

:: The Peebles family want to set up an MS support group for young people. Contact them through Chris Bentley of the MS Society, 0208 4380700.

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Focus on children with condition

PATSY will be adopted by the Multiple Sclerosis Society as a case study as it increases its focus on child sufferers.

The onset of MS in anyone under the age of 16 is extremely rare, as little as 0.4% of all cases.

Chris Bentley, of the MS Society, said: "Patsy just seems to be a typical teenager. It’s impossible to say what the future holds for her. Some people with MS may be able to live fairly normally, while others may rely on the use of a wheelchair in the future. MS affects different people in different ways.

"I have reassured Patsy and her parents and other families that we are doing all we can to raise the awareness of MS in children."

The society hopes to influence policy makers and professionals to take a closer look at the condition in children and examine the care on offer.

Research into the number of child sufferers is lacking, but studies suggest MS starts before the age of 16 in only 0.4% to 10.5% of people diagnosed. There are no exact figures on the number of under-18s with the condition.

The frequency of childhood MS is estimated at 1.5-2.5 per 100,000. About 85,000 people in the UK have MS, generally diagnosed between the ages of 25 and 40.

The society will shine the spotlight on MS in children on November 7 at a London conference.

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-evening-chronicle/2007/11/02/schoolgirl-struck-by-ms-at-14-72703-20051037/

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