Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Eating Fish May Thwart "Silent" Brain Damage


UNC Study: Shape, Not Just Size, Impacts Effectiveness Of Emerging Nanomedicine Therapies

Medical News Today Tue, 05 Aug 2008 4:04 AM PDT
In the budding field of nanotechnology, scientists already know that size does matter. But now, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have shown that shape matters even more - a finding that could lead to new and more effective methods for treating cancer and other diseases, from diabetes and multiple sclerosis to arthritis and obesity



The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Research

Dr. Yeung

Director MS Clinical Trials Research Unit Foothills MS Clinic, Calgary

View BIO


Q :
When I was diagnosed in 2004 I read that MS was an inflammatory condition, caused by T cells attacking myelin (white matter), leading to focal damage (lesions). Now I read that it's a neuro-degenerative disease, which involves B cells, also affects grey matter, and is diffuse (affects the whole CNS). Does this mean that the last 50 years of research has been a waste? Is there anything about the disease that we know as a fact? Are we really making progress in understanding the disease?

A :
The disease that we now call multiple sclerosis was first described in the 1800s. It has only been in the last part of the 20th century that there have been great strides in understanding the complexities of the human immune system, and that knowledge is likely incomplete. Every bit of information helps in trying to understand MS.
The pathophysiology of MS is likely multifactorial, involving interactions within the immune system between T and B cells, as well as other immune factors that are just beginning to be elucidated.

I can understand your frustration, but progress is being made. The more we understand the more potential targets for therapy become available.
8/6/2008 8:34:15 AM

More answers from Dr. Michael Yeung
More answers in the category: Research
For more information related to this topic, please click Research Page



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Dr. Myles

Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Alberta
View BIO

Q :

I was diagnosed with Relapsing/Remitting MS in 2005. I have been on Rebif since that time. My skin can get extremely itchy at times and not necessarily in areas where I inject myself. I was just wondering if this might be a common side effect of the Interferon.

A :

Although itching at injection sites is common with interferon, itching in other areas would not be an expected side effect. If there is itching at injection sites it often responds to topical anti-itch lotions such as Benadryl cream or Preparation H. Interferon can rarely cause an elevation in liver enzymes or be associated with a change in thyroid function, both of which could contribute to itching. It is therefore important that you keep up with the recommended laboratory testing as recommended by your neurologist.

Itching can sometimes occur as a symptom of MS. This is particularly true if the itching tends to occur in the same places and not be associated with a rash. MS-related itching may respond to treatment with medication, such as gabapentin (Neurontin).

Finally, it is possible that the itching is not related to either your MS or your therapy. It is not an uncommon symptom in the general population. It would be important to make sure that the itching is not related to dry skin or a sensitivity to something (like soap, laundry soap or lotion). If there is a rash where you feel itchy, then it is best to see your family physician for assessment.
8/6/2008 8:38:57 AM

More answers from Dr. Mary Lou Myles
More answers in the category: Treatment



Multiple Sclerosis: new MRI contrast medium enables early diagnosis in animal model
Medical News Today Mon, 04 Aug 2008 2:11 AM PDT
In an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), neuroradiologists and neurologists of the University hospitals of Heidelberg and Würzburg have been able to visualize inflammatory tissue damage, most of which had remained unrecognized up to now, with the aid of a new contrast medium, Gadofluorine M, in magnetic resonance imaging





New Cases of Potentially Fatal Illness Tied to MS Drug
Fox News Mon, 04 Aug 2008 6:33 AM PDT
Cambridge-based Biogen Idec Inc. and Ireland-based Elan Corp. defended their multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri after reporting two new cases of a potentially fatal side effect, saying the treatment is still worth the risk to patients.,2933,396801,00.html





Former coach with MS finds strength, health in athletics
The Tennessean Mon, 04 Aug 2008 0:21 AM PDT
Mary Zirkle was destined to do what her father did — play and coach volleyball. Dealing with multiple sclerosis wasn't in her plans.





Advance in MS research; Research facility planned for Liverpool ...
FierceBioResearcher - Washington,DC,USA
... which occurs in multiple sclerosis. Report Disgraced Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk has been barred from resuming work involving embryonic stem cells. ...
See all stories on this topic




Biogen and Elan stand firm behind Tysabri despite PML cases

Biogen Idec and Irish partner Elan Corp have said that they have no intention of suspending sales of Tysabri despite being linked to two new cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in patients with multiple sclerosis
arrowread more




Eating Fish May Thwart "Silent" Brain Damage








Acorda 2Q loss grows on selling and research costs - USA
The biotechnology company reported positive results from a late stage clinical trial of Fampridine-SR in June, and it expects to file a new drug application ...
See all stories on this topic





Acorda reports $18.8 million loss
Business in the Burbs - White Plains,NY,USA
The company is also seeking to develop Fampridine-SR, a drug to help people with multiple sclerosis walk. Dr. Ron Cohen, the president and chief executive ...
See all stories on this topic



4AP Multiple Sclerosis

Acorda Therapeutics Reports Second Quarter 2008 Financial Results
Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
“In June, we announced positive results of our second Phase 3 clinical trial of Fampridine-SR in multiple sclerosis, which were consistent with the results ...
See all stories on this topic





Market Report -- In Play (ACOR)
MSN Money - USA
"In June, we announced positive results of our second Phase 3 clinical trial of Fampridine-SR in multiple sclerosis, which were consistent with the results ...
See all stories on this topic





Four men wheeling across Canada to raise funds for spinal cord ...
St. Catharines Standard - St. Catharines,Ontario,Canada
... down my back and the pains disappear," said McLaughlin, who is wheeling across Canada to raise money for spinal cord research at Mc- Master University. ...
See all stories on this topic





Marinus Pharmaceuticals Appoints John Krayacich as President and ...
Earthtimes (press release) - London,UK
Among recent successes are Cerexa Inc., one of the largest biotech acquisitions of 2007; Advanced BioHealing, a leader in regenerative medicine; ...
See all stories on this topic,493200.shtml

Neurons Can Re-Grow in Some Multiple Sclerosis Lesions



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Research News

Summaries of all the latest research findings on MS selected by a team based at the Institute of Neurology, London.



Gray matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis: A longitudinal study

In this longitudinal study the authors looked at changes in grey matter in people with MS over four years. They found that grey matter changes were more prominent than white matter changes, especially as the disease progresses, and related to clinical outcome.

authors: Fisher E, Lee JC, Nakamura K, Rudick RA.

source: Ann Neurol. 2008 Jul 25.





MS in focus on spasticity coming soon

Issue 12 of MS in focus will be published soon. This edition of our biannual magazine looks at spasticity in MS and why it occurs, how it is evaluated, measured and treated, and options for rehabilitation.

read more





Helminth infections associated with multiple sclerosis induce regulatory B cells

In MS the immune system reacts against brain and spinal cord. The authors of this study observed that people with MS who had parasitic infections had less strong immune reactions. They suggested that it might explain why MS is less common in countries with high rates of parasitic infections.

authors: Correale J, Farez M, Razzitte G

source: Ann Neurol. 2008 Jul 24

read more





Pivotal Advance: HMGB1 expression in active lesions of human and experimental multiple sclerosis

This work looked at the proteins involved in the brain inflammation which occurs in people with MS. The authors suggested that these proteins might play an important role in MS and could be a good target for future treatments.

authors: Andersson A, Covacu R, Sunnemark D, Danilov AI, Dal Bianco A, Khademi M, Wallström E, Lobell A, Brundin L, Lassmann H, Harris RA.

source: J Leukoc Biol. 2008 Jul 21.

read more




Vitamin D receptor gene polymorphism is associated with reduced disability in multiple sclerosis

It is thought that low vitamin D levels might be involved in the pathogenesis of MS. In this study the authors investigated a gene related to vitamin D. They found some relationship with clinical outcome.

authors: Mamutse G, Woolmore J, Pye E, Partridge J, Boggild M, Young C, Fryer A, Hoban PR, Rukin N, Alldersea J, Strange RC, Hawkins CP.

source: Mult Scler. 2008 Jul 24.

read more





European Neurological Society Fellowship

Deadline 15 October 2008

The ENS is offering a fellowship for an experimental project in neurology for the year 2009.
For more details and an application form, please click here.

Two new cases of PML develop in people with MS taking Tysabri

source: US National MS Society

Biogen Idec and Elan Pharmaceuticals informed drug regulatory authorities about two new confirmed cases of PML in individuals who were taking Tysabri® (natalizumab) as a monotherapy (not in combination with other therapies).

read more




Profile of the Month : August 2008

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Country: Canada
Age: 75
Occupation: Retired Union Representative
Type of MS: Primary progressive
Year of diagnosis: 1976
I have seen many positive changes in the way governments at every level in Canada have responded to people with MS; however, we still have a long way to go.
Read the full article here:



One-Third of Uninsured Are Chronically Ill





Cancer Research

A genetic mutation linked to an elevated risk of cancer could be the key to a new test that could be used for early tumor detection. Report,11855,1m5f,5ejs,d9cw,3lig,k6n4

Vitamin C jab slows growth of cancer

    By John Carroll     |
Injecting a large dose of vitamin C into mice started a chain reaction that destroyed cancer cells in mice, according to a research team at the National Institutes of Health. Brain, ovarian and pancreatic tumors were cut in half by the injection, and the scientists say the same approach could slow the advance of cancer in humans.

The researchers used a dose of four grams per kilo of body weight, far higher than could be achieved by diet alone. The vitamin mixes with the chemicals found in a tumor and creates hydrogen peroxide, killing the cancer cells. By injecting the vitamin C into the abdominal cavity of mice, the researchers recorded a 41 percent to 53 percent drop in tumor weight and growth.

"These pre-clinical data provide the first firm basis for advancing pharmacologic ascorbate in cancer treatment in humans," the scientists concluded.

- read the BBC report

Read more about: Cancer, Vitamin C,11855,1m5f,3gao,14h5,3lig,k6n4



Stem cell breakthrough propels research on ALS

  By John Carroll     |

A research team from Columbia and Harvard was able to reprogram stem cells taken from the skin of elderly patients into cells responsible for triggering amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. In one case, skin cells taken from an 82-year-old ALS patient were used to create stable stem cell lines that could be used by researchers to test the effectiveness of new drugs. And their work has important implications for a range of diseases that affect the elderly, including Alzheimer's.

Increasingly, researchers have been focusing in on the use of stem cells in researching new drugs. Taking stem cells from sick patients, scientists were able to transform them into motor neurons, which control voluntary muscular activity. The degeneration of motor neurons triggers ALS. Researchers, though, have not been able to take samples of motor neurons from patients to study, until now. And the scientists are creating motor neurons from healthy patients to compare it with motor neurons developed from sick patients. At some point, the scientists say it may be possible to grow a healthy batch of motor neurons to help cure the sick.

- read the report from the Los Angeles Times

Related Articles:
New targets for ALS
Stem cell revolutionaries take on big challenges
In research, stem cells make another breakthrough

Read more about: ALS, Stem Cells,11855,1m5f,dni4,kwt0,3lig,k6n4



Stem Cell Research

A certain set of adult stem cells in mice can be coaxed to turn into myelin-making cells by changing a single gene, say researchers. And that could repair the damage to myelin which occurs in multiple sclerosis. Report,11855,1m5f,k53c,3iu0,3lig,k6n4



Disgraced Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk has been barred from resuming work involving embryonic stem cells. The researcher faces possible jail time for misusing funds that were used in faked ESC studies. Story,11855,1m5f,kn4m,cvig,3lig,k6n4



Some scientists say the time has come to start paying women for human eggs in order to overcome a shortage of the eggs needed in research programs. Report,11855,1m5f,clfi,cr5w,3lig,k6n4



New scan agent 'may show MS lesions more clearly'
Barchester Healthcare - London,UK
... offering hope for new multiple sclerosis treatments. Professor Charles ffrench-Constant, from the city's university, is carrying out stem cell research ...
See all stories on this topic'may-show-MS-lesions-more-clearly'/376/2250

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TERI GARR, ACTRESS/COMEDIAN: I had no idea. I just felt tingling. Actually, I felt buzzing in my foot when I used to jog in Central Park. And when I finished jogging, I would limp. My brother said it's because your muscles expand and it's pressing on the nerve. But I also had this horrible stabbing feeling in my arm. And I thought, well, I'm in Central Park so maybe it is a stabbing knife, but it wasn't. It was the MS.

GUPTA: What year was that? And how long after you started feeling anything did you get the official diagnosis?
GARR: First feeling in all those things was in '82. It was around the time I did "Tootsie," one of my favorite movies. And I got the official diagnosis in '99.

GUPTA: Seventeen years?

GARR: Oh, God, yes.

GUPTA: What did you know about MS at that point to put it in context?

GARR: Nothing, not a thing. And I said well, what can be done about it? And he said nothing right now. I was trying to work, but I noticed that people, if they had any inkling of the idea that I was sick or that the rumor started that I may have MS, people shunned me.

GUPTA: MS is one thing. And then you had a ruptured aneurysm. What happened? I mean, do you remember any of that time period?

GARR: I don't even know ...

GUPTA: Is it a headache? Did you have anything?

GARR: No, nothing. I went to sleep to take a nap. And then my daughter couldn't wake me up. So thank God, she called 911. They rushed me to the hospital. But she had to write an essay at school about someone very meaningful. And she wrote my mother's aneurysm. And I read this thing and I cried. I had no idea.

GUPTA: Like I said, she's really an amazing woman, a really fascinating conversation. Thank you, Teri, and good luck. And we wish her all the best.


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