Saturday, September 13, 2008

MS Vaccines

Sexy Impulses: Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Hormones - Santa Barbara,CA,USA
But when it breaks down, as it does with the disease multiple sclerosis, unwieldy symptoms emerge. Paralysis, tingling, uncoordinated movements, ...

Identificaion Of A Protein Essential In Long Term Memory Consolidation
New research at the University of Haifa identified a specific protein essential for the process of long term memory consolidation. This is the latest of several discoveries that are leading us towards a better understanding of one of the most complex processes in nature - the process of memory creation and consolidation in the human brain. 11 Sept 2008

California Approves End-of-Life Bill - North Haven,CT,USA
“I was on hospice and I almost died,” said Koch, who has Multiple Sclerosis. “If it wasn’t for my mom trying to feed me what little I could eat, ...

Spirit Of Da Vinci Award Goes To MIT Bio-Mechantron Professor - Amputee Designing The Next Generation Of Prostheses
Medical News Today Fri, 12 Sep 2008 3:11 AM PDT
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter has announced the 2008 Spirit of da Vinci Award winner: MIT Professor Hugh Herr. The Spirit of da Vinci Award is presented annually to an individual for their courage, perseverance and creative use of assistive technology.


Dr. Schapiro
Clinical Professor of Neurology

View BIO

Q :

I have been taking Rebif for a number of years. I need to take a blood test every six months. What exactly does the blood test analyses?

A :

All of the interferons have the potential to react in the body in ways that are not intended. We may call those reactions "side-effects" but sometimes they are silent side-effects in that we do not feel them. They are metabolized or disposed of in the liver. If they cause an over-reaction in the liver, damage to the liver may occur. We can measure whether liver damage is happening by measuring the enzymes produce by a damaged liver. We expect some elevation of the enzymes when taking interferon but if it is more than expected, a dose adjustment of the interferon is necessary. Other medications may influence the liver as well and may work in conjunction with the interferon to cause an issue. We also measure the blood count and distribution of blood cells to insure that the interferon is not producing too great an immune effect which could result in increased likelihood of infection. That is why we test these about every 6 months--trying to get ahead of any potential problem.
9/13/2008 1:47:13 AM

More answers from Dr. Randall T. Schapiro
More answers in the category: Treatment

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that this information does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MS Society of Canada, and is not intended as medical advice. For specific advice and opinion, always consult a physician.
© 2008 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada |

Daily Living with MS

Dr. Myles
Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology at the University of Alberta
View BIO

Q :

I have experienced symptoms that I know are not attacks or serious enough to see my neurologist about. Such as sharp pains in my legs or problems with my vision that last for 2-3 days. I am not sure if these symptoms are because I am lacking something or doing something wrong, or that there is just no explanation for them. My question is besides rest, is there something I should do when experiencing theses symptoms?

A :

Transient neurologic symptoms in MS may be related to symptom fluctuations, pseudo-relapses or true MS relapses/attacks and sometimes it can be difficult to differentiate them with certainty when they first appear. Some non-specific symptoms, such as pain or periods of fatigue may or may not even be directly related to MS, and should be checked out by your family physician to rule out other causes.

It is not uncommon for MS symptoms to fluctuate somewhat in severity from day to day. Sometimes this is because of fatigue, stress, or other factors, such as an elevation of body temperature or with one’s menstrual period. This typically involves a very transient worsening of previous symptoms that then settle back down to their baseline level. This does not mean that new damage is occurring. Some people certainly do find that rest helps, and this may be their body’s way of saying it needs to re-energize. No medical treatment is required for day to day symptom fluctuations.

A more pronounced but transient worsening of symptoms, called a “pseudo-relapse” can also occur in MS. This can vary from a mild and transient worsening of symptoms in someone with mild relapsing-remitting MS to a more pronounced worsening of symptoms that can temporarily alter function in those with more severe disease or progressive MS. The most common cause is infection (such as a bladder infection or cold) but it can also occur for other reasons, such as with a hot spell in summer. Again, this does not mean that new damage is occurring. The symptoms resolve back to baseline as the infection (or other precipitant) resolves. If the worsening of symptoms occurs in the one to two weeks after an infection however (rather than only during it), then it is much more likely that the symptoms represent a true relapse (especially common after viral infections).

A distinct and persistent worsening of old symptoms can represent a true relapse. The appearance of brand new neurologic symptoms is also more likely to represent a true relapse. To be considered a true relapse the symptoms must be present on a continuous basis for at least 24 hours but the truth is that most relapses last weeks. Disabling relapses are frequently treated with corticosteroids whereas rest alone may be used if the symptoms are milder and non-disabling. It is sometimes tough to be certain if symptoms represent a true relapse if they are short-lived but it is very important that you mention to your neurologist any new symptoms that have occurred and lasted over 24 hours and whether or not any potential cause for the transient worsening could be identified (extra stress, poor sleep, etc). Short-lived, self-limiting relapses would not be treated with corticosteroids but the occurrence of multiple mild relapses may prompt re-evaluation of your disease modifying therapy. Your neurologist may be able to find subtle changes on your examination even months later if the symptoms were indeed related to true relapses. In some cases, if new disease activity is suspected, but the examination cannot determine whether or not there has been new damage, a repeat MRI might even be considered. While it would not be appropriate or helpful to switch therapy for symptom fluctuations or pseudo-relapses, if there were ongoing mild relapses and an accumulation of new lesions on MRI then a change in therapy might reasonably be considered.
9/13/2008 2:56:11 AM

More answers from Dr. Mary Lou Myles
More answers in the category: Daily Living with MS

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that this information does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MS Society of Canada, and is not intended as medical advice. For specific advice and opinion, always consult a physician.
© 2008 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada |

In the Spotlight
from Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D.
After a couple of alarmed calls and e-mails following last week's newsletter on fatigue and depression, I thought I'd swing the pendulum the other way. I'd like to introduce you all to my new friends, MS vaccines. Yes, they are still in trials (and, no, I am not participating in any of these trials) - but these guys just make me smile. They are a new hopeful approach to stopping this stupid disease in its tracks. I'll be bringing you more about these soon.
For those of you fortunate enough to be feeling the first hints of Fall, congratulations - we made it through that summer (for the rest of you - it's not much longer)... Take care of yourselves, my friends.,%20Ph.D.,%20Ph.D

In the Spotlight 

MS Vaccines
A vaccine for multiple sclerosis (MS)? Okay, I know it sounds a little weird. It might seem even more bizarre when you learn more about this exciting new class of MS therapy. However, to me, it seems like the researchers are getting closer and closer to finding the "big one." In order to get on board with the notion of an MS vaccine, you are going to have to change your ideas about what vaccines are and bend your brain a little to understand what exactly these experimental vaccines are trying to do. However, once you get a glimpse into the world of how scientists are trying to tweak the immune system and target the nasty T-cells that are causing those of us with MS to tingle, stumble and hurt, I promise you - you will be excited, too.
Read the full article: MS Vaccines

More Topics 

Basic Multiple Sclerosis Information
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms and Signs
Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis
Information for Patients Newly Diagnosed with Multiple Scler
How to Live Well with Multiple Sclerosis
Symptoms of MS
Diagnosis of MS
Clinical Trials Database

Think about browsing the Clinical Trials Database like looking through a Tiffany jewelry catalog. Some things will look wonderful. Some things will look like something that is interesting, but not for you. Many things will be in the "I'll just keep my eye on that one for the future" category. However, there might be one special thing that you just have to have.

Read the full article: Clinical Trials Database
Understanding MS Clinical Trials

While this article is a little "basic" for many of you, it has a clump of articles about specific clinical trial-related terms and concepts at the bottom. Even if you know all of these things, a refresher might not hurt.
Read the full article: MS Clinical Trials

Rituxan Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Implicated in Brain ... - New York,NY,USA
Earlier this summer, the FDA warned that the same brain disease had been associated with Tysabri, a drug for multiple sclerosis (MS) that Biogen Idec ...
FDA: Genentech's Rituxan may be linked to brain disorder death - Charlotte,NC,USA
Both Rituxan and multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri -- which reportedly also triggered the brain disorder in rare cases -- are built on antibodies that ...
Billy Tytaneck one of the first Crohn's patients in the country to ...
Collingwood Enterprise Bulletin - Collingwood,Ontario,Canada
... about autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplants for patients with Crohn's on patients with other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and lupus. ...



Rare case explains why some infected with HIV remain symptom free ... - Sydney,Australia
AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins say they have compelling evidence that some people with HIV who for years and even decades show extremely low levels of the ...
Burnham medical researcher describes the challenge of brain illnesses

Orlando Sentinel - Orlando,FL,USA
They are some of the world's most vexing diseases: Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's. Though treatments exist, better therapies ...,0,4894722.story

Furin Autoimmunity

Novel Mechanism That Controls The Development Of Autoimmunity ...
Science Daily (press release) - USA
They focused on the protein furin, an enzyme that plays an important role in the functioning of T cells. Scientists have been limited in their ability to ...
Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Reports Update on Autoimmunity Program ...

Business Wire (press release) - San Francisco,CA,USA
Likewise, in two models of chronic autoimmune inflammation (lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis), disease scores were reduced after treatment with ...
The Best Fish to Eat

Stop Aging Now - Washington,DC,USA
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can help you live a longer, healthier life. And, if you select the fish you eat carefully, ...
Celery Works Great for Inflammation, Gout, Cancer, and High Blood ...

Natural - Phoenix,AZ,USA
An old Chinese remedy for high blood pressure is to drink celery juice, which you can make in a blender or juicer. One to two glasses daily can help prevent ...
Survey: Health Info Websites Grow 21 Percent

A new study says the health information website category has grown 21 percent during the past year – more than four times the growth rate of the total U.S. Internet population. The survey cited WebMD as the top site with 17.3 million visitors in July, followed by Everyday Health, Revolution Health Network, AOL Health and Health.
Heavier People Have Heart Attacks Earlier (09/09/2008, HealthDay)
World's Largest-Ever Study Of Near-Death Experiences

The University of Southampton is launching the world's largest-ever study of near-death experiences this week. The AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation) study is to be launched by the Human Consciousness Project of the University of Southampton - an international collaboration of scientists and physicians who have joined forces to study the human brain, consciousness and clinical death.


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