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Multiple Sclerosis Institute
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What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

Effect of contralateral finger touch on grip force control in individuals with multiple sclerosis. - Findings provide better understanding of how patients with MS control grip force and suggest that a light touch approach could be considered as a valuable modality in the rehabilitation of these patients. - Clin Neurophysiol. 2009 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

High-Dose Cyclophosphamide in the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. - In this study, we sought to determine whether the use of high dose cyclophosphamide provided stabilization of relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS), or primary progressive MS (PPMS). - CNS Neurosci Ther. 2009 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Characterizing iron deposition in multiple sclerosis lesions using susceptibility weighted imaging. - J Magn Reson Imaging. 2009 Feb 25;29(3):537-544. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

The causal cascade to multiple sclerosis: a model for MS pathogenesis. - The potential importance of this Model for MS pathogenesis is that, if correct, a therapeutic strategy, designed to interrupt one or more of these sequential factors, has the potential to markedly reduce or eliminate disease prevalence in the future. - PLoS ONE. 2009;4(2):e4565. Epub 2009 Feb 26. in PubMed

Relationships among Anxiety, Depression, and Executive Functioning in Multiple Sclerosis. -These results suggest that consideration of anxiety in the assessment and treatment of MS patients is warranted. - Clin Neuropsychol. 2009 Feb 25:1-11. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed



AAN 2009: Early Exposure to Smoking Boosts Multiple Sclerosis Risk

February 27, 2009 — Smoking cigarettes at a young age increases the risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers warn. The study findings were released February 20 by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in advance of its presentation in April at the upcoming AAN 61st Annual Meeting, in Seattle, Washington.

Investigators found that early smokers — those who started experimenting with cigarettes before the age of 17 years — were more than twice as likely to develop MS compared with nonsmokers.

"Early smoking is an independent risk factor for MS," lead author Joseph Finkelstein, MD, from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, Maryland, told Medscape Neurology & Neurosurgery.
Medscape Today


Fampridine Improves Walking Ability for Some With Multiple Sclerosis

February 26, 2009 — Results of a phase 3 trial show that fampridine (4-aminopyridine), an oral potassium-channel blocker (Fampridine-SR, Acorda Therapeutics), improved walking ability in some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) regardless of MS type or of concomitant therapy.

Response was seen in only some patients, however, and the researchers were not able to determine any factors that predicted which patients would respond.

However, they point out, "Unlike the immunomodulator treatments for relapse prevention in multiple sclerosis, the efficacy of which can only be assessed in groups of patients, the effects of fampridine are rapid and reversible, which makes it possible to detect response in individuals."

The study by Andrew D. Goodman, MD, from the University of Rochester, in Minnesota, and colleagues is published in the February 28 issue of the Lancet. Acorda Therapeutics funded the study and submitted an application for approval of Fampridine-SR to the Food and Drug Administration on January 30, a release from the company notes.




What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in Sage Journals Online

Head injury is not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis: a prospective cohort study - Head injury of any severity does not affect the risk of acquiring MS later in life. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 294-298 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Results of a phase IIa clinical trial of an anti-inflammatory molecule, chaperonin 10, in multiple sclerosis - Cpn10 is safe and well tolerated when administered to patients with MS for 3 months, however, a further extended phase II study primarily focused on efficacy is warranted. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 329-336 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Treatment with azathioprine and cyclic methylprednisolone has little or no effect on bioactivity in anti-interferon beta antibody-positive patients with multiple sclerosis - Treatment with AZA and cyclic MP for 6 months has little or no effect on IFN-β bioactivity in NAb-positive patients with MS. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 323-328 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Fatigue in multiple sclerosis is associated with the disruption of frontal and parietal pathways - Our results suggest that the symptom of fatigue is associated with a disruption of brain networks involved in cognitive/attentional processes. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 337-344 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

The burden of mental comorbidity in multiple sclerosis: frequent, underdiagnosed, and undertreated - Mental comorbidity remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in MS. Patients of lower socioeconomic status bear a disproportionate share of the burden of depression - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 385-392 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Clean intermittent self-catheterization in persons with multiple sclerosis: the influence of cognitive dysfunction - Our study thus confirmed that most (87%) PwMS were able to learn CISC in spite of cognitive dysfunction and therefore to improve their quality of life. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 379-384 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Clinical and diagnostic aspects of multiple sclerosis and acute monophasic encephalomyelitis in pediatric patients: a single centre prospective study - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 363-370 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Motor evoked potentials in clinically isolated syndrome suggestive of multiple sclerosis - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 355-362 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

The effect of levetiracetam on tremor severity and functionality in patients with multiple sclerosis - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 371-378 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

Social anxiety in a multiple sclerosis clinic population - Social anxiety symptoms are common in persons with MS, contribute to overall morbidity, but are unrelated to the overall severity of neurologic disability. Greater awareness and routine systematic inquiry of social anxiety symptoms is an important component of comprehensive care for persons with MS. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 393-398 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

ApoE alleles, depression and positive affect in multiple sclerosis - These findings are consistent with reports in psychiatric populations linking ApoE 2 with decreased incidence of depressive disorders. Further investigation would be warranted to understand the role of ApoE genotypes and risk for depressive symptoms. - Multiple Sclerosis, Vol. 15, No. 3, 311-315 (2009) in Sage Journals Online

New MRI techniques and "aggressive" multiple sclerosis - The introduction of the ‘McDonald’ criteria and their recent modification has greatly advanced the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the assessment of multiple sclerosis (MS) [1,2].... full editorial in Sage Journals Online



Biogen Idec talking with MS pill maker

NEW YORK - Biogen Idec Inc. of Cambridge is in talks to buy Acorda Therapeutics Inc. to gain an experimental pill for patients with multiple sclerosis, people familiar with the discussions said.

Acorda shares surged 19 percent when the company said its lead experimental drug, Fampridine, helped MS patients walk. Biogen, the world's largest maker of medicines for multiple sclerosis, is also talking about buying rights to market Fampridine, the people said. The pill may be cleared for US sale this year.

Biogen's top-selling MS medication, Avonex, generated $2.2 billion last year. Its fastest growing product is the MS drug Tysabri, which had 2008 sales of $589 million. The company's oral MS drug, BG-12, is in final human tests. Biogen is also developing at least three other experimental treatments, daclizumab, CDP323, and Lingo, for MS.

The Boston Globe

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'Amazing Race' host Keoghan plans amazing ride: cross-country by bike for health awareness

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "The Amazing Race" host Phil Keoghan is getting ready for an amazing ride: a multitasking bicycle trip across America.

Keoghan said he's cycling cross-country to encourage people to pursue a healthy life. He also intends to spotlight the battle against multiple sclerosis, a cause he's supported for several years.

Keoghan will set off from Los Angeles on March 28 and end in New York on May 9 — the day before the "Amazing Race" season finale airs on CBS, the network said Wednesday.

He plans to average 100 miles a day, and said he hopes people will join in as he passes through their area.

"I feel like where we're at in the economy, the bicycle is a pretty good solution to helping people's waistlines, wallets and the environment," Keoghan said by phone from Auckland during a visit to his native New Zealand.

"This is saying to people, look, it's time to make a choice in your life. We have way too much obesity and way too many people sitting back and not getting involved in life," he said.

The ride, sponsored by nutritional retailer GNC, also is intended to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's Bike MS fundraising effort, with Keoghan attending rallies nationwide.

A member of Keoghan's family, a cousin, has the disease, a CBS spokesman said.

Keoghan's path will take him to more than 30 cities including Las Vegas; Denver; Lincoln, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh; Washington; Baltimore; Philadelphia; and New York
Metromix from Topix


What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

The role of the CD58 locus in multiple sclerosis. - Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Neuroprosthetic effect of peroneal nerve stimulation in multiple sclerosis: a preliminary study. - Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Feb;90(2):362-5. - in PubMed

Interferon-induced Mx proteins in brain tissue of multiple sclerosis patients. - In MS, Mx proteins are detectable in plaques suggesting endogenous synthesis of type I IFNs as part of the acute inflammatory process. - Eur J Neurol. 2009 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Neuroimmune interactions in a model of multiple sclerosis. - These findings may have important implications in our understanding of the interactions between stress and the development of autoimmune diseases induced by infectious agents. - Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Feb;1153:209-19. in PubMed

Therapeutic potential of IL-27 in multiple sclerosis? - Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009 Feb;9(2):149-60. in PubMed

High-dose, high-frequency recombinant interferon beta-1a in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. - The literature suggests that high-dose, high-frequency sc IFN beta-1a offers an effective option for treating patients with relapsing MS, with proven long-term safety and tolerability, and has a favourable benefit-to-risk ratio compared with other forms of IFN beta. - Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Feb;10(2):291-309. in PubMed

Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Canada: a systematic review. - This review confirms Canada as a country of very high MS prevalence and it is the first study to demonstrate that variation in regional estimates represents true differences in prevalence within Canada. Avenues for future MS prevalence research, including adoption of a national MS registry, are proposed. - Can J Neurol Sci. 2008 Nov;35(5):593-601. in PubMed


Positive Results In Randomized Withdrawal Sativex(R) Study Confirm Long Term Efficacy In MS Spasticity

GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWP:AIM) announces positive results from a placebo-controlled randomized withdrawal study of Sativex® in patients with spasticity due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This study was performed following regulatory guidance from the UK regulatory authority (MHRA) and provides evidence of long term efficacy to be included as part of the forthcoming European regulatory submission planned for Q2 09.

Separately, GW remains on track to report results of its Phase III MS Spasticity trial towards the end of Q1 09.

Dr Stephen Wright, GW's R&D Director, said: "This placebo-controlled study shows that Sativex provides meaningful long term efficacy for people with spasticity due to MS. These results will be an important new feature of the efficacy and safety data to be submitted in our next regulatory application. Separately, I am able to confirm that the pivotal Phase III trial in MS spasticity is on track to report results towards the end of Q1 09 and a regulatory submission is targeted for Q2 09."
read in Medical News Today



Sativex Satisfies Regulatory Hurdle, UK

The makers of cannabis-based treatment Sativex have today reported the results of a trial held to establish how effective the therapy is in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

GW Pharmaceuticals were asked by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to hold the withdrawal study, which evaluated 36 people with spasticity and who had previously been taking Sativex on prescription.

"These latest results satisfy a necessary hurdle with the drug regulators and we're looking forward to seeing data from the larger trial that will show how effective it is in greater numbers of people."

full story in Medical News Today




What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

A comparison of self-hypnosis versus progressive muscle relaxation in patients with multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. - The results support the efficacy of self-hypnosis training for the management of chronic pain in persons with MS. - Int J clin Exp Hypn. 2009 Apr;57(2):198-221. in PubMed

Membrane Estrogen Receptor Regulates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis through Up-regulation of Programmed Death 1. - This study is the first to evaluate the protective effect of GPR30 activation on EAE, and provides a strong foundation for the clinical application of GPR30 agonists such as G-1 in multiple sclerosis. - J Immunol. 2009 Mar 1;182(5):3294-303. in PubMed

Neuropsychological testing and event-related potentials in the assessment of cognitive performance in the patients with multiple sclerosis-A pilot study. - The aim of the study was to evaluate cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients using neuropsychological testing (NT) and auditory event-related potentials (ERPs) with reference to clinical variables, with an attempt to re-assess NT and ERP results after a year. - Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2009 Feb 20. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Virtual hypoxia and chronic necrosis of demyelinated axons in multiple sclerosis. - Lancet Neurol. 2009 Mar;8(3):280-91. - in PubMed

(1)H-MRSI evidence for cortical gray matter pathology that is independent of cerebral white matter lesion load in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. - J Neurol Sci. 2009 Feb 19. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Gene-environment interactions between HLA B7/A2, EBV antibodies are associated with MRI injury in multiple sclerosis. - J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Feb 14. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Economic impact of multiple sclerosis disease-modifying drugs in an employed population: direct and indirect costs * - Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 Feb 23. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Dose response to interferon therapy in multiple sclerosis: an evaluation of the evidence. - Although clinical benefits have been demonstrated in several large, randomized, double-blind studies, the optimal dosing of IFNbeta is controversial. -Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 Mar;25(3):547-57 in PubMed

Autologous attenuated T-cell vaccine (Tovaxin((R))) dose escalation in multiple sclerosis relapsing-remitting and secondary progressive patients nonresponsive to approved immunomodulatory therapies. - Clin Immunol. 2009 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Levels in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Receiving Interferon-beta1a. - J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2009 Feb 20. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed


Expert Insights—Genome-Wide Pharmacogenomic Approach to Assessing Response to Interferon Beta Therapy in MS (Course MS01.14)

Although recombinant interferon beta is widely used to treat patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), about 50% of treated patients experience relapse and increasing disability. Moreover, many of these patients experience adverse effects of interferon beta, including depression and flu-like symptoms. Although interferon beta has antiproliferative, antiviral, anti-adhesion and pro-apoptotic activity, its mechanism of action is not completely understood. In addition, there are no biologic or clinical markers that can predict response to this agent. Since the genetics of MS are complex, it is likely that allelic variations at many genes contribute to the response to treatment. A recent study utilized a pharmacogenomic approach to identifying DNA variants associated with the response to interferon beta treatment in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS)......
full article in Projects in Knowledge - Advanced Certificate Program: Multiple Sclerosis Management


Vision-Related Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis: Correlation with New Measures of Low- and High-Contrast Letter Acuity

To examine the relation between low-contrast letter acuity, a new visual function test for multiple sclerosis (MS) trials, and vision-targeted health-related quality of life (HRQOL). - J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.


The role of the CD58 locus in multiple sclerosis


MRI as an outcome in multiple sclerosis clinical trials

MRI measures widely used in trials of relapsing-remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis add little if anything independently to the clinically relevant relapse and disability outcomes. These results reemphasize the importance of validating potential surrogate markers against clinical measures and highlight the need for better MRI markers of disease activity and progression. - NEUROLOGY 2009;72:705-711



Biopartners To Appeal The CHMP's Negative Opinion On Its Novel Interferon Beta-1a

Biopartners GmbH has announced that it will request a re-assessment from the EMEA in support of its novel interferon beta-1a, Biferonex®, after receiving a negative opinion from the European Medicines Agency's Committee on Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). According to EMEA procedures Biopartners will continue their work to accomplish the registration of Biferonex.

"We are convinced about the strength of our data based on the results of a Phase III trial. This shows that Biferonex demonstrated safety and efficacy profiles comparable to established interferon beta-1a products already on the market", said Biopartners' CEO, Jean-Noël Treilles. "We will therefore be working closely with the EMEA to support the newly-appointed rapporteur and co-rapporteur with any additional data that they need during the re-examination of the dossier. We believe that this is a very unique case as Biferonex is a novel formulation of an Interferon beta-1a that has already been approved in 1996 and 1997 in the US and EU".

Commenting on the decision, Professor O. R. Hommes, Chairman of the European Charcot Foundation which coordinates MS research in Europe said "I look forward to the re-evaluation with interest. Having seen the results of the Phase III trial at key points throughout its development I would welcome Biopartners' interferon beta-1a as a new alternative therapy in the treatment of multiple sclerosis".

The re-examination will last approximately 3-4 months.
Medical News Today



Research Brings New Hope to Multiple Sclerosis Patients

( - MILWAUKEE, -- Researchers at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center have developed a technique that counteracts an unusual, but serious, side effect from natalizumab (Tysabri(R)), a drug that fights multiple sclerosis (MS).

The side effect is a brain virus called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).

"This virus looks like a multiple sclerosis relapse," Dr. Bhupendra Khatri says. "It rapidly destroys the white matter of the brain. Now we know exactly how to respond if this virus emerges."

The response is a series of plasma exchanges that filter the drug out of the blood stream, allowing the immune system to recover and fight the virus.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease where the body's immune system attacks the protective sheath surrounding the nerves. Natalizumab suppresses the immune system to slow or halt the progression of the disease. However, if the patient contracts PML, the immune system is not strong enough to combat the infection, so the drug needs to be removed from the body quickly.

Dr. Khatri, medical director of Aurora's Regional MS Center is lead author of the study published in the Feb. 3 issue of Neurology, the official publication of the American Academy of Neurology.

If something were to go wrong, now there is a demonstrated method to remove the drug from the body and help the patient fight PML," Goodwin says.

Health News Digest © Copyright by

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Young Smokers Increase Risk For Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (Feb. 20, 2009) — People who start smoking before age 17 may increase their risk for developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study released February 20 that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 to May 2, 2009. .....full story in ScienceDaily


Breast-feeding may cut multiple sclerosis relapse

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - After pregnancy, women with multiple sclerosis may substantially reduce their risk of relapses if they breast-feed their infants, without adding supplemental formula feedings, for at least 2 months.

That's the conclusion of researchers in California, who also found that women who restarted multiple sclerosis medications within 2 months after birth actually had a higher rate of relapse than other women, regardless of whether they breast-fed or not.

The research team at Stanford University in Palo Alto and at Northern California Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, will report their findings on April 28 at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st annual meeting in Seattle.

To shed light on these issues, Langer-Gould's team followed 32 pregnant women with multiple sclerosis throughout their pregnancies and for the first postpartum year.

Forty-eight percent of the women breast fed exclusively for at least 2 months, while the remaining 52 percent did not breast-feed or else began regular supplemental feedings within 2 months.

The rate of relapse was 87 percent among those who did not breast-feed exclusively versus 36 percent of those who did. After accounting for disease severity and age, women who did not exclusively breast-feed were seven-times more likely to suffer a relapse than those who did.

Exclusive breast-feeding causes body changes, such as a loss of menstrual periods, that may reduce inflammation, Langer-Gould explained. After supplemental infant feedings are introduced, these changes disappear.

If findings from this small study are confirmed in larger trials, she suggests that "physicians may want to consider extending maternity leave for at least 2 months for women with multiple sclerosis so they can breast-feed exclusively."
full story in Medline Plus


What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

Fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients during inpatient rehabilitation. - Inpatient rehabilitation decreases MS patients' fatigue. This effect seems to be modified by an improvement in mood. -Disabil Rehabil. 2008;30(19):1480-5 in PubMed

A qualitative investigation of adaptation in older individuals with multiple sclerosis. - Disabil Rehabil. 2008;30(15):1088-97. in PubMed

Possible role of receptor heteromers in multiple sclerosis. - J Neural Transm. 2009 Feb 20. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

STAT5 Mediates Antiapoptotic Effects of Methylprednisolone on Oligodendrocytes. - J Neurosci. 2009 Feb 18;29(7):2022-6. in PubMed



Review: Psychopathology in multiple sclerosis: diagnosis, prevalence and treatment

Demyelinization of nerve fibres not only affects the motor and sensory systems functionally, but may also cause psychopathological signs and symptoms. - Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders, Vol. 2, No. 1, 13-29 (2009) in Sage Journals


NEJM Special Report: Progress and Deficiencies in the Registration of Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are essential to understanding the efficacy of medical interventions. The ethical underpinnings of this type of research involving human subjects, codified in the Belmont Report and the Declaration of Helsinki, require that the results be publicly available to inform medical practice as well as future research. In addition, basic principles of evidence-based practice require the analysis of all data on a given topic; the practice of publishing only some results, but not others undermines our collective ability to make rational decisions about medical care.
full report in the New England Journal of Medicine


Psoriasis Drug Linked to Deaths From Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy

February 19, 2009 — Three deaths from progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and a possible fourth case have been reported in patients taking the immunosuppressant drug efalizumab (Raptiva, Genentech, Inc), according to a public health advisory issued today by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to the FDA, all 4 patients had been taking efalizumab for at least 3 years and had taken no other immunosuppressant drugs.

The FDA is advising clinicians to follow patients who are receiving efalizumab closely, as well as those who have discontinued the drug, and to periodically reevaluate whether patients should continue to receive treatment.

A boxed warning was added to efalizumab in October 2008 to highlight the risk for life-threatening infection, including PML — a rare but incurable brain infection that leads to irreversible brain dysfunction and death.

"The agency will take appropriate steps to ensure that the risks of Raptiva do not outweigh its benefits, that patients prescribed Raptiva are clearly informed of the signs and symptoms of PML, and that health care professionals carefully monitor patients for the possible development of PML," according to the public health advisory.

Efalizumab is an anti-CD11a antibody immunosuppressant drug indicated for the treatment of adults with chronic moderate to severe plaque psoriasis.
Medscape Today

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What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

Differential sensitivity of oligodendrocytes and motor neurons to reactive nitrogen species: implications for Multiple Sclerosis. - J Neurochem. 2009 Jan 19. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines. - Preclinical data that justify additional research directed at evaluating the clinical importance of each of these strategies are also discussed. - Br J Pharmacol. 2009 Feb;156(3):397-411. in PubMed

Are Individuals With an Autoimmune Disease at Higher Risk of a Second Autoimmune Disorder? - Limited evidence suggests that autoimmune diseases tend to co-occur, although data are needed to determine whether individuals with an existing autoimmune disorder are at increased risk of a second disorder. - Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Feb 18. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Expression of Chemokines and Their Receptors by Human Brain Endothelium: Implications for Multiple Sclerosis. - J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2009 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Glutamate receptors on myelinated spinal cord axons: I. GluR6 kainate receptors. - Ann Neurol. 2009 Feb 17. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed



Medical issues associated with commercial flights

Environmental and physiological changes that occur during routine commercial flights lead to mild hypoxia and gas expansion, which can exacerbate chronic medical conditions or incite acute in-flight medical events..... in The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 19 February 2009-


AAN: No Clear Link Found Between HPV Vaccine and Guillain-Barre

NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 18 -- A possible link between the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine (Gardasil) and Guillain-Barre syndrome remains unresolved following an analysis of government data.

Among the cases with a known vaccination date, Guillain-Barre had an onset within six weeks in three-fourths of the cases. In 22 cases, the condition was severe enough to require hospitalization, and six patients reported being disabled.

On the basis of what he has seen thus far, Dr. Souayah thinks the benefits of the vaccine outweigh a potential risk of Guillain-Barre.

"Let's tell that to the patient and then let them decide," he added. "Put everything on the table. Don't say the vaccine is 100% safe or that it's risky and might kill you. Give the patients all the information we have, give it to them honestly and without any bias, and then let them decide whether they want to be vaccinated."

The abstract of the study was one of several released by the AAN in advance of the Feb. 25 embargo on the remaining abstracts that will be reported at the meeting.

Full story in MedPage Today


What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

A review of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by people with multiple sclerosis. -The goal of this review article was to describe the use of CAM by individuals diagnosed with MS. - Occup Ther Int. 2009 Feb 16;16(1):57-70. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Chromosomal region 16p13: further evidence of increased predisposition to immune diseases. - Ann Rheum Dis. 2009 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Demyelinating events in early multiple sclerosis have inherent severity and recovery. - Patients with severe presentation and poor recovery at disease onset continue on a similar trajectory with subsequent demyelinating events. Whether genetic or other biologic factors are responsible for this pattern remains to be determined. - Neurology. 2009 Feb 17;72(7):602-608. - in PubMed

Use of a Genetic Isolate to Identify Rare Disease Variants: C7 on 5p associated with MS. - Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Feb 16. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

The effects of natalizumab on inflammatory mediators in multiple sclerosis: prospects for treatment-sensitive biomarkers. -Natalizumab attenuates pro-inflammatory mediators intrathecally and the reduced pro-inflammatory milieu may allow increased production of the anti-inflammatory mediator IL-10. The increased systemic cytokines may impede the improvement of certain clinical measures like fatigue. The affected mediators seem to be sensitive to an immune-modifying treatment which could be used as biomarkers for this therapy. - Eur J Neurol. 2009 Feb 11. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Heat reactions in multiple sclerosis: An overlooked paradigm in the study of comparative fatigue. - This review focuses on the similarities in the manifestation of central fatigue in both MS and healthy subjects with reference to thermal strain and heat reactions. - Int J Hyperthermia. 2009 Feb;25(1):34-40. in PubMed



FDA Agrees To Fast Review For Oral Drug Being Tested For MS

It was announced by the drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Petach Tikvah, Israel) and Active Biotech (Lund, Sweden) that oral laquinimod has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a "Fast Track Product." This designation should expedite its future review by the FDA after the sponsor submits results of current trials now underway......
full story in Medical News Today


What's new for "Multiple sclerosis" in PubMed

Heat reactions in multiple sclerosis: An overlooked paradigm in the study of comparative fatigue. - This review focuses on the similarities in the manifestation of central fatigue in both MS and healthy subjects with reference to thermal strain and heat reactions. - Int J Hyperthermia. 2009 Feb;25(1):34-40. in PubMed

Matrix Metalloproteinase-12 Deficiency Worsens Relapsing-Remitting Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in Association with Cytokine and Chemokine Dysregulation. - Am J Pathol. 2009 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Predicting accidental falls in people with multiple sclerosis -- a longitudinal study. - In clinical practice, looking at the use of walking aids, investigating proprioception and spasticity, rating Expanded Disability Status Score and using Berg Balance Scale or Timed Up and Go cognitive all contribute when identifying fallers. - Clin Rehabil. 2009 Mar;23(3):259-269. in PubMed

The effect of walking mobility on the measurement of physical activity using accelerometry in multiple sclerosis. - To examine whether accelerometry provides a measure of physical activity, walking ability or both in a sample of individuals with multiple sclerosis. The secondary purpose was to examine the validity of physical activity measures in people with multiple sclerosis who have ambulatory impairments. - Clin Rehabil. 2009 Mar;23(3):248-258. in PubMed

Therapeutic activities of intravenous immunoglobulins in multiple sclerosis involve modulation of chemokine expression. - J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Feb 12. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Improving the evaluation of therapeutic interventions in multiple sclerosis: the role of new psychometric methods. - There is considerable added value in using Rasch analysis rather than traditional psychometric methods in health measurement. - Health Technol Assess. 2009 Feb;13(12):1-200. in PubMed

[Therapeutic advances in neurology] - Rev Med Suisse. 2009 Jan 7;5(185):39-44, 46-8. in PubMed

A review of disease-modifying therapies for MS: maximizing adherence and minimizing adverse events. - In a chronic disabling disorder such as multiple sclerosis (MS), adherence to treatment is of critical importance in maximizing benefits of therapy over the long term. Adverse events (AEs) are often cited by patients who discontinue therapy. - Curr Med Res Opin. 2009 Jan;25(1):77-92. in PubMed


What's new in Neurology

Sample sizes for brain atrophy outcomes in trials for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis - This study investigated sample sizes required to demonstrate reduction of brain atrophy using three outcome measures in a parallel group, placebo-controlled trial for secondary progressive MS (SPMS). - full abstract in Neurology

Demyelinating events in early multiple sclerosis have inherent severity and recovery - Patients with severe presentation and poor recovery at disease onset continue on a similar trajectory with subsequent demyelinating events. Whether genetic or other biologic factors are responsible for this pattern remains to be determined. - full abstract in Neurology


What's new in: Neurology CiteTrack: MS (in MEDLINE)

New options for early treatment of multiple sclerosis. - J Neurol Sci, February 1, 2009; 277S1: S9-S11. - in Highwire Press Stanford University

Multiple sclerosis beyond EDSS: depression and fatigue. - J Neurol Sci, February 1, 2009; 277S1: S37-S41. - in Highwire Press Stanford University

Sample size requirements for treatment effects using gray matter, white matter and whole brain volume in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. - J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry, February 9, 2009; . in Highwire Press Stanford University

Long-term B-lymphocyte depletion with rituximab in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. - Arch Neurol, February 1, 2009; 66(2): 259-61. in Highwire Press Stanford University

Sample size requirements for treatment effects using gray matter, white matter and whole brain volume in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. - J. Neurol. Neurosurg. Psychiatry, February 9, 2009; . in Highwire Press Stanford University

Rate of brain atrophy in benign vs early multiple sclerosis. - Arch Neurol, February 1, 2009; 66(2): 234-7. in Highwire Press Stanford University

Modification of Multiple Sclerosis Phenotypes by African Ancestry at HLA. - Arch Neurol, February 1, 2009; 66(2): 226-33. in Highwire Press Stanford University

Contribution of white matter lesions to gray matter atrophy in multiple sclerosis: evidence from voxel-based analysis of T1 lesions in the visual pathway. - Arch Neurol, February 1, 2009; 66(2): 173-9. in Highwire Press Stanford University



Autologous non-myeloablative haemopoietic stem cell transplantation in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a phase I/II study

Non-myeloablative autologous haemopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with relapsing-remitting MS reverses neurological deficits, but these results need to be confirmed in a randomised trial. - The Lancet Neurology, Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 244 - 253, March 2009
The Lancet Neurology

Listen to The Lancet Neurology (March, 2009) (mp3, 7:41 mins, 7.03Mb) Helen Frankish discusses articles on stroke prevention after TIA, and the potential of stem-cell therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.



Oral Laquinimod For Multiple Sclerosis Granted Fast Track Status By FDA

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) and Active Biotech (NASDAQ OMX NORDIC: ACTI) today announced that oral laquinimod, an investigational treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), has received a Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Teva completed enrollment for the first of its two Phase III clinical trials for laquinimod (ALLEGRO) in November 2008 and is currently enrolling RRMS patients globally for the second Phase III study (BRAVO).

Drugs designated for Fast Track are intended for the treatment of a serious or life-threatening condition and have demonstrated the potential to address unmet medical needs. Fast Track designation can potentially facilitate development and expedite the review process. This may allow the drug to enter the market as soon as late 2011.

"As global leaders in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Teva is committed to bringing additional safe, effective and convenient therapies to MS patients," said Moshe Manor, Vice President, Global Innovative Resources Group at Teva. "We are pleased that the FDA has awarded laquinimod with a Fast Track designation, and are hopeful it will be part of our growing portfolio of innovative therapies."

"We're encouraged by the reports we've seen from the Phase II clinical trial of laquinimod, and if this agent continues to prove safe and effective, it would be a welcome new treatment option available to people with multiple sclerosis," said Dr. John Richert, Executive Vice President, Research and Clinical Programs, National MS Society.
full story in Medical News Today



The role of polyomaviruses in human disease.

The human polyomaviruses, BK virus and JC virus, have long been associated with serious diseases including polyomavirus nephropathy and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. - Virology. 2009 Feb 20;384(2):266-73. Epub 2008 Nov 7. in PubMed

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Mediterranean Diet and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Higher adherence to the MeDi is associated with a trend for reduced risk of developing MCI and with reduced risk of MCI conversion to AD. - Archives of Neurology


Contribution of White Matter Lesions to Gray Matter Atrophy in Multiple Sclerosis

Evidence From Voxel-Based Analysis of T1 Lesions in the Visual Pathway - Archives of Neurology


Is there a higher risk of restless legs syndrome in peripheral neuropathy?

Conclusions: Restless legs syndrome is more prevalent among patients with hereditary neuropathy, but not in those with acquired neuropathies. - Neurology


Effect of natalizumab on clinical and radiological disease activity in multiple sclerosis:

a retrospective analysis of the Natalizumab Safety and Efficacy in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (AFFIRM) study

Disease remission might become an increasingly attainable goal in multiple sclerosis treatment with the use of newer, more effective therapies. - The Lancet Neurology, Early Online Publication, 9 February 2009 doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(09)70021-3


Mwah! Kissing eases stress, study finds: Smooching releases mellowing chemicals — if you kiss the right person

CHICAGO - "Chemistry look what you've done to me," Donna Summer crooned in Science of Love, and so, it seems, she was right. Just in time for Valentine's Day, a panel of scientists examined the mystery of what happens when hearts throb and lips lock. Kissing, it turns out, unleashes chemicals that ease stress hormones in both sexes and encourage bonding in men, though not so much in women.

Chemicals in the saliva may be a way to assess a mate, Wendy Hill, dean of the faculty and a professor of neuroscience at Lafayette College, told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Friday.

In an experiment, Hill explained, pairs of heterosexual college students who kissed for 15 minutes while listening to music experienced significant changes in their levels of the chemicals oxytocin, which affects pair bonding, and cortisol, which is associated with stress. Their blood and saliva levels of the chemicals were compared before and after the kiss.

Both men and women had a decline in cortisol after smooching, an indication their stress levels declined.

For men, oxytocin levels increased, indicating more interest in bonding, while oxytocin levels went down in women. "This was a surprise," Hill said.

In a test group that merely held hands, chemical changes were similar, but much less pronounced, she said.

The experiment was conducted in a student health center, Hill noted. She plans a repeat "in a more romantic setting."

Hill spoke at the session on the Science of Kissing, along with Helen Fisher of Rutgers University and Donald Lateiner of Ohio Wesleyan University.

Fisher noted that more than 90 percent of human societies practice kissing, which she believes has three components — the sex drive, romantic love and attachment.

The sex drive pushes individuals to assess a variety of partners, then romantic love causes them to focus on an individual, she said. Attachment then allows them to tolerate this person long enough to raise a child.

Men tend to think of kissing as a prelude to copulation, Fisher said. She noted that men prefer "sloppy" kisses, in which chemicals including testosterone can be passed on to the women in saliva. Testosterone increases the sex drive in both males and females.

"When you kiss an enormous part of your brain becomes active," she added. Romantic love can last a long time, "if you kiss the right person."

Lateiner, a classical scholar, observed that kissing appears infrequently in Greek and Roman art, but was widely practiced, despite the spread of skin disease at that time by facial kissing. And there was a potential for social faux pas by kissing the wrong person at the wrong time.

Overall, the science of kissing — philematology — is under-researched, Hill concluded.


Stem Cell Research and Multiple Sclerosis

Many people suffering from the debilitating the disease of Multiple Sclerosis are depending on a miracle to transform their lives and give them hope and stem cell research may just be the answer. It has been released that stem cell injections can alliviate and in some cases reverse the crippling effects of MS.

A study has taken place by Dr. Richard K. Burt chief of the division of communication at Northern University of Feinburgh School of Medicine in Chicago. Twenty one patients newly diagnosed with MS were used in this study. Their immune systems were stripped away and then replaced with the patients own stem cells removed from the bone marrow. What the researchers were hoping happen is the body will take the new stem cells will not target the myelin and also, the bad cells have not attached themselves to it. The myelin is a protective sheath surrounding the nerve fibers.

The report in the Lancet Neurology Medical journal stated the technique suppressed the cells that caused the damage and 'reset' the immune system.

The important thing now is to find some sort of relief for those suffering from 'late stage' or progressive MS. We can only wait on the researchers for more progress and keep fundraising to keep this project alive.
Associated Content through Topix


FDA Agrees to Fast Review for Oral Drug Being Tested for MS

It was announced by the drug makers Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (Petach Tikvah, Israel) and Active Biotech (Lund, Sweden) that oral laquinimod has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a “Fast Track Product.” This designation should expedite its future review by the FDA after the sponsor submits results of current trials now underway.

A phase 3 study of laquinimod versus inactive placebo is currently underway in 1000 people with relapsing-remitting MS (also known as the Allegro study), and is fully enrolled. Another phase 3 study of laquinimod in comparison with inactive placebo or interferon beta-1a (Avonex®, Biogen Idec) is underway in 1200 people with relapsing-remitting MS (also known as the Bravo study), and is enrolling participants worldwide.
full story inNational MS



Statistical Analysis Could Yield New Drug Target For MS

ScienceDaily (Feb. 13, 2009) — An elaborate statistical analysis of genes from more than 7,000 individuals has identified an amino acid that appears to be a major risk factor for multiple sclerosis, a devastating autoimmune disorder that afflicts 2.5 million people worldwide.

In research published this month in BMC Medical Genetics, scientists from The Rockefeller University and colleagues from the University of Oxford in England and the University of British Columbia in Canada report a binding pocket in a previously implicated gene that may be an attractive research prospect as a potential drug target.

“We have identified the most important part of the gene for MS risk,” says Sreeram Ramagopalan, a postdoctoral research fellow at Oxford’s Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics, who collaborated with Wittkowski. “And it looks plausible. Amino acid 13 is part of a piece of the molecule that presents peptides to trigger the immune reaction.”

Ramagopalan says his researchers at Oxford will be following up on the statistical analysis with wet-lab experiments using animal models to detail the role amino acid 13 plays. “Now we want to know exactly how it works and what happens without it or when it is changed,” he says.
Full story in Science Daily



SDEF: Third Psoriatic PML Case Raises More Concerns About Efalizumab

WAILEA, Hawaii, Feb. 11 -- Advocates of biologic therapies have been shaken by a third reported case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in a psoriasis patient on long-term efalizumab (Raptiva). - full story in Medpage Today

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Paying Smokers to Quit Appears to be Effective

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 11 -- Cash on the barrelhead to quit smoking appears to pay off in higher cessation rates, a randomized controlled trial showed. - full story in Medpage Today


What's new for 'Multiple sclerosis' in PubMed

Association of Infectious Mononucleosis with Multiple Sclerosis. A Population-Based Study.
Genetic and environmental factors have important roles in multiple sclerosis (MS) susceptibility. Several studies have attempted to correlate exposure to viral illness with the subsequent development of MS. - Neuroepidemiology, 2009 Feb 11;32(4):257-262. [Epub ahead of print]

[The type of involvement of the nervous system in multiple sclerosis in children and adolescents]
It was to describe the type of nervous system involvement in children with MS, considering the clinical manifestation and neuroradiological changes. - Prezgl Lek, 2008;65(11):789-94.

Vestibular findings in relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis: a study of thirty patients. - Int Tinnutis Journal, 2008;14(2):139-45.



Modification of Multiple Sclerosis Phenotypes by African Ancestry at HLA.

In those with multiple sclerosis (MS), African American individuals have a more severe disease course, an older age at onset, and more often have clinical manifestations restricted to the optic nerves and spinal cord (opticospinal MS) than white persons. - Arch Neurol. 2009 Feb;66(2):226-233. in PubMed


Sample size requirements for treatment effects using gray matter, white matter and whole brain volume in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Cerebral GMV may be a viable outcome measure for clinical trials investigating neuroprotection in RRMS patients, especially considering the treatment effect may be larger on GMV compared to BPV. However, GMV was somewhat limited by increased variability vs. BPV. - J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 Feb 9. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed


Progressive decline of decision-making performances during multiple sclerosis.