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Biogen Reports a 13th Sick Patient on MS Drug

Biogen Idec Inc.'s disclosure of a debilitating brain infection in a patient taking its Tysabri multiple-sclerosis medicine sparked a selloff in shares of the biotechnology company Monday.

The disclosure, made Friday evening, marks the 13th case of the infection, called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy or PML, in a Tysabri patient. Three of the patients have died.

Biogen's shares dropped 5.5% to close at $47.32 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, possibly making the firm more vulnerable to a takeover by a large pharmaceutical company. Earlier this month, the company lost a proxy fight with billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn, who won two ...
Story in the Wall Street Journal

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Saving Grace: Device gives walking help to those with disorders

Three lightweight, wireless devices have given Lubbock resident Frank Jones grace - something multiple sclerosis stole from him several years ago.

Jones, a Vietnam veteran who has retired from the Army and lives on a farm, still has bruises from his last fall. He tripped in his living room and banged his head against a closet door.

But the bruises will fade soon, and Jones hasn't had a bad fall since purchasing the NESS L300, a relatively new device that uses mild electrical stimulation to help people with neurological disorders and traumatic injuries walk.

Jones, 67, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003, but he lived with the symptoms for 35 years before his diagnosis. The disease progressed to the point where several years ago he developed foot drop, a condition in which a person can't lift his or her toes when walking.

The L300 uses electrical pulses to lift a person's toes and foot while he or she is walking.

It's intended to help people with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. Made by the Bioness company, the device received Food and Drug Administration clearance in July 2006.

It has a pressure sensor that goes under the heel, a stimulator that looks like a knee brace, and a control unit the patient can put in a pocket or wear around his or her neck. The three pieces work together wirelessly......full story in Lubbock Online


Tysabri: Multiple Sclerosis Medication Linked to 13th Brain Infection Case

Biogen Idec Inc., a biotechnology company, announced Friday that another patient who was taking its Tysabri multiple-sclerosis medicine is infected with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. Their announcement marks the 13th case of the infection in patients taking Tysabri. Three other patients have already died from taking the medication and contracting PML. PML is a serious brain infection that attacks the central nervous system and damages and inflames the white matter areas of of the brain. Immune suppressing drugs such as Tysabri put patients at serious risk for contracting PML and potentially dying as a result.
Story in

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What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

Vibration therapy in multiple sclerosis: a pilot study exploring its effects on tone, muscle force, sensation and functional performance. - Exercise may be beneficial to those with multiple sclerosis, but there is limited evidence that the addition of whole body vibration provides any additional improvements. Further larger scale studies into the effects of whole body vibration in people with multiple sclerosis are essential. - Clin Rehabil. 2009 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Urinary dysfunction in multiple sclerosis. - We suggest that the assessment of urological symptoms and urodynamic evaluation is critical for evaluating quality of life in MS. - J Clin Neurosci. 2009 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Aerobic Fitness is Associated with Gray Matter Volume and White Matter Integrity in Multiple Sclerosis. - In this study, we investigated the association between cardiorespiratory fitness and measures of gray matter atrophy and white matter integrity. - Brain Res. 2009 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Multiple sclerosis associated fatigue during natalizumab treatment. - Fatigue and well-being improved after treatment initiation with natalizumab. A randomized controlled trial is necessary to come to definite conclusions as to a potential effect of natalizumab on fatigue in MS. - J Neurol Sci. 2009 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Interferon-beta treatment in multiple sclerosis attenuates inflammatory gene expression through inducible activity of the phosphatase SHP-1. - In conclusion, interferon-beta treatment upregulates SHP-1 expression resulting in decreased transcription factor activation and inflammatory gene expression important in MS pathogenesis. - Clin Immunol. 2009 Jun 24. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Identification of new sensitive biomarkers for the in vivo response to interferon-beta treatment in multiple sclerosis using DNA-array evaluation. - Eur J neurol. 2009 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

NITRIC OXIDE IN CELL SURVIVAL: A JANUS MOLECULE. - Antioxid Redox Signal. 2009 Jun 26. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed



TV personality's bike ride raises $500,000

Phil Keoghan, host of CBS' "The Amazing Race," raised $500,000 in his bicycle ride across the United States in the fight against multiple sclerosis.

The TV personality was sponsored by the General Nutrition Centers' chain in the 42-day trip, which made a stop May 2 in Robinson.

Tom Dowd, executive vice president of the chain, says $400,000 of the total came from donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in stores along the route.


A reflection of Multiple Sclerosis and dads on Father's Day

Men aren't as commonly afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis as women. In fact, twice as many women as men have this weird illness. And, some say it's hereditary, passed through the father. In fact, men are twice as likely to pass the illness on to their children than women.

But, on this Father's Day, it's still important to look at people's stories from dads with MS to kids who have dads with MS, and I've picked some of the best stories I could find. ....Full story in


Disability 101: Changed and on my way to D.C

I am changed. I have just returned from the annual National ADA Symposium which was held in Kansas City, Mo., on June 8-10 and I am changed.

I think it's the contrast that hits me most. Let me start with some background.I was first a special education teacher. I have a college degree and I was the team leader for a group of Masters level and Doctoral level professionals. But then multiple sclerosis hit me and I couldn't teach any more because in the state of Colorado, teaching special education is pretty much a 60 hour a week job and I couldn't manage 60 hours a week with my MS......full story in Summit Daily News


Rapid Beneficial Effects of New Interferon Formulation on MRI Outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis: Presented at ENS

MILAN, Italy -- June 23, 2009 -- Patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) show early benefit from a new formulation of subcutaneous interferon (IFN) beta-1a as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), according to a study presented here at the 19th Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS). .....full story in Doctor's Guide


Continuous Disease-Modifying Treatment Without Interruptions Provides Better Long-Term Outcomes in Multiple Sclerosis: Presented at ENS

MILAN, Italy -- June 23, 2009 -- Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who adhere to their treatment with interferon (IFN) beta-1a without interruption have lower relapse and progression rates than patients who do not adhere to their medication as regularly, said researchers here at the 19th Meeting of the European Neurological Society (ENS). ......
Full story in Doctor's Guide


What's new of 'Multiple Sclerosis' in PubMed

Potential risk factors for multiple sclerosis in Rio de Janeiro: a case-control study. - RESULTS of this study may contribute towards better awareness of the epidemiological characteristics of Brazilian patients with multiple sclerosis. - Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2009 Jun;67(2A):229-34. in PubMed

Age of Onset in Concordant Twins and Other Relative Pairs With Multiple Sclerosis. - A maternal parent-of-origin effect on the age of onset in collinear generations was suggested. - Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Jun 22. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Prediction of conversion from clinically isolated syndrome to clinically definite multiple sclerosis according to baseline MRI findings: comparison of revised McDonald criteria and Swanton's modified criteria. - In conclusion, Swanton's modified criteria are more sensitive and accurate (but not significantly so). However, Swanton's criteria are simpler to use and have equally high specificity and PPV. - J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

MR Spectroscopy Indicates Diffuse Multiple Sclerosis Activity During Remission. - The absence of early tissue atrophy and apparent axonal dysfunction (NAA loss) in these RR MS patients suggests that both are preceded by diffuse glial proliferation (astrogliosis), as well as possible inflammation, de- and re-myelination reflected by elevated mI, Cho and Cr, even during clinical remission and despite immunomodulatory treatment. - J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2009 Jun 21. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Vitamin D, a neuro-immunomodulator: Implications for neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases. - In this article, we review some of the mechanisms that may underlie the role of vitamin D in various brain diseases. We then assess how vitamin D imbalance may lay the foundation for a range of adult disorders, including brain pathologies (Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, depression) and immune-mediated disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, type I diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus or inflammatory bowel diseases). Multidisciplinary scientific collaborations are now required to fully appreciate the complex role of vitamin D in mammal metabolism. - Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2009 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Rasch analysis of the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29). - Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2009 Jun 22;7(1):58. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Cognitive deficits in multiple sclerosis patients with cerebellar symptoms. - These results highlight the importance of considering cognitive deficits associated with the presence of cerebellar symptoms in RR-MS. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jul;15(7):854-9. in PubMed

Measures in the first year of therapy predict the response to interferon {beta} in MS. - In RRMS patients treated with IFNbeta, the combination of measures of disease activity and the presence of new active lesions on MRI may have a prognostic value for identifying patients with disease activity in the second and third year of therapy. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jul;15(7):848-53. in PubMed

Cognitive impairment and its relation with disease measures in mildly disabled patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: baseline results from the Cognitive Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis (COGIMUS) study. - Cognitive impairment occurs in approximately one-fifth of mildly disabled patients with MS and is associated with specific MRI disease measures. Assessment of cognitive function at diagnosis could facilitate the identification of patients who may benefit from therapeutic intervention with disease-modifying therapies to prevent further lesion development. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jul;15(7):779-788. in PubMed



NYU Study May Find Better Treatments For MS

Doctors at New York University are conducting a medical study that may determine the best treatments to slow the advancement of multiple sclerosis. NY1's Health reporter Kafi Drexel filed the following report.

Full story with video at NY1 News


What's new for 'Multiple Sclerosis' in PubMed

Genome-wide association study identifies new multiple sclerosis susceptibility loci on chromosomes 12 and 20. - Nat Genet. 2009 Jun 14. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Meta-analysis of genome scans and replication identify CD6, IRF8 and TNFRSF1A as new multiple sclerosis susceptibility loci. - Nat Genet. 2009 Jun 14. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Demyelination, inflammation, and neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis deep gray matter. - The aims of this study were to determine the frequency and distribution of lesions and characterize the inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes in DGM of MS patients. Histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and morphometry were performed on whole coronal sections of 14 MS and 12 control (6 normal, 6 from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients) brains. - J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2009 May;68(5):489-502. in PubMed

Sex-Specific Therapeutic Strategies Based On Neuroactive Steroids: In Search For Innovative Tools For Neuroprotection. - In particular in our introductory article, the possibility that sex differences in the levels or in the action of neuroactive steroids may represent causative factors for sex differences in the incidence or manifestation of pathologies of the nervous system is considered. - Horm Behav. 2009 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Multiple sclerosis association study with the TENR-IL2-IL21 region in a Spanish population. - Tissue Antigens. 2009 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of chondroitin sulphate. - The review of the literature suggest that CS might also be of interest for the treatment of other diseases with an inflammatory and/or autoimmune character, such as inflammatory bowel disease, degenerative diseases of the central nervous system and stroke, multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases. - J Cell Mol Med. 2009 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

[Perioperative anesthetic management of a patient with multiple sclerosis] - In conclusion, appropriate control of surgical stress and prevention of fever are important for perioperative anesthetic management of patients suffering from MS. - Masui. 2009 Jun;58(6):772-4. in PubMed

Redefining functionality and treatment efficacy in multiple sclerosis. - we believe that expanding on the traditionally accepted definitions of "functionality" and "efficacy" will allow for the adoption of a more holistic picture of MS and its impact. - Neurology. 2009 Jun 9;72(23 Suppl 5):S1-11. in PubMed



Another Tysabri Patient Stricken with PML

Tysabri, a drug used to treat multiple sclerosis, has been linked to another case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, or PML. According to a report on, this latest case of Tysabri-associated PML was confirmed on June 10.
Tysabri is now available only to patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) or Crohn’s disease (CD) who are enrolled in the risk minimization plan called the TOUCH Prescribing Program. Under the TOUCH Prescribing Program, every Tysabri-treated patient is closely monitored and followed for the occurrence of PML and other serious opportunistic infections.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Biogen Idec has been posting a PML case update on the Internet every Friday. That will continue until July 24 - the third anniversary of the drug’s relaunch - by which time it expects the risk/benefit profile of Tysabri to be clearer. This is the eighth case of Tysabri-associated PML reported by Biogen Idec in the past year. Of those cases, one has been fatal.

Like all but two of those PML cases, this latest occurred in a patient overseas, the Journal said. Biogen Idec said this latest patient took 35 doses of the monthly medication, the most of any of the post-launch cases. According to The Wall Street Journal, some believe that duration of Tysabri therapy plays a role in the drug’s PML risk.

Last August, Biogen Idec announced that Tysabri had been associated with two other European cases of PML. One patient had been taking Tysabri for 14 months and the other for 17. But unlike others stricken with PML, those patients had been taking Tysabri as monotherapy - with no other drugs. It had been theorized that patients contracting PML had done so because of exposure to multiple medications and that monotherapy with Tysabri was less risky. ...complete story in NEWS

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MS Research Accelerated To Help Patients

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. - An estimated 200 Americans are diagnosed with Mutiple Sclerosis every week. Brian Cole knows what that feels like. The Wake Forest man was diagnosed with the disease 14 years ago.

Like most Multiple Sclerosis patients, Cole's disease is relapsing and remitting, meaning it comes and goes. He is able to keep his symptoms at bay with medication.

"The only medications for M.S. right now are injections," Cole said. "So for me that inch and a half needle that you stick in your leg."

There are only six approved drugs on the market for Multiple Scleroris. Cole is currently participating in a clinical trial for a new oral medication. But developing new drugs is literally a process of trial and error. Four out of five new drugs in clinical trials for M.S. fail.

Dr. Tim Coetzee is the director of Fast Forward, a program of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society that is working to get more drugs on the market by funding research in small biotech and pharmaceutical companies. ....full story & news video in Wake


New Study Uncovers Mystery of Multiple Sclerosis

(ChattahBox)—A new study of the DNA of patients with Multiple Sclerosis, has discovered specific genetic markers pointing to the disease, which could one day lead to treatments that have the potential to stop the disease in its tracks. This new study for the first time, points to a genetic cause of MS, which has remained a mystery to scientists until now.

The groundbreaking study was led by a team of 40 researchers from Australia and New Zealand who are members of the of the ANZgene consortium. The scientists analyzed the DNA makeup of 1,618 patients with MS and compared their findings to a control group of 3,413 people without the disease. ....full story in


Numbers Of People With MS Higher Than Previously Estimated

New research released by the MS Society has for the first time revealed an accurate estimate of the number of people living with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK.

The results show that there is likely to be around 100,000 people with MS in the UK - a 20 per cent increase on previous estimates.

The new study of GP records - funded by the MS Society - was carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and updates previous estimates of 85,000.

The revised figure has major implications for health and social services and the study is a precursor to a pilot MS Register, which will provide much more information on exactly how MS affects individuals. ....full report in Medical News Today


Tracking Down The Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis - New Discoveries In Immune Response

Over 2.5 million people suffer from multiple sclerosis world-wide. Despite intensive research, the factors that trigger the disease and influence its progress remain unclear. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and an international research team have succeeded in attaining three important new insights into the disease.

Commenting on the findings, Helen Yates, Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre Chief Executive said, "These findings from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology provide yet more pieces of the MS 'jigsaw'. It has long been suggested in some areas that the current mouse model, EAE, is not a close enough match to the development of MS in humans, so to develop a new model in itself is a real step forward. The research also suggests a different weighting of the activity of B cells and T cells. We hope to see more research in this area." ....full report in Medical News Today


MS Society Commends Federal Government's Research Investment In Neurological Diseases

The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada praised the government announcement of $15 million to study the impact of a wide variety of neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis.

"The MS Society applauds the federal government's $15 million commitment to pursue a greater understanding of neurological diseases and injuries," said Yves Savoie, president and CEO of the MS Society of Canada. "In the field of MS, we anticipate the results of this work will help guide our efforts to fund the best research and deliver programs that positively impact quality of life." ..full report in Medical News Today


Queensland Researchers Help Unlock Genetic Keys To MS

New genes discovered by Australian and New Zealand researchers may hold the key to new treatments for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Queensland scientists are part of a consortium that has discovered two genetic variants which increase the risk of MS and reveal links to other autoimmune disease.

The study was published today in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Genetics. ...full report in Medical News Today


Aussie And Kiwi Researchers Make Double MS Genetic Discovery

Australian and New Zealand researchers have accelerated research into Multiple Sclerosis by discovering two new locations of genes which will help to unravel the causes of MS and other autoimmune disease.

Their findings will be published today in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics. ...full report in Medical News Today


Long-Term Study Determines Early Predictors of Response to Interferon Beta-1a in Patients With MS

June 10, 2009 (Atlanta, Georgia) — In patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), progression of disability and higher relapse rates are early markers of long-term disease severity, while initiation of treatment with intramuscular interferon (IFN) beta-1a can delay this progression when initiated in patients with low disease burden, new findings suggest.

Richard Rudick, MD, director of the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, in Ohio, presented the results here at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) 23rd Annual Meeting in a poster session. ...full report in MedScape Today


Natalizumab Likely Associated With Peripheral Sequestration of Proinflammatory T Cells

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jun 12 - Treatment with the humanized monoclonal antibody natalizumab increases the percentage of activated leukocytes producing proinflammatory cytokines in blood, according to an exploratory longitudinal study by US researchers. The likely mechanism of this action is sequestration of these activated CD4+ and CD8+ cells in the peripheral circulation.

The study, conducted in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), is reported in the June 2 issue of Neurology by Dr. Samia Khoury of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston and colleagues. ....full report in MedScape Today


What's new for 'Multiple Sclerosis' in PubMed

Oligodendrocyte development and the onset of myelination in the human fetal brain. - In this review we discuss the spatial and temporal progression of oligodendrocyte lineage characterized by the expression of specific markers and transcription factors in the human fetal brain from the early embryonic period (5 gestational weeks, gw) until midgestation (24 gw). - Front Neuroanat. 2009;3:5. Epub 2009 Jun 1. in PubMed

Coping Strategy and Anxiety Evolution in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Initiating Interferon-Beta Treatment. - This study (ACSEPT) aimed to assess anxiety evolution according to coping strategy in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) during their first months of treatment with interferon (IFN)-beta1a. Eur Neurol. 2009 Jun 12;62(2):79-85. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Plasma Exchange Therapy in Steroid-Unresponsive Relapses in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. - PE is an effective and well tolerated therapeutic option for steroid-unresponsive MS relapses. - Blood Purif. 2009 Jun 11;28(2):108-115. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

[Efficacy and safety of cyclophosphamide treatment in progressive multiple sclerosis.] - Our results suggest that the CPM is efficient in progressive multiple sclerosis; however, its place must be reconsidered before establishing an international consensus for treatment; open label studies are needed to validate the present findings. - Rev Neurol (Paris). 2009 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

New perspectives in human stem cell therapeutic research.- BMC Med. 2009 Jun 11;7(1):29. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Recent patents in CNS drug discovery: the management of inflammation in the central nervous system. - In this review, the authors focus on disclosures from the patent literature to give a broad overview of the different approaches that are being taken to try and develop more effective and selective anti-inflammatory agents to manage acute and chronic inflammation in the CNS. - Recent Pat CNS Drug Discov. 2009 Jun;4(2):86-95. in PubMed

Parent-of-origin effect in multiple sclerosis. Observations from interracial matings. - Neurology. 09 Jun 10. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

[The latest world standards in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis] - This report describes the evolution of MS diagnostic guidelines for physician in clinical practice with a focus on recent recommended criteria from the year 2005, called "Revised McDonald Criteria". - Klin Oczna. 2009;111(1-3):70-4. in PubMed

[Stem cells in therapy of multiple sclerosis] - Experimental evidence of corrective and protective effects on tissues by preneuronal cells differentiated from fetal and embryonal human stem cells has been obtained in an animal model. - Duodecim. 2009;125(9):965-73. in PubMed



What's new for 'Multiple Sclerosis' in PubMed

Vocal symptoms and acoustic changes in relation to the expanded disability status scale, duration and stage of disease in patients with multiple sclerosis. - Patients with MS may develop vocal symptoms irrespective of the EDSS score, duration and stage of the disease. Vocal fatigue and vocal breaks are more common than hoarseness. - Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Jun 10. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Immuno-Therapeutic Potential of Haematopoietic and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in MS. - In this review we will summarize the current clinical and experimental evidence on HSC and MSC and outline some key questions warranting further investigation in this exciting research area. - Results Probl Cell Differ. 2009 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

B Cells and Antibodies in MS. - This chapter therefore aims to summarize the present knowledge and to outline future directions about the role of B cells and antibodies in research and therapy of MS and NMO. - Results Probl Cell Differ. 2009 Jan 22. [Epub ahead of print] ib PubMed

Assessing the Clinical Efficacy of Sildenafil for the Treatment of Female Sexual Dysfunction(July/August). - Although data suggest a possible role of sildenafil for the treatment of FSD, the information should be interpreted cautiously, as many of the studies included small sample sizes, used inappropriate statistical tests, and used nonvalidated assessment tools. A better FSD classification system and consistent use of validated assessment tools might help alleviate differences among clinical trials and provide a more cohesive foundation for assessing the safety and efficacy of sildenafil for the treatment of FSD. - Ann Pharmacother. 2009 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Cost-Effectiveness of Disease-Modifying Therapies in the Management of Multiple Sclerosis for the Medicare Population. - Value Health. 2009 Jan 9. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Effect of statins on clinical and molecular responses to intramuscular interferon beta-1a. - Statin therapy does not appear to affect clinical effects of IM interferon beta-1a in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or the primary molecular response to interferon beta treatment. - Neurology. 2009 Jun 9;72(23):1989-93. in PubMed

Risk alleles for multiple sclerosis in multiplex families. - Neurology. 2009 Jun 9;72(23):1984-8. in PubMed

Exclusive Breastfeeding and the Risk of Postpartum Relapses in Women With Multiple Sclerosis. - Our findings suggest that exclusive breastfeeding and concomitant suppression of menses significantly reduce the risk of postpartum relapses in MS. Our findings call into question the benefit of foregoing breastfeeding to start MS therapies and should be confirmed in a larger study. - Arch Neurol. 2009 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed


Could MS Doctors be Treating the Wrong Disease?

I ran across this while doing some research and, although it is a little old, thought it was interesting. Some experts think that the reason a cure for multiple sclerosis has not been found is because the understanding of multiple sclerosis that researchers and physicians have is fundamentally wrong. The alternative theory, upheld by Drs. Peter Behan and Abhijit Chaudhuri states that multiple sclerosis is not caused by the immune system attacking myelin (as is commonly believed); instead, multiple sclerosis is caused by cells (called astrocytes) malfunctioning.

The thinking goes like this: the animal model of multiple sclerosis (which is used for treatment and drug development) is very different from the human experience of multiple sclerosis. In the animal model, the MS-like condition (in which the myelin indeed is attacked by the immune system) leads to death or disability, while in people the course of multiple sclerosis is much more varible (and only rarely leads to death). Therefore, claim the researchers, these are really two different diseases (with the further proof that, despite extensive research, these animal-based treatments do not "cure" MS).

Reactions to this theory vary, but most consider it an oversimplification of things and recent evidence of the impact of MS treatments on multiple sclerosis itself leads most researchers and physicians to believe we are "on the right track." in


UK: Adult Stem Cells Reverse Symtoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Chalk up yet another success for adult stem cell therapy!

According to the UK Telegraph, researchers in Britain have taken stem cells from a patient’s own body fat to stimulate the regrowth of tissue damaged by multiple sclerosis.

Last year experts suggested that stem cell therapy could be a “cure” for MS within the next 15 years.

Patients’ symptoms were still improving up to a year after the treatment, the new study shows. ... full story in Dakota Voice


Bioenergy Life Project Announces Community Event to Document Benefits of Bioenergy on Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis

LOS ANGELES, Calif., June 10 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- The Bioenergy Life Project announces the first community event to document the benefits of Bioenergy therapy on Parkinson's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. The event will last from July 13th to 16th 2009 at the Marina Del Rey Hotel, Marina Del Rey, Calif.

The Bioenergy Life Project offers the public a free opportunity to experience a unique, safe and gentle alternative solution to long term, chronic illness.

By documenting the benefits and results of the Domancic Method of Bioenergy Therapy, the Bioenergy Life Project will raise awareness that Bioenergy is a safe, effective method for renewing and maintaining health. ...full story in Send2Press Newswire


Breastfeeding Associated With A Reduced Risk Of Relapse In Women With Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (June 11, 2009) — Women with multiple sclerosis who breastfeed exclusively for at least two months appear less likely to experience a relapse within a year after their baby's birth, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the August print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. ...full story in Science Daily


Tracking Down The Causes Of Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (June 10, 2009) — Over 100,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in Germany alone. Despite intensive research, the factors that trigger the disease and influence its progress remain unclear. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried and an international research team have succeeded in attaining three important new insights into the disease.

It would appear that B cells play an unexpected role in the spontaneous development of multiple sclerosis and that particularly aggressive T cells are activated by different proteins. Furthermore, a new animal model is helping the scientists to understand the emergence of the most common form of the disease in Germany....full story in Science Daily



What's new for "Multiple Sclerosis" in PubMed

Fellow eye changes in optic neuritis correlate with the risk of multiple sclerosis. -The magnitude of latency prolongation and amplitude decline 12 months after the initial episode was proportional to the risk of MS. The prognostic significance of these changes as predictors of subsequent MS should be investigated longitudinally. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Arterial Compliance in Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study. - Arterial compliance is significantly compromised in young individuals with MS, compared with age-matched controls, but not for older individuals, suggesting a systemic effect of an inflammatory process that predominantly affects the CNS. - Angiology. 2009 Jun 3. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Protective effects of progesterone administration on axonal pathology in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. - Brain Res. 2009 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Cerebrospinal fluid and serum uric acid levels in patients with multiple sclerosis. - Our results support the significance of UA in the pathogenesis of MS. - clin Chem Lab Med. 2009 Jun 4. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Updated prevalence estimates of multiple sclerosis in Texas, 1998 to 2003. - Patients in whom MS was diagnosed by a neurologist, who resided in the study areas, and who had an office visit between 1998 and 2003 were included in the study. - Tex Med. 2009 Jun 1;105(6):e1. in PubMed

Fatigue, depression and disability accumulation in multiple sclerosis: a cross-sectional study. - In patients with MS, fatigue and depression are strongly associated with each other but not with the degree of disability or the speed of disability accumulation. - Eur J Neurol. 2009 Mar 1;16(3):348-352. in PubMed



Secretary Of State Backs MS Society Work Retention Project

Secretary of State for work and pensions James Purnell MP is lending his support to an MS Society-led project designed to help people with chronic and fluctuating health conditions remain in work.

Mr Purnell joins the MS Society and a range of charities, work organisations and leading UK employers and trade unions at a round table event at the Work Foundation in London today (2 June).

Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society, said: "All too often, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other fluctuating health conditions say they left work too soon, either voluntarily or due to pressure from an employer. We want to provide an information resource that can act as a safety net at the point at which someone's working life may be about to fall off a cliff. ....full report in Medical News Today


What's new for 'Multiple Sclerosis' in PubMed

Comparison of MRI signatures in pattern I and II multiple sclerosis models. - These findings suggest that the observed signal changes reflect the convergent histopathology of the two models rather than the underlying mechanisms of the disease. - NMR Biomed. 2009 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Imaging outcomes for neuroprotection and repair in multiple sclerosis trials. - At present, the three most promising primary outcomes in phase II trials of neuroprotective and/or reparative strategies in MS are: changes in whole-brain volume to gauge general cerebral atrophy; T1 hypointensity and magnetization transfer ratio to monitor the evolution of lesion damage; and optical coherence tomography findings to evaluate the anterior visual pathway. Power calculations show that these outcome measures can be applied with attainable sample sizes. - Nat Rev Neurol. 2009 May;5(5):256-66. in PubMed

Combining beta interferon and atorvastatin may increase disease activity in multiple sclerosis. - The combination of 40 or 80 mg atorvastatin with thrice weekly, 44 microg interferon beta-1a in persons with multiple sclerosis resulted in increased MRI and clinical disease activity. Caution is suggested in administering this combination. - Neurology. 2008 Oct 28;71(18):1390-5. Epub 2008 Jun 4. & Comment in: Neurology. 2008 Oct 28;71(18):1286-7. & Neurology. 2009 Jun 2;72(22):1965-6. in PubMed

Natalizumab treatment is associated with peripheral sequestration of proinflammatory T cells. -Natalizumab treatment increases the percentage of activated leukocytes producing proinflammatory cytokines in blood, presumably due to sequestration of activated cells in the peripheral circulation. - Neurology. 2009 Jun 2;72(22):1922-30. in PubMed

Remyelination capacity of the MS brain decreases with disease chronicity. - In summary, our data demonstrate that remyelination is a frequent event in early multiple sclerosis lesions. Furthermore, the anatomic localization of a lesion might influence the extent of remyelination. - Neurology. 2009 Jun 2;72(22):1914-21. in PubMed

Spontaneous relapsing-remitting EAE in the SJL/J mouse: MOG-reactive transgenic T cells recruit endogenous MOG-specific B cells. - J Exp Med. 2009 Jun 1. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

[Part II: Implication of the blood-brain barrier in neurological diseases.] - This review will focus on the recently described BBB dysfunctions presumably involved in various neurological diseases. - Rev Neurol (Paris). 2009 May 30. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Loss of AMPK exacerbates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis disease severity. - Our study identifies AMPK as a down regulated target during disease in all immune cells and possibly restoring AMPK may serve as a novel therapeutic target in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). - Biochem Biophy Res Commun. 2009 May 29. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

Lack of Interferon-beta bioactivity is associated with the occurrence of relapses in multiple sclerosis. - Treatment failure to Interferon-beta (IFNbeta) in multiple sclerosis (MS) can only partly be explained by anti-IFNbeta neutralising antibodies (NAb)........Our results suggest that a lack of IFNbeta bioactivity is associated with the occurrence of relapses and therefore can be useful as a biomarker for unresponsiveness to IFNbeta. - Eur J Neurol. 2009 May 22. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

[Validation analysis of selected psychometric features of Polish version of Modified Fatigue Impact Scale - preliminary findings.] - Both the reliability and validity of MFIS are satisfactory; the scale seems to be a valuable tool to evaluate the impact of fatigue on quality of life of patients with MS. - Neurol Neurchir Pol. 2009 March-April;43(2):148-154. in PubMed



MS Trial Alert: Investigators Recruiting Participants with MS for Study of Alemtuzumab - UPDATED

Investigators worldwide are recruiting subjects for a study of alemtuzumab (Genzyme Corporation) for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS. In the CARE-MSSM II study, approximately 700 subjects at over 200 study sites will be randomly assigned to receive treatment with alemtuzumab or Rebif® (interferon beta-1a, EMD Serono and Pfizer). This study is funded by Genzyme Corporation and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.

Rationale: Alemtuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody directed at CD52 (a protein on the surface of immune cells) that is currently approved by the U.S. FDA as a single agent for treatment of patients with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Its ability to target immune cells has led investigators to test its potential as a treatment for relapsing-remitting MS. A phase 2 study compared two dose levels of alemtuzumab with Rebif in 334 subjects with relapsing-remitting MS who had never taken any other disease-modifying therapies. Those taking alemtuzumab had a 74% reduction in the risk of MS relapse compared with those on Rebif, and a 71% reduction in the risk for sustained accumulation of disability (New England Journal of Medicine 2008 359;17: 30-45). from the National MS Society



BioPartners GmbH Withdraws Its Application For Biferonex (interferon Beta-1a)

The European Medicines Agency has been formally notified by BioPartners GmbH of its decision to withdraw its application for Biferonex (interferon beta-1a), 6 million-international-unit solution for injection, prefilled syringes for subcutaneous administration.

Biferonex was expected to be used to treat patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis characterised by two or more exacerbations of neurological symptoms in the previous two years.

The application for the marketing authorisation for Biferonex was submitted to the Agency on 24 July 2007. On 19 February 2009, the Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) adopted a negative opinion, recommending the refusal of the marketing authorisation. Following this, the company requested a re-examination of the opinion, which was under review by the CHMP at the time of the withdrawal.

The company stated in its official letter that its decision to withdraw the application was based on the fact that the additional information provided in support of the re¬examination had not changed the Committee's view on the benefit-risk balance of Biferonex. ...full report in Medical News Today


What's new for 'Multiple Sclerosis' in PubMed

Improving Compliance with Interferon-beta Therapy in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. - CNS Drugs. 2009;23(6):453-62. doi: 10.2165/00023210-200923060-00001. in PubMed

Driving behaviors among community-dwelling persons with multiple sclerosis. - The results indicate the need to consider issues related to driving as MS severity progresses, and, given the progressive nature of MS and the concerns of the validity of the most common clinical driving assessment measures (the behind-the-wheel evaluation), repeated assessment of driving ability may be the most effective approach for identifying driving difficulties among persons with MS. - Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Jun;90(6):975-81 in PubMed

Assaying THE functional effects of demyelination and remyelination: Revisiting field potential recordings. - J Neurosci Methods. 2009 May 26. [Epub ahead of print] in PubMed

The mosaic of autoimmunity: the role of environmental factors. - In this communication, only the environmental factors are reviewed such as: infectious agents (represented by Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus), vaccines as triggers of autoimmunity, smoking and its relationship with rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Some aspects of stress as implicated in causing autoimmunity and the processes leading to autoimmunity are reviewed as well. - Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2009 Jun 1;1:501-509. in PubMed

Twin studies and the heritability of MS: a conclusion. - Overall the studies support a genetic contribution to disease; however, the imprecision of the heritability estimates and potential biases that they contain mean that very little inference can be drawn its exact size. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jun;15(6):661-667. in PubMed

T2 hypointensity in the deep gray matter of patients with benign multiple sclerosis. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jun;15(6):678-686. in PubMed

Efficacy of intramuscular interferon beta-1a in patients with clinically isolated syndrome: analysis of subgroups based on new risk criteria. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jun;15(6):728-734. in PubMed

Neurological disability, psychological distress, and health-related quality of life in MS patients within the first three years after diagnosis. - ConclusionsEarly stage MS patients significantly differ in their psychological distress when compared to healthy controls. Psychological distress in these patients is associated with neurological disability, but it is also present in patients with minimal to no neurological disability. Psychological distress was identified as an independent predictor for MS-related quality of life. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jun;15(6):752-758. in PubMed

Prominent brainstem and cerebellar involvement in multiple sclerosis with psoriasis. - Mult Scler. 2009 Jun;15(6):763-766. in PubMed

A New Therapeutic Approach for Autoimmune Diseases by the Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptor Modulator, Fingolimod (FTY720). - Patients who received FTY720 orally had a significant reduction in the clinical disease activity, the number of lesions in the central nervous system, and the relapse rates. Since FTY720 possesses a new mechanism of action that has not been observed with other immunosuppressive agents, it is believed that FTY720 provides a new therapeutic approach for autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis. - Yakugaku Zasshi. 2009;129(6):655-665. in PubMed

Update on inflammation, neurodegeneration, and immunoregulation in multiple sclerosis: therapeutic implications. - Clin Neuropharmacol. 2009 May-Jun;32(3):121-32. in PubMed


Genzyme completes acquisition of worldwide rights for multiple sclerosis drug Campath - update

(RTTNews) - Biopharmaceutical company Genzyme Corp. (GENZ: News ) said Tuesday that it has completed the acquisition of the worldwide rights for Campath/MabCampath from German drug maker Bayer HealthCare (BAYRY.PK: News ).

Campath is currently used for the treatment of B-Cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia or CLL, and indicated for multiple sclerosis or MS.

According to the deal, Genzyme has the primary responsibility to develop and commercialize Campath, or alemtuzumab in MS. However, Bayer can exercise an option to globally co-promote the product for MS, upon approval.

Genzyme said it is conducting two rapidly progressing phase 3 studies of alemtuzumab in relapsing-remitting MS patients.

Genzyme will also acquire a new, Seattle-area Leukine manufacturing facility for $75 million to $100 million and hire the plant's operating personnel following the 2010 anticipated FDA plant approval. ..full story in RTT News Global Financial Newswires


MS Attacks More Than Myelin

Your brain can be though of as having two different types of stuff that it is made up of. This "stuff" is called gray matter and white matter. White matter is the "stuff" that connects neurons to each other, white matter is where the myelin is (actually, the myelin is what makes it white). We know that in multiple sclerosis, the body's own immune cells attack and damage myelin in the white matter.

Now here is some bummer news, some researchers now think that the immune system of people with multiple sclerosis also attacks the gray matter in the brain. The gray matter is made up of the actual neurons (the brain cells). Even more importantly, the damage to the gray matter may be the biggest factor in the level of disability of a person with multiple sclerosis.

We have always known that the nerve structures below the myelin often sustain damage from MS, and can be destroyed, resulting in "black holes" and generalized atrophy (shrinkage) of the brain and spinal cord. However, it was my assumption that this was just "collateral damage" that came from an overenthusiastic attack on the myelin.

What researchers have discovered is that the immune system in MS attacks a certain protein, called Contactin-2, that is produced by both the myelin and by neurons, which suggests that both types of brain matter may be actively targeted and attacked by the immune system in multiple sclerosis. They believe that Contactin-2 triggers the immune response in people with MS. So far, the research around this has been in the mouse model of MS, not in humans. ..full story in Multiple Sclerosis Blog


Diverse, bumpy roads converge at Tunxis

FARMINGTON — Yvonne Hill of New Britain has multiple sclerosis and dyslexia and is the single mother of a 10-year-old daughter. Edyta Bolek arrived in New Britain from Poland three years ago. But the two have something in common other than living in the same city.

On Sunday, Hill and Bolek both graduated from Tunxis Community College. Both majored in business administration and will further their education at four-year colleges. They are just two of the 350 people of all ages who received diplomas and/or certificates at Sunday’s commencement ceremony, held under a large tent in the college’s courtyard, with the new wing and library in the background. ...full story in The Bristol Press


American Idol contestant to speak and perform at 2009 Woman Against MS Luncheon

Singer, songwriter and 2009 American Idol contestant David Osmond will headline this year’s National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Connecticut Chapter Women Against MS (WAMS) Luncheon Friday, June 5, at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.

Osmond, who was diagnosed with MS several years ago, is the son of Alan Osmond, the founder of the famed troupe of singing brothers. Ironically, Alan Osmond has battled the baffling and potentially debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis for the past 20 years.

In 2005, after graduating from college, Osmond’s health began to deteriorate. He found himself unable to walk and consequently in a wheelchair for the better part of a year. He was initially diagnosed with West Nile Virus and a year later, also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As a result of his illness, his breathing became so labored he could no longer sing and playing a guitar was out of the question.

Osmond is partnered with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and serves as an official ambassador and spokesperson, raising awareness and educating others on the effects of the disease. He travels the country performing and sharing his personal story of living life to the fullest in the face of the unpredictable effects of multiple sclerosis.

For more information or to reserve a seat, please contact Allison Cohen at 860-714-2300, ext. 246. For more information on MS, its effects and the many ways to help, please visit, ...full story in

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