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Timothy L. Vollmer, MD
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Professor

Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center

Medical Director-Rocky Mountain MS Center
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Brian R. Apatoff, MD, PhD
Multiple Sclerosis Institute
Center for Neurological Disorders

Associate Professor Neurology and Neuroscience,

Weill Medical College of Cornell University

Clinical Attending in Neurology,
New York-Presbyterian Hospital
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Timothy L. Vollmer M.D.
Department of Neurology
University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Co-Director of the RMMSC at Anschutz Medical Center
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Monday

 

AXIM Moving Ahead with Testing of Cannabinoid Products, Including Chewing Gum for MS Patients: VIDEO
























AXIM Biotechnologies  announced it has secured financing from private sources to continue its testing of medical cannabinoid products as potential treatments for multiple indications, including pain and spasticity in people with MS.
Read more »

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Ex-Boyz II Men Member Reveals He Has MS: VIDEO





















For more than two decades, Michael McCary was a part of one of the most successful music acts of the ‘80s and ‘90s, until he and Boyz II Men parted ways in 2003. The split wasn’t amicable, and for years, people referenced an unnamed health condition at the root of the band’s breakup. Now, McCary is sharing what that health condition is: multiple sclerosis.
Read more »

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Sunday

 

Basic Occupational Therapy: Smaller Tasks















With time your MS may start to cause tasks that were once done with ease to become quite difficult. MS may also affect just how much you can handle doing before burning out. Both these factors tend to determine your level of productivity so MS commonly causes people to feel like they just can’t get anything done! But you have to right? Other people with MS get stuff done right? But how? How do people with a chronic disease like MS maintain their lives when they sometimes may feel like the idea of simply getting out of bed seems like too huge an endeavor? When I realized that I was asking myself this on a daily basis I thought back to all the work I have done in occupational therapy and the number one rule my occupational therapist (OT) talked about; energy conservation. Finding ways to make tasks easier so they don’t cause so much fatigue that you can not complete them.
Read more »

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Effexor XR (venlafaxine) for Depression in MS





















Image Source: HUFFINGTONPOST

Effexor XR (venlafaxine) belongs to a group of medications called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRI). The drug increases serotonin and norepinephrine, which are natural substances that positively affect communication between nerve cells or restore chemical balances in the brain. The drug is used to treat depression and types of anxiety that include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Depression is a common and well documented symptom of multiple sclerosis.
Read more »

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Saturday

 

Shake, Rattle, and Spill? Tremors in MS




























By Judy Lynn

I live in a part of the country with beautiful green forests, mountains, abundant freshwater, and saltwater.  If you have seven hours to spare, you can drive across the state and experience desert, orchard, mountain, alpine meadow, rainforest, and the Pacific Ocean. This beautiful land also comes with some known, and yet unpredictable, risks: volcanoes and earthquakes.
Read more »

 

Repairing MS Brain Damage Through Running


























Image Source: POPSUGAR

This isn’t the first (or second, third, or even 100th) time you’ve heard about the benefits of running. Studies have already shown that running is good for your heart, weight management, and overall wellbeing. Now, Canadian researchers are optimistic about the possibility that running may also be beneficial for neurodegenerative disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.
Read more »

Friday

 

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) Plus Six Months: Daily Walks and a New MRI





























Julia Browning, aka “HSCT Superwoman.”

By Ian Franks

In July, I wrote about how Julia Browning was getting on three months after undergoing Hematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (HSCT) with Dr. Denis Fedorenko at the A.A. Maximov center in Moscow.
Read more »

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Reconsidering the Economic Value of MS Therapies: STUDY





























Image Source: DREAMSTIME

Abstract

Objectives: 
To illustrate a more comprehensive view of value associated with medicines treating a highly severe illness and to apply these insights to estimate the costs and benefits of 3 treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS): Avonex, Tysabri, and Tecfidera.
Read more »

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Thursday

 

Degree of Posture Difficulties in MS Linked to Areas of Nervous System Most Damaged by Disease














































Posture control is a complex skill, requiring different areas of the nervous system to work well and to work together — but the damage caused by multiple sclerosis complicates such nervous system multi-tasking, leading to postural problems and the well-established tendency for MS patients to fall.
Read more »

 

A Venomous Fish Has a Molecule with Potential Activity Against MS






















Researchers who developed a toadfish venom antiserum have discovered that the venom contains a peptide that has anti-inflammatory activity and may be used to treat multiple sclerosis (in the image, Thalassophryne nattereri and its venomous spines / release)

Thinking of a poisonous fish usually brings to mind a fugu or blowfish puffed up like a balloon. In such species, which belong to the Tetraodontidae family, the poison is contained within the flesh of the fish. Eating these fish can be fatal unless they have been treated to remove tetrodotoxin.
Read more »

Wednesday

 

Stand in the Midst of MS










































One of my favorite gospel songs is “Stand” by Donnie McClurkin. There’s a verse that says, “after you’ve done all you can, you just stand.” My spirit reacts to this song each time I hear it. It satiates my soul. I love music and believe it is a gift. Music has the universal power to heal. Everyone has a song they can relate to. This is one of mine.
Read more »

 

Jack Osbourne Speaks Up About Living with MS: VIDEO


















































Osbourne credits his wife, Lisa Stelly (pictured above), with helping him get through the dark days.

In a recent CNN article, Jack Osbourne talked about what it’s like to live with Multiple Sclerosis and overcoming depression that often comes as a result of the diagnosis. He was both inspiring and interesting to learn what life has been life for him since his diagnosis four years ago and to learn what he’s doing to raise awareness. His candor in the interview gives great insight into the various ways MS can affect the body and that there are many varying forms of the disease.
Read more »

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Tuesday

 

‘Rare’ Molecule in Immune System Turns Out to Be Common, and May Be Part of What Goes Wrong in MS























Researchers have discovered that a type of immune molecule — called “spliced epitopes,” once believed to be very rare  — in fact makes up a large part of the molecules labeling cells as belonging to the body, and those that are invaders. The finding may well change our understanding of MS and other autoimmune diseases.
Read more »

 

Combination Strategy to Attack MS


































(Copyright Fotolia)
 
Actelion Ltd. is seeking more effective treatments for people suffering from multiple sclerosis by following a strategy that’s worked in treating HIV, cancer and heart failure -- combining medicines to increase their potency.
Read more »

Monday

 

The Most Cost-Effective MS Drug Is the One That Works
























A couple of weeks ago, I was honored to emcee the annual Living Well With MS conference for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland. Day one was for medical professionals, and day two was attended by the MS community. The presenters and topics for both days were the same, with only a little medical jargon changed for the second day’s presentations.
Read more »

 

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Work to Restore Immune System Balance in Early Study
































Damaging immune system defects seen in patients with MS can be repaired using a simple stem cell approach, according to a new study by researchers in China.
Read more »

Sunday

 

Cold Hands-Hot Body: It’s All Bothersome To Some Degree



















By Lisa Emrich

Growing up in central Oklahoma, I learned to love the feel of the sun on my skin. As soon as spring rolled in, I would come home from high school and lay out in the backyard to soak up some rays. I didn’t usually stay out too long because our dog Charlie would like to cause mischief and try to take my glasses laying on the towel next to me. I’m sure that I got lots of nice vitamin D and I always avoided sunburn.
Read more »

 

Bladder Spasms in MS





















Image Source: LOOKFORDIAGNOSIS

Bladder spasms in multiple sclerosis (MS) are related to urinary incontinence. The symptom is a result of damage caused by the disease that leads to interrupted signals between the spinal cord and brain, which can affect a wide range of bodily functions, including bladder function. As signals between the brain and central nervous system break down or become delayed over time, the bladder can spasm randomly and/or uncontrollably.
Read more »

Saturday

 

Hormones and Diet Help Relieve Woman’s MS-Related Fatigue



























A woman who says her life was made miserable by fatigue caused by MS, claims she is on the road to recovery because she has taken control of her body and is using a combination of hormones and diet.
Read more »

 

Dietary Interventions in MS: Development and Pilot-Testing of an Evidence Based Patient Education Program



















Image Source: 123HEALTHYBALANCE

Background

Dietary factors have been discussed to influence risk or disease course of MS. Specific diets are widely used among patients with MS.
Read more »

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Friday

 

Five Ways To Help You Feel Less Overwhelmed With MS And Stress























By Cathy Chester

After listing our house to sell over two years ago it finally sold. Before I go on let me say that moving is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I love the dream home we built. I was pregnant when we purchased the land and we began building our accessible ranch.
Read more »

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Determined Father With MS Uses Exoskeleton to Walk Daughter Down Wedding Aisle: VIDEO























A 54-year-old man with multiple sclerosis recently awed 200 guests at his daughter's wedding, where they saw him walk for the first time in over 20 years.
Read more »

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Thursday

 

If You’re Not Happy and You Know It, Get Some Light!































Our days have gotten shorter since June 20, but somehow I managed not to notice until a few weeks ago. Perhaps it is because we had a late summer here in the Northwest, and could comfortably leave home without a coat until late September. That’s also the time that my youngest headed off to college and, sad as that may be, it finally felt like the summer break was over!
Read more »

 

Jack Osbourne on living with MS and overcoming depression: VIDEO






















Jack Osbourne has been living with multiple sclerosis for four years but admits there are still days he has those "why me" moments.
Read more »

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Wednesday

 

Researchers perform large genome-wide analysis of MS

















































In a large-scale, genome-wide analysis of more than 110,000 samples, a worldwide consortium of scientists has identified 200 genetic loci associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), an inflammatory and neurodegenerative disease in which a person's immune system attacks the brain and spine, disrupting signaling between the brain and the body. Their findings were presented in a featured plenary session at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2016 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, B.C.
Read more »

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Matrimony and MS … in Sickness and in Health




























“In sickness and in health.” These words are said by everyone embarking upon the exciting journey of marriage. Most are in love, excited about the future and hopeful they have found their happily ever after. Many of us repeat the words “in sickness and in health” without much thought, not appreciating the true meaning until the time comes to make good on the promise. To be certain, this is one of the most important vows a couple will take.
Read more »

Tuesday

 

Lemtrada Seen to Help Reverse MS Disability in People in Earlier Stages of Disease




























Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) was seen to help reverse disability among patients with relapsing forms of MS in relatively early stages of the disease, researchers report.
Read more »

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Biomedical researchers break new ground in fight against MS
























Credit: University of Maryland

Researchers from the University of Maryland Fischell Department of Bioengineering and the University of Maryland School of Medicine report a new way to "turn off" the harmful immune attack that occurs during autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), while keeping healthy functions of the immune system intact.
Read more »

Monday

 

Selective Manipulation of Specific Receptors May Pave Way for New MS Therapies



























Mouse experiments with compounds having opposite actions on two receptors for TNF (tumor necrosis factor) — a key factor in neurodegeneration — explains why earlier trials of TNF blockers in MS went wrong, and paves the way for more selective drugs targeting the system to stop MS neurodegeneration.
Read more »

 

Jamie-Lynn Sigler on being a mom with MS


























Image Source: LATINTIMES

Jamie-Lynn Sigler is best known as Meadow Soprano from the HBO hit series, The Sopranos. But she’s since added mom to her resume, sharing parenting duties with husband and professional baseball Cutter Dykstra.
Read more »

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Sunday

 

MS drug found to reverse some physical disabilities




























Multiple sclerosis patients in the study who received Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) saw greater improvement in physical conditions than those who received interferon. Photo by stevepb/Pixabay

A drug used to treat multiple sclerosis may combat physical disabilities associated with the neurological disease, researchers suggest in a new study.
Read more »

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Insurers pay more for MS drug because rebates don’t help, report says

























A patient in Jackson, Miss., holds the medications she takes to slow the progression of her multiple sclerosis.  By ED SILVERMAN @Pharmalot

Drug makers may offer rebates to payers, but health plans continue to see notable increases in costs for prescription medicines, according to a report by the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. And this has been especially true for one particularly costly group of medicines used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Read more »

Saturday

 

The Before and After of a Tysabri Infusion






























Image Source: FLICKR

During my life with MS, I have tried numerous treatments. From Avonex, to Copaxone, to Avonex and Copaxone at the same time, and even just diet and exercise. However, no treatment has been quite the lifesaver that Tysabri has been. That said, my experience with Tysabri does come with some interesting experiences, notably right before and right after my infusion. I thought it’d be nice to talk about those experiences and see how many other people also encounter them.
Read more »

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The ABLE Act: A Tax-free Benefit for People with MS That Could Be Better








































Disability from multiple sclerosis develops, on average, within 10 years of diagnosis. Financial catastrophe was often the consequence, until Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) — signed into law on Dec. 19, 2014, by President Obama.
Read more »

Friday

 

An MS, Migraine, Marching Band Kind of Day!




























I work full time in public health, and some days are spent ‘out in the field’ visiting clients in their homes. It requires careful planning to ensure that I have adequate water, food, medications, and layers of clothing for homes that are too hot or too cold.  I research the routes ahead of time, so that I know exactly where I can find the coffee shops (aka, public restrooms).
Read more »

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MS, Cancer Risk and a Trip to the Dentist. What’s the Connection?




























I made a trip to the dentist today. What does that have to do with multiple sclerosis, you ask? Stay with me. We’ll get there.
Read more »

Thursday

 

Potential Therapy, Laquinimod, Shows Promise as Progressive MS Treatment in Mouse Study























The experimental therapy laquinimod was seen to prevent the start of harmful immune responses and to disrupt the progression of MS in a mouse model of the disease. This finding may be especially promising, as the treatment is being developed for people with both relapsing MS and its rarer progressive form, for which no treatment currently exists.
Read more »

 

MS Has Made Me a One-Armed Man
























By Trevis Gleason

MS can make one side of the body weak.In my early days in the U.S. Coast Guard, I learned to carry things in my left hand. It’s important to have your right hand free to salute when you’re in the military, you see.
Read more »

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Wednesday

 

Vocalist Lori Jenaire Supports #25for25 Campaign for Autoimmune Diseases with ‘As You Are’ Classic Cover



































Singer-songwriter Lori Jenaire is supporting the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) #25for25 fundraising campaign with the release of her Top Five Billboard Hot Singles Sales debut “As You Are,” featuring Patrice Rushen.
Read more »

 

Masters of Neurology: Lemtrada (Alemtuzumab) in MS: VIDEO

























Transcript:

Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets a certain epitope called CD52. And CD52 is expressed on mature lymphocytes. So by administering alemtuzumab, very rapidly you deplete adult lymphocytes. You don't really affect pluripotent stem cells and you have a minimal effect on other cell lines. Monocytes and B cells drop out for a bit, they come back sooner, and really what you're targeting here are those T cells, different T cell populations.
Read more »

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Tuesday

 

What You Need to Know About Optic Neuritis
























Optic neuritis may go away on its own in a few weeks, or sooner with treatment. Getty Images

Commonly associated with MS, this inflammation of the optic nerve can cause pain and temporary vision loss.
Read more »

 

No Person Is an Island: Knowing When to Seek Professional Help

























I have to be honest. This is a complex subject for me. As a child I was taught to pray and to believe in what I prayed for. I truly believed that there was nothing that God and I couldn’t get through together. This conviction accompanied me into adulthood. I confronted obstacles with faith, a positive attitude, and a plethora of love and support. The results were efficacious.
Read more »

Monday

 

MS, Osteoporosis and Men – What a Guy Needs to Know
























Osteoporosis (fragile bones) is a only women’s problem, right?

Wrong, especially if you have MS — as I’ve discovered.
Read more »

 

Search for progressive MS treatment is gathering momentum





























There are currently no effective treatments to slow or stop progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) but recent advances in understanding the complex pathogenesis of the disease, as well as efforts to improve outcome measures, identify biomarkers and refine clinical trial design, mean progress is speeding up.
Read more »

Sunday

 

Vitamin D: You Are What You Eat


























A few weeks ago, I visited my general practitioner for a yearly physical. I was expecting him to harp on my weight, cholesterol, blood pressure — any of the other myriad issues that crop up as we age. But surprisingly, I left the office with my self-esteem firmly intact. (In fact, I think I might have actually whistled a little on the way out.) “Even your vitamin D levels are good,” he told me. “You’re only one of a handful of my patients I can say that about.”
Read more »

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Blood Test for MS




















Image Source: HUFFINGTONPOST

Previous research has shown that providing a clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis often takes several weeks or even months. But new research suggests that a new "technology platform" can help provide an accurate diagnosis much sooner by identifying gene expression patterns in blood samples.
Read more »

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Saturday

 

Neiman Marcus fired me after MS diagnosis, woman alleges




























The Neiman Marcus store in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus. A former worker claims she was discriminated against because she has multiple sclerosis. (Getty Images) 

A Metuchen woman who worked for retailer Neiman Marcus in the Westfield Garden State Plaza claims she was discriminated against and fired after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Read more »

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Virus Linked to Respiratory Infections May Also Trigger Brain Diseases Like MS


























A virus known to cause respiratory infections in people — the human coronavirus (HCoV) — may also be the source of neurological diseases that strike patients, seemingly out of the blue, a new study reported.
Read more »

Friday

 

Icy Cold Fingers: MS Broke My Thermostat!
































It’s definitely autumn here in the Pacific Northwest. Misty, gray mornings give way to breezy sunshine in the afternoon … for a couple of hours anyway, until the evening rain arrives. This is the time of year that the weather forecasters compete to see who can come up with the most creative ways to describe our damp and chilly climate.  It is also the time of year that I experience a change in my MS symptoms, relative to the cold weather. This is very confusing for friends and family, who say to me, “…but I thought that you don’t like the heat?!”
Read more »

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Mindfulness Training Seen to Help People Adjust to Chronic Ills Like MS



























A researcher at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s School of Nursing and Midwifery found that the practice of mindfulness helps people with long-term medical conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, to manage their diagnosis.
Read more »


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