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Neuroimaging studies have used magnetic resonance imaging-derived methods to assess brain volume loss in multiple sclerosis (MS) as a reliable measure of diffuse tissue damage.

The so-called Paleolithic diet—one presumed to have been eaten during the Stone Age—might relieve multiple sclerosis symptoms. The diet consists mainly of of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit and excludes dairy and grain products while banning processed foods.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, operating as EMD Serono in Canada, today announced the publication of the results of a post hoc analysis of the Phase III CLARITY study in Multiple Sclerosis Journal. The post hoc analysis showed that Cladribine Tablets reduced the annualised rate of brain volume loss – also known as brain atrophy – compared with placebo in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

A genome-wide study has identified DNA regions associated with higher levels of circulating cytokines, small proteins that pay a role in inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory, demyelinating, and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that is immunologically mediated in genetically susceptible individuals. Interleukin-16 (IL-16), a pleiotropic cytokine, is an important regulator of T-cell activation which plays a key role in autoimmune diseases. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL-16 gene may lead to altered cytokine expression or biological activity, and these variations may modulate an individual's risk for MS. To test this hypothesis, we investigated association of IL-16 gene SNPs (i.e., rs4072111 C/T, rs11556218 G/T, and rs4778889 C/T) and serum IL-16 levels with risk of MS in an Iranian population.

Activation of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan metabolism results from chronic inflammation and is known to exacerbate progression of neurodegenerative disease. To gain insights into the links between inflammation, the KP and multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis, we investigated the KP metabolomics profile of MS patients. Most significantly, we found aberrant levels of two key KP metabolites, kynurenic acid (KA) and quinolinic acid (QA). The balance between these metabolites is important as it determines overall excitotoxic activity at the N-methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) receptor. We also identified that serum KP metabolic signatures in patients can discriminate clinical MS subtypes with high sensitivity and specificity. A C5.0 Decision Tree classification model discriminated the clinical subtypes of MS with a sensitivity of 91%. After validation in another independent cohort, sensitivity was maintained at 85%. Collectively, our studies suggest that abnormalities in the KP may be associated with the switch from early-mild stage MS to debilitating progressive forms of MS and that analysis of KP metabolites in MS patient serum may have application as MS disease biomarkers.

Obesity in early adolescence poses a risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) regardless of sex, and an earlier age at puberty also contributes to MS onset at younger ages, especially in overweight teenagers, a study reports.

Researchers have studied over ten million DNA variations and found new links between the human genome and inflammation tracers. The study uncovered new possibilities for treatment of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease and celiac disease.

Gadolinium, one of the rare earth elements, is used as a contrast agent that enhances the quality of MRI examinations of internal organs and tissues. Researchers from Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin (NeuroCure Clinical Research Center and Department of Radiology) and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, have studied the extent to which repeated use of gadolinium-based MRI contrast agents leads to gadolinium deposition in the brains of patients with multiple sclerosis. Their report, which has recently been published in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal, suggests that the risk of such accumulations occurring is reduced if contrast agents known as 'macrocylcic agents' are used.

Researchers at the University at Buffalo have identified a critical step in myelination after birth that has significance for treating neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, in which myelin is lost or damaged. Myelin is the protective coating that neurons need to function.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the patient's own cells. In this case, modified T cells destroy the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells. Myelin protects the neural pathways and is thus essential to the ability of nerve cells to transmit information. A recent study has demonstrated that a substance known as interleukin 6 (IL-6) plays an important role in instructing T cells to cause damage to myelin sheaths in the central nervous system.

Patients living at higher latitudes may have an earlier age at onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) than those living closer to the equator, researchers found.

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have an altered metabolic flexibility after glucose load, both at rest and during exercise, researchers reported at the Fifth Joint Triennial Congress of the European and Americas Committees for Treatment and Research in MS. Persons with MS had a higher baseline respiratory quotient at rest than healthy controls did, which may indicate that the former have a higher rate of carbohydrate oxidation and a lower rate of lipid oxidation than the latter do. Also, after 40 minutes of light exercise, patients with MS showed greater energy expenditure than controls did.

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 multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases.

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.

A genetic scoring system for identifying individuals at high risk for low vitamin D levels also detected multiple sclerosis patients with an increased risk for relapse in a multicenter cohort study. The findings could have clinical significance in multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment and patient counseling, Jennifer S. Graves, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, said in a brief oral and poster presentation of the study at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.

Approximately 80 per cent of women with MS experience sexual dysfunction at some time during the course of the disease. Symptoms most commonly reported include reduced genital sensation, reduced vaginal lubrication, difficulty with arousal, and difficulty or inability reaching orgasm. Pain during intercourse is also a frequently reported symptom in women with MS, which may be due to vaginal dryness, spasticity or hypersensitivity.

In an unprecedented global effort to end progressive MS, the International Progressive MS Alliance (Alliance) has awarded three $4.7 million Collaborative Network Award grants for a total investment of $14.1 million* toward accelerating the pace of progressive MS research. More than 2.3 million people worldwide live with MS and more than 1 million of those living with the disease have progressive MS.

Cells in the immune system of patients with multiple sclerosis behave differently from those of healthy individuals. Researchers have exploited this difference to develop a method that can predict disease activity in multiple sclerosis.

MS researchers from around the globe gathered in London, UK, last week for the annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS). ECTRIMS is the largest global MS conference, bringing together over 9,000 researchers and health professionals for the latest updates and research findings on treatment, care and management of MS.

Studies that look at the evolution of MS over many years are called natural history studies. Previous natural history studies were performed before the availability of disease modifying drugs (such as interferon, fingolimod, etc.). In this study, from the San Francisco MS Centre in California, researchers studied 507 people who they had originally recruited in 2004 and followed for more than a decade.

European researchers are putting finishing touches on the first-ever clinical guideline for drug treatment of multiple sclerosis, with a preview presented at ECTRIMS in advance of its final release. The guideline will discuss the considerations involved with each of the dozen available drugs but with little specific advice on how to choose among them, said Susana Otero-Romero, MD, of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia in Barcelona, speaking at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis meeting.

The majority of women who have MS are diagnosed in their twenties and thirties, at a time when they may be thinking about starting a family. There have been many studies examining the impact of pregnancy on MS. They all show that pregnancy appears to have a positive protective influence, with relapse rates going down, especially during the third trimester (between six and nine months). The reasons for this are not fully understood, but it is thought that hormone levels play a role. However, in the first three months after the baby is born, the risk of relapse rises. This is thought to occur as hormones return to pre-pregnancy levels.

With the EMA’s review of the latest MAA for cladribine ongoing, Merck KGaA is using ECTRIMS 2016 as the stage for numerous new presentations on the drug’s efficacy and safety. Neurologists appear to see the benefits of this additional induction therapy; however, regulators and the market could prove more difficult to persuade.

Merck recently presented new efficacy data from its three Phase 3 clinical trials, showing that a relatively short course of treatment with Cladribine tablets led to long-term reductions in annualized relapse rate (ARR) in people with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS).

Although multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common causes of non-traumatic disability among young adults, no published data on its economic and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) burden is available from Finland. The DEFENSE study aimed to estimate the costs and HRQoL of patients with MS (PwMS) in Finland and explore how these variables are influenced by disease severity and relapses.

Prior to developing MS, some people have symptoms which suggest an inflammatory-demyelinating disease. These people, who don’t fulfil the criteria to be diagnosed with definite MS, are diagnosed with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS). CIS is an early indicator of MS, but not all people with CIS will go on to have definite MS.

A paper entitled "The Use of Disease-Modifying Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis: Principles and Current Evidence. A Consensus Paper by the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition" is available; this paper was originally posted in 2014 and updated in 2016. The evidence-based paper, developed and endorsed by the eight-member MS Coalition, and subsequently endorsed by Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS), will serve as an education and advocacy tool for people with MS and their healthcare providers. The purpose of the paper is to promote the importance of early and ongoing treatment and full access to all of the disease-modify therapies.

Starting medication for multiple sclerosis (MS) in people who show the beginning signs of the disease is associated with prolonging the time before the disease is definitively diagnosed, according to a long-term study.

Researchers at Michigan State University suggest that a blood test can distinguish patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) from people with other neurological conditions, according to a recent study published in EBioMedicine.

Using a gaming camera that detects movement and computer algorithms that quantify people’s walking patterns can help clinicians objectively monitor the differences in gait of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients compared to healthy individuals, a study says.

Researchers from Colorado State University propose a new model of fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS), designed to overcome the lack of a unified definition of fatigue that can be objectively tested using experimental approaches.

Early treatment of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) may reduce the risk of a definitive diagnosis of the condition, or of relapse after diagnosis. A relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis treatment known as interferon beta-1b improved the condition of people suffering from numbness and balance or vision problems – which can be preliminary signs of the disease.

A potentially important inflammatory mechanism leading to axonal degeneration is the production of reactive-oxygen species and nitric oxide from activated microglia and infiltrated macrophages. Reactive-oxygen species and nitric oxide promote mitochondrial injury. Impaired neuronal mitochondrial function, in turn, induces additional oxidative stress by increased production of reactive-oxygen species and results in reduced ATP production. Concurrently, there is an increased energy demand due to the re-organization of sodium channels, which occurs in response to axonal demyelination. The neuronal energy deficit leads to an intracellular accumulation of sodium ions and thereby promotes the sodium-calcium exchanger to operate in reverse.

The month or season during which an individual is born may affect the risk of different diseases such as diabetes, or asthma. This effect is the result of environmental factors that are not constant over the year for the mother and the unborn baby.

The MS Brain Health initiative has recently launched a short guide meant to help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) understand how they can keep their brains as healthy as possible and request the highest possible standard of care from healthcare professionals.

Salt, or sodium chloride, can affect the immune system. Researchers have previously shown that adding salt to the diet of an animal model that resembles MS in humans, can change the severity of the disease.

A new review examines the potential of antioxidant approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis.

A connection between the bacteria living in the gut and immunological disorders such as multiple sclerosis have long been suspected, but for the first time, researchers have detected clear evidence of changes that tie the two together. Investigators have found that people with multiple sclerosis have different patterns of gut microorganisms than those of their healthy counterparts. In addition, patients receiving treatment for MS have different patterns than untreated patients.

A research team has developed an antibody with potential therapeutic effects against multiple sclerosis. The study paves the way for a new strategy to control the disease, say the scientists.

A specific area on a human chromosome has shown weak to moderate association with the risk of a person being affected by MS. This area belongs to a gene complex involved in the immune system, known as human leukocyte antigen (HLA).

Patients with multiple sclerosis have higher rates of depression than the general population, including people with other life-long disabling diseases. Symptoms of multiple sclerosis arise from an abnormal response of the body's immune system. Immune response has also been linked to depression, leading researchers to think it could be a shared pathological mechanism that leads to the increased rates of depressive symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis.

The cholesterol medicine simvastatin, which is one of the most commonly used pharmaceuticals in the world, also has a beneficial effect on the immune defense system with regard to diseases such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers have now explored why this is so, and their findings may result in improved treatment.

A complex, and yet unknown, interaction between nature and nurture (genetics and environment) causes MS. While most people with MS may have no family history of MS, in rare cases we can see an unusual pattern of MS in families. This underlines the role of genes in causing MS.

The immune system is essential for life and defends the body from invaders. MS symptoms are the result of disordered immune cells attacking the brain or the spine. Therefore, most MS drugs modify or suppress the destructive immune system.

Individuals who are obese in early adulthood face a heightened risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research.

The triggers of autoimmune inflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS) have eluded scientists for many years, but molecular imaging is bringing researchers closer to identifying them, while providing a means of evaluating next-generation therapies for MS.

Scientists have identified four new risk genes that are altered in patients with multiple sclerosis. The results point to a possible involvement of cellular mechanisms in the development of the disease, through which environmental influences affect gene regulation.

A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted with a defined population that had limited genetic substructure. This approach detected associations not found in larger, more heterogeneous cohorts, thus providing new clues regarding MS pathogenesis.

More than 2,000 MS health care providers, people living with MS, and other stakeholders gathered at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC) in National Harbor, Maryland, in June 2016 to learn the latest about diagnosing and treating MS, and to hear research updates from more than 200 presentations about progress toward stopping MS, restoring function and ending the disease forever. The meeting also focused on solutions that help people with MS to live their best lives.

Leaky blood vessels in the brain called cerebral microbleeds are associated with an increased risk of physical and cognitive disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study.

People with multiple sclerosis often have trouble with memory, attention and mental processing. New research shows some of these issues could stem from sleep disorders.

Oligodendrocytes, a type of brain cell that plays a crucial role in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, are more diverse than have previously been thought, according to a new study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The findings, published in the journal Science, will help increase our understanding of diseases in which these cells are affected and possibly provide clues to future treatment strategies.

The metabolite of a drug that is helping patients battle multiple sclerosis appears to significantly slow the onset of Parkinson's disease, researchers say.

Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Since both MS and metabolic syndrome influence inflammation in the brain, researchers from Argentina questioned whether the two tablets used for metabolic syndrome (pioglitazone and metformin) could reduce MS activity in obese patients.

Brain cells can compensate the effect of damage caused by MS. This means that MS progression depends, indirectly, on the number of brain cells that exist even before the onset. If there are more brain cells at the beginning it may take the brain longer to burn out and show signs of physical disability progression. This phenomenon is called brain reserve, and depends on the volume of the whole brain.

Australian researchers at the University of Melbourne looked at records from more than 2,000 people with relapsing-remitting onset MS, who they had followed over 10 years. They used information from the clinic and the MS drugs that these people had received to see whether they can predict future worsening of disability over a decade later. They found that early treatment of MS can prevent future disability, and that more attacks earlier in MS disease course is associated with future disability.

Although multiple sclerosis is known to run in certain families, attempts to find genes linked to the disease have been elusive. Now for the first time researchers are reporting a gene mutation that can be connected directly to the development of the disease.

Intestinal bacteria that can boost bravery or trigger multiple sclerosis: An increasing body of research results confirms the importance of the “gut-brain axis” for neurology and indicates that the triggers for a number of neurological diseases may be located in the digestive tract.

Neurological disorders can impair sexuality on a much more massive scale than frequently assumed, leaving loss of desire, erection problems and infertility in their wake. Both men and women are affected. A person’s self-esteem, love life and relationship with a significant other can all suffer.

A mouse study, followed by a human study, indicates that the fasting-mimicking diet holds promise as a treatment for autoimmune diseases. A fasting-like diet switches on a process in which body kills bad cells, begins to generate new healthy ones, report scientists.

Holidays abroad may hold the key to tackling Scotland's vitamin D deficiency, research suggests. Vitamin D is known to be associated with good bone health. It has also been linked to wide-ranging health benefits including lower blood pressure, reduced heart disease risk and better chances of surviving cancer.

A team of investigators at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) has found evidence that suggests that bacteria living in the gut may remotely influence the activity of cells in the brain that are involved in controlling inflammation and neurodegeneration.

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have increased levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate in their brains, lowering the levels of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) — a process that likely leads to the loss of brain volume. The findings indicate that glutamate might be a driver of neuronal cell death and disease progression in MS, and a potential target of new therapies.

The unequivocal success of B-cell–depleting agents in reducing magnetic resonance imaging and clinical activity in therapeutic trials indicates that B cells play a vital role in mediating the clinical course of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).

Exercise can have a positive influence on certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis, say researchers. Patients who do yoga and aquatic exercise suffer less from fatigue, depression and paresthesia, as reported by researchers.

A new study indicates that rituximab is more effective than fingolimod for preventing relapses in patients with highly active multiple sclerosis switching from treatment with natalizumab. The study included patients infected with JC virus, which is present in approximately 50% of the general population. While the virus generally causes no problems under normal circumstances, it can cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a serious demyelinating disease of the brain, in patients with immune deficiencies due to disease or immunosuppressant drugs.

In a randomized controlled trial, people with MS who used a computer-based cognitive remediation training program at home for 12 weeks had significantly higher cognitive test scores than those who used a placebo computer program.

A team at the University of California, San Francisco led by National MS Society-funded Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Jonah Chan, PhD, invented a new micropillar technology to rapidly identify compounds that stimulate the regrowth of myelin. The team initiated a screen using this technology, testing a library of 1000 drugs already approved by the FDA for other conditions for their ability to promote the development of myelin-making cells and wrapping of myelin around the micropillars.

A new plant-derived drug can block the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), an international research team has demonstrated. MS is a chronic incurable condition marked by attacks that bring gradual deterioration in the patient's health. About 2.5 million people are affected worldwide.

A small study recently released reports that of 151 Brazillian people infected with the Zika virus who developed neurological symptoms, six had neurologic symptoms consistent with disorders involving an immune attack on the myelin that insulates nerve fibers. No one has been reported to develop MS from Zika viral infection.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust looked at rates of multiple sclerosis among people from different ethnic groups living in east London. They found that people of African and Asian descent had higher rates of MS than people of the same ethnicity living in their native countries of origin.

Damage to the cerebellum in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is due more to the death of actual nerve cells than the destruction of white matter connections, a new study out of Italy suggests. The article, which challenges previous ideas about how brain damage in MS occurs, is titled “MRI-detectable cortical lesions in the cerebellum and their clinical relevance in multiple sclerosis“ and appeared in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

A survey, summarizing the views of 2,600 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, showed how people manage their disease in real life — and the results offer some surprising insights that might provide clues for future treatment development and optimization.

Those who drank nearly a liter of coffee per day had a substantially decreased risk of developing MS compared with those who never drank coffee (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.92), Anna Karin Hedström, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues reported online in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Environmental factors may be playing a much greater role in the onset of multiple sclerosis (MS) than previously realised, according to early research led by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust.

Vitamin D has been associated with a decreased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adulthood; however, some, but not all, previous studies have suggested that in utero vitamin D exposure may be a risk factor for MS later in life.

Researchers followed 50 MS patients with obesity who were taking metformin or pioglitazone, or who were not treated with either agent; those receiving the active drugs showed reductions in several biomarker measures including MRI lesion burden compared with the untreated controls, according to a report published on Monday in JAMA Neurology.

More than 2.3 million people across the globe are living with multiple sclerosis. At present, there is no cure for the condition. However, researchers believe they are close to uncovering one: a stem cell treatment already used for some cancers has enabled wheelchair-bound patients with multiple sclerosis to walk again.

At present, there is no treatment to prevent nerve damage in people with multiple sclerosis. But according to new research, a drug currently used to treat epilepsy could bring us closer to one.

A new way of using MRI scanners to look for evidence of multiple sclerosis in the brain has been successfully tested by researchers. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is notoriously difficult to diagnose as it has many symptoms but not all sufferers experience all of them and the disease can progress at different rates. MRI scans have been used as a diagnostic tool to detect white matter lesions in the brain but these are not always an indicator of the disease.

Scientists from the Neuroimmunological Diseases Unit at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will present results of a study investigating several biomarkers that might lead to a more sensitive and accurate diagnostic test of central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, a key aspect of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS).

A study sheds new light on multiple sclerosis, specifically damage in the brain caused by the disease that may explain the slow and continuous cognitive decline that many patients experience. The findings show that the brain's immune system is responsible for disrupting communication between nerve cells, even in parts of the brain that are not normally considered to be primary targets of the disease.

Results from clinical trials in new approaches to treating progressive and relapsing MS, wellness and lifestyle research, and myelin repair strategies took center stage during the European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ECTRIMS) meeting held in Barcelona, Spain in early October.

At present, there is no treatment to prevent nerve damage in people with multiple sclerosis. But according to new research, a drug currently used to treat epilepsy could bring us closer to one.

More than 2.3 million people across the globe are living with multiple sclerosis. At present, there is no cure for the condition. However, researchers believe they are close to uncovering one: a stem cell treatment already used for some cancers has enabled wheelchair-bound patients with multiple sclerosis to walk again.

A study sheds new light on multiple sclerosis (MS), specifically damage in the brain caused by the disease that may explain the slow and continuous cognitive decline that many patients experience. The findings, which will appear in the Journal of Neuroscience, show that the brain's immune system is responsible for disrupting communication between nerve cells, even in parts of the brain that are not normally considered to be primary targets of the disease.

People who take the drug natalizumab for multiple sclerosis may have up to a 10 times greater risk of developing a risk biomarker for activity of a virus that can lead to an often fatal brain disease, according to a study published in the Neurology Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation, a medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology..

Research from the University of Alberta's Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry is trailblazing a potential new pathway for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The research, published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation, examines a novel therapeutic strategy to reduce inflammation in the brain - a key contributing factor to the muscle disability associated with multiple sclerosis

Researchers at the University of Toronto have found another clue in understanding the cause of what drives Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease. Their findings were published in Immunity.

A recently published paper by a collaborative team used advanced Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and MRI brain scans of 107 people with MS over four years to track the impacts of MS and to determine whether changes in nerve layers at the back of the eye mirror changes in MRI-detected brain tissue integrity and degeneration.

A new study gets closer to identifying the mechanisms responsible for multiple sclerosis and makes headway in the search for better treatments.

Taking the pregnancy hormone estriol along with their conventional medications helped patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) avoid relapses, according to results of a Phase II randomized, placebo-controlled study led by UCLA researchers.

A large-scale study from Canada suggests that people with MS have increased rates of anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia compared to people without MS.

Taking a high dose of vitamin D3 is safe for people with multiple sclerosis and may help regulate the body's hyperactive immune response, according to a pilot study published by Johns Hopkins physicians in the Dec. 30 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Patients suffer. Yet clinical care has moved away from addressing suffering. Suffering—“severe distress that threatens the integrity of the person”—spans physical, emotional, social, spiritual, existential, and financial domains, and as a whole-person problem it doesn’t fit neatly within current biomedical paradigms.

The mechanisms regulating differentiation of oligodendrocyte (OLG) progenitor cells (OPCs) into mature OLGs are key to understanding myelination and remyelination.

The clinical presentation and symptom progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) can overlap with those of other pathologies, making the underlying condition difficult to diagnose and treat.

The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), the leading professional and educational organization for healthcare specialists providing care and conducting research in multiple sclerosis (MS), has issued a position statement that asserts that prescribers must retain the right to decide on the best treatment and medication for each individual MS patient.

Compared to women, men with MS face a disproportionately greater relative burden of depression.

Multiple sclerosis, a debilitating neurological disease, is triggered by self-reactive T cells that successfully infiltrate the brain and spinal cord where they launch an aggressive autoimmune attack against myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates nerve fibers. Over time, the resulting bouts of inflammation permanently damage the myelin sheath and the nerve fibers it protects, disrupting nerve signals traveling to and from the brain.

Readers of this blog have come across this drug many times. The problem is, after spending a day in the sun it keeps vanishing in oblivion until the next surfacing of this U-boat drug. Why? Quite simply because Cladribine is a scary drug.

Post hoc analyses of two-year data from the placebo-controlled PRISMS-2 study showed early MRI responses with subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (IFN beta-1a SC) within three months, persisting through Month 9. In addition to examining the temporal relationship between starting IFN beta-1a 44 or 22 µg SC three times weekly and MRI measures, Li, et al found early MRI response in gadolinium-enhancing (Gd+)  lesions showed a predictive effect on annualized relapse rate (ARR) over later years, while reducing relapses and T2 lesions and delayed progression in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Specifically, presence of Gd+ lesions at Month 3 predicted greater ARR at each cumulative year analyzed (Years 2, 3, and 4, with marginal significance at 1 year.

Citation: Li D, Cascione M, Fang J, et al. Early onset and predictive value of MRI measures among patients receiving interferon beta-1a SC tiw for RRMS: post hoc analyses of PRISMS-2 data (P7.254. Neurology. 2015;84(14):supplement P7.254.

Broader use of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may advance understanding of diagnosis, prognosis, and response to treatment in patients with MS, according to new information to be published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

In a stunning discovery that overturns decades of textbook teaching, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. That such vessels could have escaped detection when the lymphatic system has been so thoroughly mapped throughout the body is surprising on its own, but the true significance of the discovery lies in the effects it could have on the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis.

Original Research: Abstract for “Structural and functional features of central nervous system lymphatic vessels” by Antoine Louveau, Igor Smirnov, Timothy J. Keyes, Jacob D. Eccles, Sherin J. Rouhani, J. David Peske, Noel C. Derecki, David Castle, James W. Mandell, Kevin S. Lee, Tajie H. Harris and Jonathan Kipnis in Nature. Published online June 1 2015 doi:10.1038/nature14432

In recent years, a high number of studies have demonstrated that neuropsychological functions are altered in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with cerebellar lesions, mainly including attention, working memory and verbal fluency. Since the present literature is often elusive on this topic, we aim to provide a comprehensive report about the real impact of cerebellar damages (evaluated as volume, lesions or connectivity measures) on cognitive functions. In particular in this review, we report and discuss recent works from 2009 to 2015, which have demonstrated the key role of the cerebellum in cognitive impairment of MS patients.

Patients with multiple sclerosis have a shorter lifespan than the general population independent of comorbidities, but also when comparing MS and non-MS patients with similar comorbidities.

New research into the causes of the excessive inflammation that drives multiple sclerosis has identified a faulty 'brake' within immune cells, a brake that should be controlling the inflammation. This points to a potential target for developing new therapies to treat multiple sclerosis and could have important implications for other autoimmune diseases, such as the colon disease colitis and the chronic skin condition atopic dermatitis.

Journal Reference: John R. Lukens, Prajwal Gurung, Patrick J. Shaw, Maggie J. Barr, Md. Hasan Zaki, Scott A. Brown, Peter Vogel, Hongbo Chi, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti. The NLRP12 Sensor Negatively Regulates Autoinflammatory Disease by Modulating Interleukin-4 Production in T Cells. Immunity, 2015; 42 (4): 654 DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2015.03.006

A new international, multisite study found a sizeable portion of patients who are stable on treatment for multiple sclerosis will experience a return of disease activity if they cease taking medication.

Introduction: Cognitive impairment is a highly prevalent, disabling, and poorly managed consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS). Exercise training represents a promising approach for managing cognitive impairment in this population. However, there is limited evidence supporting an optimal exercise stimulus for improving cognition in MS. The current study compared the acute effects of moderate-intensity treadmill walking, moderate-intensity cycle ergometry, and guided yoga with those of quiet rest on executive control in 24 persons with relapsing-remitting MS without impaired cognitive processing speed using a within-subjects, repeated measures design. Method: Participants completed four experimental conditions that consisted of 20 minutes of moderate-intensity treadmill walking exercise, moderate-intensity cycle ergometer exercise, guided yoga, and quiet rest in a randomized, counterbalanced order. Participants underwent a modified-flanker task as a measure of executive control immediately prior to and following each condition. Results: Repeated measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) indicated general pre-to-post improvements in reaction time, but not accuracy, on the modified-flanker task for all three exercise modalities compared with quiet rest. However, there were additional, selective pre-to-post reductions in the cost of interfering stimuli on reaction time on the modified-flanker task for treadmill walking, F(1, 23) = 4.67, p = .04, ?p2 = .17, but not cycle ergometry, F(1, 23) = 0.12, p = .73, ?p2 < .01, or guided yoga, F(1, 23) = 0.73, p = .40, ?p2 = .03, compared with quiet rest. Conclusions: The present results support treadmill walking as the modality of exercise that might exert the largest beneficial effects on executive control in persons with relapsing-remitting MS without impaired cognitive processing speed. This represents an exciting starting point for delineating the appropriate exercise stimulus (i.e., modality and intensity) for inclusion in a subsequent longitudinal exercise training intervention for improving cognitive performance in this population.

To verify the prevalence of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in patients affected by different clinical forms of multiple sclerosis and in healthy subjects using the Zamboni ultrasound protocol combined with M-mode ultrasound examination.

OCT may be a good way to monitor the efficacy of both immunoprotective and neuroprotective therapies

Neurofilaments are a good way to monitor nerve damage and treatments in progressive MS 

West Orange, NJ. January 19, 2015. Kessler Foundation researchers have authored a new article that provides insight into the factors that contribute to cognitive fatigue in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).

WANRI researchers have led a research team which has found evidence that the stomach ulcer bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, is associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), bolstering evidence for the role of the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ in autoimmune disorders.

A new longitudinal study of people with MS found that the cross-sectional area of the midsagittal corpus callosum was highly associated with cognitive decline and moderately associated with physical disability over a 17-year period.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients often experience difficulty with balance and fear falling, which may prevent them from being social or participating in exercise and community activities, affecting their quality of life. However, a pioneering study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is looking to understand the role of foot sensations in balance and if vibrating insoles may be able to improve balance capacity for those with MS.

“No evidence of disease activity,” or NEDA, means no clinical or MRI disease activity. As a treatment goal, the first study of NEDA in a “real-world” patient cohort shows plenty of room for improvement and a glimmer of hope.

Immunosupressive therapy in combination with hemotopoietic cell transplant was found to induce remission of Multiple Sclerosis activity for up to 3 years. The new findings could usher in a new mode of effective treatment for MS that could greatly improve quality of life for those with the disease and extend asymptomatic periods.
Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease and most patients with RRMS who received disease-modifying therapies experience breakthrough disease. Autologous (using a patient's own cells) hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) has been studied in multiple sclerosis with the goal of removing disease-causing immune cells and resetting the immune system.
A team of researchers from Italy recently examined if p53 genetic variants influence synaptic and toxic effects of cytokines in the neurodegenerative processes that occurs in Multiple Sclerosis. The study, entitled “Interleukin-1? causes excitotoxic neurodegeneration and multiple sclerosis disease progression by activating the apoptotic protein p53,” was recently published in the journal Molecular Neurodegeneration.

Most patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) multiple sclerosis (MS) who receive approved disease-modifying therapies experience breakthrough disease and accumulate neurologic disability. High-dose immunosuppressive therapy (HDIT) with autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) may, in contrast, induce sustained remissions in early MS.

Three-year outcomes from an ongoing clinical trial suggest that high-dose immunosuppressive therapy followed by transplantation of a person's own blood-forming stem cells may induce sustained remission in some people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

A study published on December 22 in JAMA Neurology emphasizes that a standard measurement used to gauge multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, known as “no-evidence-of-disease-activity” (NEDA) is important for determining how the disease will progress long-term.

HealthDay News -- Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have a difficult time maintaining disease-free status or no activity of disease activity (NEDA), according to research published in JAMA Neurology.

Researchers in Spain have found that specific fat stem cells from mice could be excellent tools for studying transplantation of stem cells in autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Editorial Board of Neurology Today, a journal of the American Academy of Neurology, selected a study about cognition and MS among the most important studies published in 2014, suggesting the need for earlier rehabilitation for people with MS who experience cognitive problems.

Different pathological processes like demyelination and axonal loss can alter the magnetisation transfer ratio (MTR) in brain tissue. The standard method to measure this effect is to scan the respective tissue twice, one with and one without a specific saturation pulse. A major drawback of this technique based on spoiled gradient echo (GRE) sequences relates to its long acquisition time due to the saturation pulses. Recently, an alternative concept for MT imaging based on balanced steady state free precession (bSSFP) has been proposed. Modification of the duration of the radiofrequency pulses for imaging allows scanning MT sensitive and non-sensitive images. The steady-state character of bSSFP with high intrinsic signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) allows three-dimensional (3D) whole brain MTR at high spatial resolution within short and thus clinically feasible acquisition times. In the present study, both bSSFP-MT and 2D GRE-MT imaging were used in a cohort of 31 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) to characterize different normal appearing (NA) and pathological brain structures. 

A team in Spain reports results from a small clinical trial involving 9 people with relapsing MS, using their own stem cells taken from their bone marrow, called mesenchymal stem cells, in a strategy aimed at inhibiting MS immune activity and augmenting natural tissue repair processes. The researchers reported finding no serious safety concerns or uptick in disease activity. Although the results also showed no statistically significant clinical or MRI findings that would indicate benefit, this study represents a potentially important step.

Scientists from Amsterdam-based Motek Medical developed an innovative virtual reality system that allows clinicians to see and analyze a patient’s balance, locomotion, and coordination – a tool that could reshape rehabilitation and clinical studies, as the system allows the patient to experience challenging and dynamically changing physical therapy in a controlled, safe setting.

A new Multiple Sclerosis pilot study was awarded a $39,000 grant by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to investigate how patients’ sensation in their feet while standing impacts balance and whether their ability to walk is improved through the use of vibrating insoles.

Researchers have uncovered new information about myelin, a fatty substance that wraps around the axons of brain cells (neurons) allowing them to transmit information quickly from one cell to another. De-myelinating diseases in which the insulating wrap is damaged include multiple sclerosis, in which unpredictable loss of myelin causes motor, sensory and visual problems, tingling sensations and pain.

UC Riverside-led mouse study shows the ligand indazole chloride improves motor function, imparting therapeutic benefits even when treatment is initiated at the peak of disease.

In a recent study entitled “Detection of protein aggregates in brain and cerebrospinal fluid derived from multiple sclerosis patients” a team of researchers reported to have detected soluble oligomers in both brain and cerebrospinal fluid samples from multiple sclerosis patients. The study was published in the journal Frontiers in Neurology.

A rogue protein has been identified in multiple sclerosis, which attacks the body's central nervous system. Reporting for the first time, researchers believe this finding could pave the way for better understanding of multiple sclerosis and new treatments against neurodegenerative diseases.

Exercise represents a behavioral approach for the restoration of function and management of symptoms among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). The current paper provides a review on the topic of exercise in MS and is separated into four sections. The first section defines exercise and related constructs. The second section summarizes evidence for the benefits of exercise in MS based on literature reviews and meta-analyses. The third section focuses on the safety of exercise in MS based on the reporting of relapses and other adverse events, and the last section describes guidelines for exercise. The paper concludes with a discussion of major limitations with the existing body of research and highlights some of the pressing areas for future research on exercise in MS.

Research shows that MS occurs in most ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics/Latinos; susceptibility rates vary among these groups. One team previously reported that African Americans tended to have a more aggressive course of disease than Caucasian Americans, were at higher risk for developing mobility impairments, were more likely to develop MS later in life, and were at higher risk for having symptoms restricted to the optic nerve and spinal cord. (Neurology 2004;63[11]:2039-45)

Several studies have shown a relationship between spinal cord atrophy and clinical disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Potential environmental modifiable factors involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) include low adherence to treatment, smoking, obesity, low levels of liposoluble vitamins A and D, high consumption of salt, and a sedentary lifestyle. Chronic tobacco use, obesity, sedentarism and insufficient levels of these vitamins all contribute to maintenance of a proinflammatory state. It is unlikely that there will be noticeable improvement in the inflammatory condition of MS if stopping smoking, reducing weight, exercising, increasing vitamin levels are done in an isolated and erratic manner. Modification of each and every one of these environmental risk factors is likely to be an important approach in the management of MS. The present review presents the arguments for an association between these hazardous modifiable factors and the chronic inflammatory state observed in MS.

Autoimmune diseases like Crohn's Disease and multiple sclerosis, in which the immune system attacks its own body rather than predatory invaders, affect 5-20 percent of the global community. A new study points to the major role obesity plays in triggering and prolonging these autoimmune diseases.

Widely undiagnosed sleep disorders may be at the root of the most common and disabling symptom of the disease: fatigue. This is the conclusion of what may be the largest study of sleep problems among individuals with multiple sclerosis, researchers report.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who are prescribed Tysabri have an increased risk to develop the rare, often fatal infection of the brain called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), according to a recent study. PML is caused by a common virus that infects blood cells and can be mobilized by popular RRMS drug Natalizumab, which is known by its brand name Tysabri. Furthermore, the study revealed that some MS patients who have the virus may be unaware, as current tests have been found to miss the infection.
Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute have made encouraging advances in the development of a viable cell replacement therapy for multiple sclerosis using a patient’s own cells, known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

New research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry finds that there may be a link between salt consumption and multiple sclerosis (MS) disease activity.

High dietary salt intake may worsen multiple sclerosis symptoms and boost the risk of further neurological deterioration, indicates a small observational study. Previous research has indicated that salt may alter the autoimmune response, which is implicated in the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), but it is not clear if it has any direct effect on the course of the disease itself.

The study group leaded by Prof. Yi Pang, University of Mississippi Medical Center , USA have demonstrated that microglia-conditioned culture medium not only provides strong support for OPCs' survival, but also greatly enhances their differentiation in vitro.

A new treatment under investigation for multiple sclerosis (MS) is safe and tolerable in phase I clinical trials, according to a study published in Neurology® Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, a new online-only, freely accessible, specialty medical journal.

Playing video games is fun, and for certain groups of individuals, video games may even provide health benefits. Findings of a new study, for instance, suggest that patients suffering from multiple sclerosis can improve their balance by using an exercise component of the Nintendo Wii video game.

A new study of self-awareness by Kessler Foundation researchers shows that persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be able to improve their self-awareness through task-oriented cognitive rehabilitation.

A new study of self-awareness by Kessler Foundation researchers shows that persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be able to improve their self-awareness through task-oriented cognitive rehabilitation. The study was epublished ahead of print on July 2 in  NeuroRehabilitation. Self-awareness is one's ability to recognize cognitive problems caused by brain injury. This is the first study of self-awareness in MS that includes assessment of online awareness, as well as metacognitive awareness.

Researchers at the Victoria University of Wellington are developing several new and promising treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), including some common anti-psychotic agents.

A new paper entitled The Use of Disease-Modifying Therapies in Multiple Sclerosis: Principles and Current Evidence. A Consensus Paper by the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition is now available.

Using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), Kessler Foundation researchers have shown differential brain activation patterns between people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls. This is the first MS study in which brain activation was studied using fNIRS while participants performed a cognitive task.

The Paleo diet has several benefits apart from weight loss. It lowers cholesterol, reduces hormone surges and controls diabetes. The benefits of this diet are not new to the world; celebrities and the common masses have taken to the diet and seen benefits. Lately, singer Chad Vaccarino of the duo A Great Big World has taken to Paleo diet to treat his multiple sclerosis.

Kessler Foundation researchers published long-term follow-up results of their MEMREHAB trial, which show that in individuals with MS, patterns of brain activity associated with learning were maintained at 6 months post training.

Dimethyl fumarate (trade name: Tecfidera) has been approved since January 2014 for adults with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). In an early benefit assessment pursuant to the Act on the Reform of the Market for Medicinal Products (AMNOG), the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has examined whether this new drug for MS offers an added benefit over the appropriate comparator therapy specified by the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA).

Researchers funded by the National MS Society have pinpointed a molecular signal that triggers the beneficial effects of gut bacteria in mice with MS-like disease. This finding may set the stage for a therapeutic strategy that “resets” the immune system in MS.

Scientists at The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute are one step closer to creating a viable cell replacement therapy for multiple sclerosis from a patient's own cells.

Virchow-Robin spaces (VRS) are associated with vascular and neurodegenerative disease. In multiple sclerosis (MS), VRS have been associated with neuroinflammation.

Researchers at Kessler Foundation and the Cleveland Clinic have published one of the longest longitudinal studies of cognition in multiple sclerosis (MS). Results provide insight into the natural evolution of cognitive changes over time, an important consideration for researchers and clinicians.

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