Masitinib Shows Positive Signs in Progressive MS

Masitinib, an orally administered tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting the innate immune system, showed positive signs in treating progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the phase III AB07002 trial.

The drug, which specifically downregulates mast cells and microglia, appeared to slow disability progression in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and non-active secondary progressive MS (SPMS) over 2 years, reported Patrick Vermersch, PhD, of University of Lille in France, at MS Virtual 2020, the joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting.

Point estimates consistently supported efficacy, but not all were significant.

This is the first time that a drug targeting innate immune cells — as opposed to targeting adaptive immune cells like B cells and T cells — has shown positive results in PPMS and non-active SPMS, Vermersch noted. “Despite some atypical endpoints evaluation, the data showed significant difference versus placebo for disability progression using EDSS,” he said.

“Over time, we have accumulated data telling us that to control the progressive forms, we need to control innate immunity,” Vermersch told MedPage Today. “The data obtained with other products in progressive forms — siponimod [Mayzent] in SPMS and ocrelizumab [Ocrevus] in PPMS — showed significant but modest results, and the positive results were driven by patients with baseline characteristics of clinical and MRI activity,” he said.

“Masitinib may provide a new option for physicians with progressive patients,” he added. “We have no therapeutic option for patients without superimposed clinical or MRI activity and it is an urgent need.”
To read this article in its entirity click the link : Masitinib

Pregnant Women With MS Show Increased NfL

Serum neurofilament light (NfL) levels rose in women with multiple sclerosis (MS) during pregnancy and postpartum periods when no disease-modifying treatment (DMT) was used, researchers reported.

This rise in NfL, a measure of axonal injury, was independent of MS relapses, suggesting increased subclinical disease activity during this time, said Özgür Yaldizli, MD, of University of Basel in Switzerland, at a late-breaking session of MS Virtual 2020, the joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting.

There’s an urgent need to identify patients with high disease activity during pregnancy, Yaldizli noted.

“Neurofilament light may qualify as a sensitive and minimally invasive measure of disease activity during pregnancy,” he told MedPage Today. “We think that strategies to continue DMT during pregnancy, at least in selected patient groups, are warranted.”

Pregnancies among women with MS have risen in the U.S. Research has shown that relapse rates tend to decline during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester, and increase during the first 3 months postpartum before returning to pre-pregnancy rates.

“According to natural history cohorts, about one-third of pregnant MS women experience a relapse within 3 months postpartum,” Yaldizli said. “DMTs can reduce the risk of relapses, but have potential side effects for the fetus and woman.”

One of the dilemmas neurologists face with MS patients who want to become pregnant is what to do about disease-modifying therapy, noted Jeffrey Cohen, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, who wasn’t involved with the study.
to read this article inits entiriity click the link:Pregnant woman with MS

Providing phenotype-specific education to inform treatment choices: There’s an app for that

The effort to individualize MS care to optimal effect for each patient has been greatly enhanced in recent years by the identification of distinct phenotypes, or forms, of multiple sclerosis that have different clinical courses and responses to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).

Of course, for people with MS to be full partners in formulating treatment plans that draw on this knowledge, they need to know which phenotype they have and understand how that form of MS tends to present over the years. A recent research initiative found that one in five people with MS lack this critical information. [Rudell CMSC 2020]

The finding emerged from an analysis of data entered by more than 3,700 people with MS into My MS Manager, a HIPAA-compliant patient app developed in a collaboration between the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) and @Point of Care. (@Point of Care also created a complementary app for clinicians, Multiple Sclerosis@Point of Care; the two apps facilitate information sharing between patients and their clinicians.)

The analysis of patient-entered data found that 20% of people with MS using the app did not know what phenotype – such as relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), secondary-progressive MS SPMS), or primary-progressive MS (PPMS) – they had. This lack of information tended to be most pronounced in patients between 20 and 39 years of age. While the finding speaks to an ongoing educational need, other results to emerge from the analysis underscored the benefits of the app and revealed how information interests varied by participant phenotype. For example, people with RRMS most often watched the apps’ videos on wellness tips and MS symptoms, while the most popular videos for people with SPMS focused on types of MS and the importance of long-term treatment. Among people with primary-progressive MS, the videos of greatest interest addressed who gets MS and the assistance available from MSAA.

The data analysis also yielded important insights into the demographics of people with MS. The ratios of females to males with various MS phenotypes accorded with those identified in other studies and databases, such as the MSBase Registry. Specifically, there were three times as many females as males for most phenotypes, although that sex differential declined to 1.5 female-to-male for SPMS. The study’s authors noted that males with PPMS are twice as likely as females to experience clinical deterioration over a 10-year period, making it important for clinicians to identify PPMS promptly in those patients and initiate an approved therapy for them. Considering the totality of their findings, the authors of the analysis concluded, “The My MS Manager patient app facilitates MS patients’ ability to record their clinical phenotype, access educational videos—including those addressing phenotype, and empower them to better understand MS phenotypes and implications for treatment choices for discussion with their clinicians. This will ensure optimal treatment choices.”

Exploring a possible link between childbearing history and onset of progressive MS

It long has been known that women are at an increased risk for MS relative to men, but a recent study now raises the prospect that a woman’s childbearing status may affect her risk for earlier onset of progressive multiple sclerosis. [Zeydan 2020] A group of researchers from Mayo Clinic – who stress the need for this issue to be examined in a larger study – recently mapped disease course in 134 women and 68 men with progressive forms of MS. Those patients included both people with primary-progressive MS and those who transitioned from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) to secondary-progressive MS.

Among the women in the group, the 32 patients who had not given birth to a child had onset of progressive multiple sclerosis at an average age of 41.4 years, almost six years earlier than the average age for the 95 women who had delivered one or more children. That difference was statistically significant. Further, women who had delivered four or more children had an average age of progressive MS onset that was six years later than those who had delivered one to three children (52.6 years vs. 46.4 years, with the difference again being statistically significant).

Looking at the subgroup of patients who transitioned from RRMS to secondary-progressive MS, women who had not delivered a child also had a younger average age of RRMS diagnosis compared to those who did have children (27.5 years vs. 33.0 years, a statistically significant difference). Similarly, having given birth to four or more children was associated with a later average age of RRMS diagnosis than having delivered one to three children (35.8 years vs. 32.4 years, with the difference again being statistically significant).

While the findings are intriguing, the authors note that several questions require further investigation, including “whether MS-associated factors lead to nulliparity [not having delivered a child] either by choice or due to biological reasons.”

Kroger and Amazon Smiles: A Great way to Support Us

The MSAV depends on the generous support of people like you to continue its mission.  To participate in one of our fundraising events online or to shop online with a small portion of your purchase going to support the MSAV, click one of the links below:

Did you know you can support nonprofit organizations in your community just by shopping at Kroger? It’s easy when you enroll in Kroger Community Rewards®! To get started, sign up with your Plus Card using the Kroger link above, and select a local organization you wish to support. Once you’re enrolled, you’ll earn rewards for your chosen organization every time you shop and use your Plus Card!
“Kroger Community Rewards Have To Be Renewed Every Year”, check yours today.

* To Enroll or Renew Click this Link: Kroger Signin 

Amazon Smile
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you.  When you shop, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.  On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select MSAV to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.  AmazonSmile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at AmazonSmile will result in a donation to the MSAV.

*To Enroll or Renew Click This Link: Amazon Smile Signin

If you already set yours up GREAT if not please consider doing so. We recently have heard of a few people that thought they had these setup but they weren’t. So if you would take a short moment and check to see if your still linked correctly that would be great. And Thank You for your contineing support.


Help Us Make A MS Alliance of Virginia Cookbook

We are so excited we would love to make a MS Alliance of Virginia COOKBOOK & do a fun fundraiser with them.. How cool would that be? If you have a great recipe, canning idea or craft for that matter that you would love to share please send them to Sharon Cross either at or These would make fun Christmas gifts or just to have for yourself. Let’s take things back to a personal level. Let’s do paper & ink instead of looking at the internet. Let’s share a favorite from your grandparent, parent or yourself. Just include that name of where the recipe came from plus your name, & yes you can certainly include more than one. Let’s make this a fun project we can all look at and really enjoy. Can’t wait to see what you all send.

Also, there will be a survey going out to get feedback on ‘things’ you want to do in the next few months- some people are asking to get together, others still staying in, so we are trying to do a little of both. Support group meetings are on Zoom on regular schedule- 2nd Tuesday and 4th Thursday of the month. October 22nd our Guest speaker is Pharmacist Nick Weatherton. Submit your questions for him to

Thank you for the generosity of the people who have made donations enabling us to continue to pay our rent until we can get back up and running full time. We are 100% volunteer so we were not eligible for government Covid assistance, but even tho we do not ask people living with MS for money apparently you all have kindly asked your family and friends to help us through this challenging time. It is working one day and one dollar at a time………We have always been blessed, thank you.

Government study evaluating Rebif® (interferon beta-1a) as COVID-19 treatment

A long-approved MS therapy is among the newest options being evaluated for treatment of COVID-19.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) led by Anthony S. Fauci, MD, announced in early August that it is studying the efficacy and safety of treating COVID-19 with the antiviral agent remdesivir and Rebif® (interferon beta-1a). The combination regimen is being evaluated in a study called the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 3 (ACTT 3), which seeks to enroll more than 1,000 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 at as many as 100 sites in the United States and abroad. [NIH]

Rebif was approved for the treatment of relapsing forms of MS in March 2002. An NIH press release noted, “Interferon beta-1a has the same amino acid sequence as a naturally occurring protein called interferon beta, which is part of a class of proteins called type 1 interferons. Infected cells normally produce type 1 interferons to help the immune system fight pathogens, especially viruses. Interferon beta has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Laboratory studies suggest that the normal interferon response is suppressed in some people after infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In the laboratory, type 1 interferon can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and two closely related viruses, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In addition, two small randomized controlled trials suggest that treatment with interferon beta may benefit patients with COVID-19.” The NIH added that preliminary evidence from earlier trials showed that COVID-19 patients who received remdesivir recovered sooner than those receiving placebo.

The NIH said that the study will focus on hospitalized adults with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection with evidence of lung involvement (including a need for supplemental oxygen), abnormal chest X-rays, or illness requiring mechanical ventilation. Patients will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive either subcutaneous interferon beta-1a plus remdesivir or remdesivir alone. The study will be a double-blind trial, with neither patients nor clinicians knowing who is receiving the combination therapy and who is receiving remdesivir plus a placebo.

“Investigators will evaluate whether time to recovery is shorter in the combination therapy group relative to the remdesivir-only group,” the NIH said, adding that the trial will also evaluate outcomes including mortality.

Cashew shell compound appears to mend damaged nerves

A new study found that a chemical compound found in the shell of the cashew nut promotes the repair of myelin in laboratory experiments.

Previous work by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers showed a protein called interleukin 33, or IL-33, induced myelin formation. IL-33 is, among other things, an immune response regulator. The cashew shell compound is called anacardic acid. Researchers grew interested in it because it’s known to inhibit an enzyme involved in gene expression called histone acetyltransferase, or HAT, and the team had discovered that whatever inhibits HAT induces production of IL-33.

Myelin is a protective sheath surrounding nerves. Damage to this covering – demyelination – is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis. The report includes a range of new findings that point to potential therapeutic use of anacardic acid for demyelinating diseases:

  • In vitro, the addition of the compound to rat cells most responsible for myelination – oligodendrocyte precursor cells, or OPCs – spurred induction of IL-33 and rapidly increased the expression of myelin genes and proteins, including dose-dependent increases in myelin basic protein;
  • In two animal models of demyelination, treatment with the compound increased the relative presence of IL-33-expressing OPCs and led to reduced paralysis;
  • In an animal model of demyelination treated with the compound, dissection and electron microscopy showed dose-dependent increases in myelination.

Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans and may be years away from being a marketable treatment. It must also be noted that this compound, anacardic acid, must be extracted from cashew shells. Cashew shells themselves are not appropriate as a supplement because they contain urshiol, the same compound as poison ivy.

The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New MS Drug Approved “Kesimpta” by Novartis

The first self-administered, targeted B-cell treatment for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) received FDA approval on Thursday, Novartis announced.

Ofatumumab (Kesimpta), an antibody targeting CD20-positive B cells, is approved for adult patients with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, the company said.

“This approval is wonderful news for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis,” Stephen Hauser, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, who led ofatumumab clinical trials, said in a statement from the drugmaker. “Through its favorable safety profile and well-tolerated monthly injection regimen, patients can self-administer the treatment at home, avoiding visits to the infusion center.”

Like ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), which was approved in 2017 for relapsing and primary progressive MS, and rituximab (Rituxan), which is used off-label in MS, ofatumumab binds to CD20 molecules, resulting in B-cell depletion. In 2009, ofatumumab was approved to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia under the brand name Arzerra.

Ofatumumab’s approval in MS was based on results of two phase III trials, ASCLEPIOS I and ASCLEPIOS II. In these studies, 20-mg monthly subcutaneous injections of ofatumumab bested daily 14-mg teriflunomide (Aubagio) oral tablets in reducing annualized relapse rates (ARR), 3-month confirmed disability progression, and the number of gadolinium-enhancing T1 and new or enlarging T2 lesions in relapsing MS.

To read this article in its entirety click the link: Kesimpta

Cruise with Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Sea


Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Sea
Date: November 13th, 2021 to November 25th, 2021
Phone: 1-866-562-7625

Information Destinations:  12 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise

LEAVING FROM: Baltimore, Maryland, onboard Enchantment of the Seas
VISITING:Baltimore, Maryland | Cruising | St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands | Philipsburg, St. Maarten | Castries, St. Lucia | Bridgetown, Barbados | Basseterre, St. Kitts | Cruising | Baltimore, Maryland

If you are interested when you are making your registration you can request to link your dining to Milburn Gillespie so you all can be seated together

For more information on this cruise and others click the link:


What Is COVID-19 Doing to the Brain?

The more people who are infected with the novel (new) coronavirus that causes COVID-19, the more we’re learning about its effects in the body. Mounting evidence is showing that the virus, called SARS-CoV-2, is neurotropic, or capable of infecting nerve cells.

And while no one has suggested that such infections are more likely to occur in people who already have disease affecting their brains — such as multiple sclerosis (MS) — it’s hard for those of us already living with neurological conditions not to be anxious about the possible consequences such a viral invasion could have.

Reports of Neurologic Symptoms From China

As early as February 2020, the first reports out of Wuhan, China, where the first cases of what came to be known as COVID-19 were reported in December 2019, stated that “Compared with non-severe patients with COVID-19, severe patients commonly had neurologic symptoms manifested as acute cerebrovascular diseases, consciousness impairment, and skeletal muscle symptoms.”

Another study by Asian researchers, published in February, raises the question (but reached no conclusion) as to whether “potential [neuro]invasion of SARS-CoV-2 is partially responsible for the acute respiratory failure of patients with COVID-19.”

A Case of Encephalopathy Reported in Michigan

By the end of March, physicians from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit reported in the journal Radiology the first case of COVID-19-associated acute necrotizing hemorrhagic encephalopathy, a rare central nervous system complication secondary to influenza or other viral infections that is characterized by altered mental status and seizures. It often leads to profound disability or death.

There are further reported cases of neurologic involvement by SARS-CoV-2, some of which appear to show receptors for the virus not only in the respiratory and digestive tracts but also in the blood-brain barrier and central nervous system nerve endings.
To read this article in its entirity click the link:What Is COVID-19 Doing to the Brain?

Reiki: What Can This Energy Therapy Do for Multiple Sclerosis?

Like acupuncturetai chi, and qigong, Reiki — which means “universal life force energy” — aims to alter the flow of energy in and around the body, and is believed to facilitate relaxation, improve sleep, reduce anxiety and fatigue, and, perhaps, address more specific symptoms such as pain and spasticity.

How Is Reiki Done for MS?

Reiki treatments, which typically last 45 to 60 minutes, “are administered through the healing hands of a certified practitioner with the client lying fully clothed on a massage table,” says Kane. There’s no manipulation of bones or tissues, she adds. The practitioner merely holds her hands on, above, or around the client’s body to channel energy. Some clients, she says, will fall asleep during a session, and most report a sense of “warmth, peace, and relaxation.”

Reiki, she explains, “can also be sent distantly, as it is an energy and therefore is not bound to one geographic location.” In addition, patients can become attuned so they can provide Reiki therapy to themselves, and caregivers can also learn to practice.

Are Reiki’s Effects on MS Real?

“Although little scientific research has been completed on Reiki, there are many patients and practitioners who believe in its benefits,” says Kane. Despite the lack of evidence and even in light of conflicting study results, Reiki is in great demand and is practiced by nurses and others at hundreds of hospitals and health centers across the country. It’s offered at renowned hospitals such as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and is a service provided at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.

Whether or not Reiki’s benefits are the result of a placebo effect, as some suggest, it’s popular because patients claim it works.

Kane’s experience suggests that it can greatly benefit anyone who suffers from a chronic or an acute illness. “Reiki helps reduce stress and anxiety, balancing the body’s energy system to allow for healing while helping the body heal itself,” she says.

In a review published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine in 2017, Reiki was found to be more effective than placebo (sham Reiki) or progressive muscle relaxation in reducing pain, depression, and anxiety in chronically ill individuals.

The review included 13 studies and concluded that the studies provided reasonably strong support for Reiki being more effective than placebo, and that the practice is “a safe and gentle ‘complementary’ therapy that activates the parasympathetic nervous system to heal body and mind.’”

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Reiki for Fibromyalgia

Common Benefits for People With MS

Sometimes clients don’t feel anything immediately after a Reiki session, says Kane, but benefits may be seen in as little as one session, depending on what the client needs and desires.

“Many people report a sense of calm, decreased stress, and improved rest following even one session,” Kane says.

“Reiki, being the highest form of energy, goes where it is needed to promote healing and, therefore, works on every level, including physical, mental, and spiritual,” says Kane. It also may be used to address particular symptoms, with practitioners setting an intention for it to heal in those particular areas. “However, Reiki always knows what healing is needed, and so we trust in that process,” she says.

Even Reiki Skeptics Can Feel Its Effects

Such comments may raise eyebrows and provoke disbelief, even ridicule. But Kane points out that it’s not necessary for a person to believe in Reiki for it to work. “Try it and then talk to me,” she says, laughing. “I’ve had many skeptics walk through my door and leave an hour later totally in awe of how they are feeling.”

Lisa is quick to point out that Reiki is not a cure for MS. “I don’t believe it’s a quick fix or a miraculous healing technique,” she says. “However, the energy is known to bring balance to one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.”

RELATED: Can Reiki Help Relieve Back Pain?

Four Levels of Reiki Attunement

According to Kane, anyone can be attuned to perform Reiki. “We aren’t changing the energy,” she says. Kane explains the four levels of training as being increasingly advanced and working with progressively higher levels of energy.

“Level 1 is generally for people who are just learning and is mostly used for self-Reiki and for friends and family. Level 2 teaches how to send Reiki distantly and incorporates Reiki on a more emotional level. Level 3 incorporates Reiki on a more spiritual plane, and students learn more advanced techniques.”

The final level leads to the ability to practice as a Reiki master teacher, teaching Reiki and giving attunements.

Lisa took a Reiki level 1 attunement. “For the first 21 days and afterward I practiced daily as recommended,” she says. “I followed a series of hand positions every evening and found it to be meditative and relaxing, and I would shortly fall into a deep and restful sleep.”

“I would absolutely recommend anybody to try it, not only MS patients,” says Lisa. “There is no downside. Relaxation and restful sleep in itself is healing for the body. To have another available tool for relaxation is wonderful.”

New oral treatment, Zeposia, available for relapsing forms of MS

Zeposia (ozanimod) 0.92 mg, a new once-daily oral medication for adults for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, is now commercially available in the U.S. Zeposia (ozanimod) 0.92 mg, a new once-daily oral medication for adults for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, including clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease, is now commercially available in the U.S.

The Zeposia 360 Support program will facilitate access to Zeposia for appropriate patients with MS. This includes a copay of as little as $0 for eligible appropriate patients, assistance with financial support, reimbursement for some initial out-of-pocket medical costs – and a program that may help eligible patients with commercial insurance to receive free medication while they are waiting for insurance approvals. Terms, conditions, and eligibility criteria apply.

Before initiation of treatment with Zeposia, discuss treatment options with your doctor. For more information visit this link:

MS Miles Of Scarves

 “Miles of Scarves”.

​Youth-led Miles of Scarves exists to improve the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Their dedicated youth volunteers knit scarves to sell to raise money to provide assistance to families affected by MS and to fund research to find a cure.
Since 2009, over 80 elementary school through college students have participated in Miles of Scarves.  They knit scarves, hats, and other items to sell at craft fairs, MS Society events, and other venues.Every year they:

  • sponsor and volunteer at a rest stop on BikeMS: Colonial Crossroads
  • give a $2,000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior who has MS or a parent with MS
  • volunteer at MS Society events
  • give holiday gifts to a family affected by MS
  • donate to MS research projects at Virginia Commonwealth University
  • host the Yarn Ball, a silent auction and cocktail party where we raise money for research

In ten years, MoS has donated over $127,000. They are always looking for more volunteers to join them in knitting to find a cure!

History of Miles of Scarves

When Meredith Polk was ten years old, she read an article about a group of people knitting the world’s longest scarf to raise money for charity. Since Meredith knew how to knit, she taught some of her friends, and they set a goal to raise $1,500 to sponsor a rest stop on Bike MS. They exceeded that goal in their first year and have been growing ever since. Miles of Scarves is now a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is dedicated to finding a cure for MS.

Miles of Scarves fosters a sense of community, sparks interest in all aspects of nonprofit work, and helps young people develop business skills.

Research on MS, gait to lead to more effective fall prevention

People who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis often experience difficulty in maintaining body balance while walking and are at a greater risk of falling. Researchers at Georgia State University conducted a study to better understand gait stability for people with MS and use this knowledge to design more effective interventions for preventing falls.
Twenty people diagnosed with MS and 25 healthy individuals participated in the study, which used an eight-camera system to capture data on each participant as they walked a designated 7.5-meter distance three times. Their results show people with MS demonstrate a more cautious walking pattern and took shorter steps to accommodate their slow gait speed and maintain their balance.

This research has meaningful implications for doctors and other health care professionals who work with people diagnosed with MS. The researchers said the study leads to the understanding that step length and foot landing angle are two significant factors for maintaining body dynamic balance in people with MS, making them two targets for gait rehabilitation.

The study was published in the Journal of Biomechanics.

Study finds no link between DMTs and Covid-19 severity

A new study investigated the risk factors for developing a severe form of COVID-19 in patients with multiple sclerosis. Researchers found risk factors for severe forms of COVID-19 were neurological disability, age, and obesity, but no link was found between disease-modifying therapies exposure and COVID-19 severity. The identification of these risk factors could provide a rationale for an individual strategy of clinical management in patients with MS during the COVID-19 pandemic. Risk factors associated with the severity of COVID-19 in patients with MS are unknown. DMTs may modify the risk of developing a severe COVID-19 infection, beside identified risk factors such as age and comorbidities. A new study by French researchers at multiple medical centers set out to describe the clinical characteristics and outcomes in patients with MS and COVID-19 and identify factors associated with COVID-19 severity.

The Covisep registry is a multicenter, retrospective, observational cohort study conducted in MS expert centers and general hospitals and with neurologists collaborating with MS expert centers and members of the Société Francophone de la Sclérose en Plaques. The study included patients with MS presenting with a confirmed or highly suspected diagnosis of COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and May 21, 2020.

The main outcome was COVID-19 severity assessed on a 7-point ordinal scale with a cutoff at 3. Researchers collected demographics, neurological history, Expanded Disability Severity Scale score, comorbidities, COVID-19 characteristics, and outcomes. Statistical modelling used to estimate the links of collected variables with COVID-19 outcomes.

To read this article in its entirity click here No Link Between

Congratulations to the Class of 2020

The MS Alliance would like to take a moment to recognize all the accomplishments of our High School and College Graduates. We realize that you have put in a lot of hard work to make it to this point. The MS Alliance is very proud of all that you have accomplished. We look forward to seeing  you succeed in the next chapter of your journey.


Sal Elizabeth

Sal Elizabeth (Kaitlyn) graduated from Clemson University with a Master’s in Architecture with a study abroad in Italy.  She has accepted a full-time position with an architecture firm in Greenville, SC as the Lead Architect on a few projects. “I can’t take credit for any of it, this was all Gods strength and provision.”   We are sure her dad, Joe Salvia is immensely proud of her, most remember Kaitlyn as the leader of the youth support group.



Frank Elijah Patton IV received an advance high school diploma from Heritage High School. He began playing trumpet in the 8th grade while in the Dunbar Middle School band, as well as the Heritage High School Marching Band.  The following 9th grade year, he joined the concert band. He will begin attending Central VA Community College, for general studies, upon graduation he will transfer to a 4-year university, which he has yet to decide upon. Frank is the son of Mr. Frank and Yvonne Patton III of Lynchburg, Va.


Kaylyn Rivera

Kaylyn Rivera graduated with a 4.2 GPA Summa Cum Laude from Maurece J. McDonough High School in Charles County MD. Kaylyn will be attending Drew University in New Jersey in August where she will be playing soccer. She will be studying to become a Physician’s Assistant.  Kaylyn is the daughter of Fidel and Kathleen Rivera members of our MSAV family.


Layla Moon Mundy

Layla is a 2020 graduate of Patrick Henry High School. As a result of all her hard work, AP classes and not taking a summer off since seventh grade, she graduated a year early with a 4.0 GPA, and Honors.  Layla is a member of the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra playing violin for five years. She also plays the clarinet in concert band. Her plans on attending Virginia Tech majoring in Energies and Science. Layla is the daughter of Kala Moock a member of our MSAV family.


Marla Rain Moock

Marla Rain Moock, she is a VWCC graduate with two degrees, one in Science and the other in Megatronics. she graduated Magna Cum Laude and made the Presidents lists with a 4.5 GPA. Marla is headed to Christopher Newport a 4-year college on the east coast. Marla is the daughter of Kala Moock a member of our MSAV family.



Nick graduated from Floyd County high school. He is working full time at Hollingsworth & Vose in Floyd, Virginia with plans to attend NRCC in the fall for General Studies and Welding. Nick is the son of Tim and Karen Jones, nephew of Suzanne Oconnell and grandson of Dr Gordon Burch.


If we have missed any 2020 High School or College Graduates of our MSAV Family please drop us a line at  Attention 2020 Graduate/Don Cross







UPDATE: How To Zoom … Join The Next Support Group Meeting

Zoom is a video conferencing tool for virtual meetings and hangouts. It can be used for work and to live-stream things like classes while we’re all in self-isolation. Like Skype or Face-time, Zoom allows you to see the users in a chat face-to-face, on a phone, tablet, or computer. As many as 100 participants can join a Zoom conference at once!

To Download Zoom

Zoom is a free platform, which means it can be accessed on any device with an app store. You can download it from the app store on your phone, on your computer, or on a tablet. You can download Zoom from the Apple Store if you have iOS or on Google Play if you have an Android. If you have an iPhone, click “get” and then open once the app downloads; if you have an Android, click “install” then open the app once it’s finished downloading.Alternatively, you can download Zoom for your computer by visiting Zoom’s online Download Zoom


Air Quality Tied to MS Risk

Multiple sclerosis was more prevalent in Italian areas with more pollution

Italians residing in areas with high air pollution levels had a significantly greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who lived in areas with cleaner air, researchers said.

Italians residing in areas with high air pollution levels had a significantly greater risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) than those who lived in areas with cleaner air, researchers said.

MS risk was 29% higher among people in urban areas with higher levels of air contamination than among people in rural areas, even after adjusting for urbanization and deprivation, reported Roberto Bergamaschi, MD, PhD, of IRCCS Mondino Foundation in Pavia, Italy, and colleagues.

Continue reading this article in its entirety :Air Quality Effects on MS

A Blood Test for MS Progression?

Elevated plasma levels of neurofilament light (NfL) protein in early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS) were tied to an increased risk of disability worsening, a large case-control study suggested.

MS patients with high plasma NfL, a measure of axonal damage, were 40% to 70% more likely to have worsening disability in the next year, and were more likely to have long-term, sustained disability, reported Ali Manouchehrinia, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and co-authors, in Neurology.

“These results suggest that elevated levels of these proteins measured early on in the course of the disease may help us to predict how the disease will develop and monitor how treatment is working,” Manouchehrinia said in a statement.

More research is needed before a blood test could be used routinely in clinical settings “but our results are encouraging,” he noted. “In disease like MS that is so unpredictable and varies so much from one person to the next, having a noninvasive blood test like this could be very valuable, especially since treatments are most effective in the earliest stages of the disease,” he said.

Continue to read this article in its entirety: Bio Marker in MS Research