News

MS ALLIANCE OF VIRGINIA 2020 COOK BOOK “Order Yours Today”

MS ALLIANCE 2020 COOKBOOK FUNDRAISER.

We are so excited our first MS Alliance Cookbook is here!
This cookbook is like our MS no rhyme nor reason to the way it was done.  Just fun!

You can get your copy now, plus get a few for gifts as well.  Each book is 10.95 or you can buy 3 or more for 9.95 a piece.  Select how many you would like and then click the button below to go through Paypal, or you can send a check to the MSAV 437 Airport Road Riner, VA 24149. We hope you enjoy our first little adventure and hope you participate in our next one.

Order Yours Today Click Here; Order Now

Our Gift to You Nia Zoom Classes

ATTEND A NIA CLASS WITH OTHERS LIVING WITH MS

 

Do you have a goal for MORE wellness in your body, emotions, mind, or spirit that you would like assistance manifesting? Do you desire more ease and pleasure in your life? Nia Technique has been changing bodies and lives for over 35 years. There are so many simple and effective tools available for your health and well-being, better relationships, and empowerment through Nia.  Nia can be performed from either a standing or a sitting position.

MS Alliance of Virginia is gifting you as many Nia Classes as you want to take in the Month of January. Check the schedule below and click the Zoom link and enjoy

                   January

  • January   5th 5:30p.m.
  • January   6th 9:00a.m.
  • January   8th 9:00a.m.
  • January 12th 5:30p.m.
  • January 13th 9:00a.m.
  • January 14th 5:30p.m.
  • January 15th 9:00a.m.
  • January 19th 5:30p.m.
  • January 20th 9:00a.m.
  • January 22nd 9:00a.m.
  • January 26th 5:30p.m.
  • January 27th 9:00a.m.
  • January 28th 5:30p.m.
  • January 29th 9:00a.m.

To join these Classes on the above dates
https://zoom.us/j/91788456746…
Meeting ID: 917 8845 6746
Pass code: 957515

Karen Griffin  has ptovided the January Schedule you can contact her by email, hess2griff@yahoo.com. on how to find additional classes for other upcoming months
After the month of January Gift to you,  Then you can join any class threw out the year. Payment is a donation based $5-$12 per class. If you need financial assistance, please email either Heather, Heather Umberger or the MS Alliance of Virginia at msav4hope@gmail.com.

“Experience the joy of movement in the body you have at that moment!”

All inquiries for financial assistance will be kept confidential.

 

Video Game Treatment May Improve Cognitive Function, Study Shows

New research indicates that a novel, video-game-style intervention may be beneficial to people with MS.

Many people with multiple sclerosis — particularly progressive forms of the disease — experience, or at least fear, the loss of cognitive function as their disease progresses. For that reason, the question of whether puzzles, games, mind exercises, and the like might help is of great interest to this group.

Now a study published on June 25, 2020, in Multiple Sclerosis Journal suggests that a video game that can be played at home may help people with multiple sclerosis (MS) maintain — and even improve — processing speed better than word games.

Processing speed refers to the speed with which a person understands and responds to information. It is one of the cognitive functions most commonly affected by multiple sclerosis.

The study showed that both the video game and word games improved processing speed. But the participants in the video-game arm of the study maintained the gains achieved during the study period for at least eight weeks after they had stopped using the game, while the word-game control subjects did not.
To read this article in its entirity click here: MS and Video Games

More Evidence Links Vitamin D Deficiency and Multiple Sclerosis

New research adds to evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with MS. Does that mean vitamin D supplementation could prevent the disease?

Going back to at least the 1960s, researchers have noticed something interesting about the distribution of multiple sclerosis (MS): The disease is uncommon close to the equator, where sunlight is most abundant. At higher latitudes, where the sun shines for less time and at a lower intensity, the prevalence of MS increases.

Since sunlight is a necessary ingredient for the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency may increase a person’s risk of developing MS was born. New research adds support for this idea, but many questions remain.

Does Vitamin D Play a Role in Prevention of MS?

study published in October 2017 in the journal Neurology adds to evidence that vitamin D deficiency may increase a person’s risk of developing multiple sclerosis, even many years later. The study focused on a large group of Finnish women who gave blood samples early in pregnancy between 1983 and 2009. The researchers identified 1,092 women who were eventually diagnosed with MS, on average nine years after their blood samples were drawn. They compared the vitamin D levels in their stored blood samples to those of women who didn’t develop MS.

In the study, vitamin D deficiency was more common in the MS group, affecting 58 percent of women who eventually developed MS compared with 52 percent of women who did not. The researchers calculated that women with deficient vitamin D blood levels (defined as less than 30 nanomoles per liter [nmol/l]) had a 43 percent higher risk of developing MS compared with those with adequate levels (at least 50 nmol/l). Vitamin D deficiency was common in this group of women, particularly before 2004, when Finland first started recommending that pregnant women take a vitamin D supplement.

The study’s lead author, Kassandra Munger, a doctor of science in nutritional epidemiology and a research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, says that the results of this study and others show a clear pattern. “If your levels are low, your risk is high, and as your levels increase, your risk seems to decline,” she says.

Previous studies have found similar results, but they were smaller and done in populations with higher average vitamin D levels. For example, another study conducted by Dr. Munger and her colleagues, published in December 2006 in JAMA, found that in U.S. military personnel, high vitamin D levels were associated with a lower risk of MS.
To read this article in its entirity click here: Importance of Vitamin D and MS

How to Cope With MS Walking Challenges

Working with your health care team — a physical therapist in particular — can help you overcome MS walking problems. Start with these solutions.

Multiple sclerosis can affect your physical abilities in many ways. The condition can even make the act of putting one foot in front of another a challenge. According to a 2011 study published in the journal The Patient, 41 percent of people with MS report difficulty walking, and 13 percent say they’re unable to walk on at least two occasions a week — a major life disruption, the study found.

Although the severity of symptoms of MS can vary, research also finds that about half of those with relapsing-remitting MS who have not received any treatment will need some sort of MS assistive device for walking within 15 years of diagnosis.

Some of the challenges that make walking difficult when you have MS are fatigue, weakness and spasticity, balance issues, fear of falling, and loss of feeling.

A physical therapist can often play a major role in helping you manage MS walking problems, especially as the problems worsen. “A comprehensive exam by a physical therapist can identify the underlying sources of the gait problem and determine a rehab program to diminish the effects of the symptoms,” says Susan Bennett, PT, DPT, EdD, a clinical associate professor in the departments of rehabilitation science and neurology at the University at Buffalo, SUNY in Buffalo, N.Y. Your physical therapist, along with other health care professionals, can identity whether certain MS assistive devices, such as canes, walkers, and braces, can help you walk better.

In addition, these strategies can help you address MS symptoms that affect your mobility. To read this article in its entirity click here: MS coping with walking issues

Year in Review: Multiple Sclerosis

New drugs, new challenges with COVID-19

The multiple sclerosis (MS) community gained two new drugs in 2020, but also focused attention on challenges that emerged with COVID-19. New findings about MS biomarkers and risk factors also were reported this year.

New Drug Approvals

The first self-administered, targeted B-cell treatment for MS received FDA approval this year: ofatumumab (Kesimpta), a monoclonal antibody targeting CD20-positive B cells, indicated for adult patients with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease.

The FDA’s decision was based on results of two phase III trials, ASCLEPIOS I and ASCLEPIOS II, that showed 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.

Ozanimod (Zeposia), an oral sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator, also earned a nod from the FDA to treat relapsing forms of MS, including clinically isolated syndrome. The agency based its approval on data from the SUNBEAM and RADIANCE part B studies comparing ozanimod against interferon beta-1a (Avonex), in which ARRs at 1 year and 2 years were better with ozanimod. Numbers of gadolinium-enhanced brain lesions and new or enlarging T2 lesions were reduced.

COVID-19 and MS

MS specialists advised early in the pandemic that most patients should continue their disease-modifying treatment (DMT) during the COVID-19 outbreak and discuss risks with their physician before stopping.
The multiple sclerosis (MS) community gained two new drugs in 2020, but also focused attention on challenges that emerged with COVID-19. New findings about MS biomarkers and risk factors also were reported this year.

New Drug Approvals

The first self-administered, targeted B-cell treatment for MS received FDA approval this year: ofatumumab (Kesimpta), a monoclonal antibody targeting CD20-positive B cells, indicated for adult patients with clinically isolated syndrome, relapsing-remitting disease, and active secondary progressive disease.
The FDA’s decision was based on results of two phase III trials, ASCLEPIOS I and ASCLEPIOS II, that showed 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.

Ozanimod (Zeposia), an oral sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulator, also earned a nod from the FDA to treat relapsing forms of MS, including clinically isolated syndrome. The agency based its approval on data from the SUNBEAM and RADIANCE part B studies comparing ozanimod against interferon beta-1a (Avonex), in which ARRs at 1 year and 2 years were better with ozanimod. Numbers of gadolinium-enhanced brain lesions and new or enlarging T2 lesions were reduced.

COVID-19 and MS

MS specialists advised early in the pandemic that most patients should continue their disease-modifying treatment (DMT) during the COVID-19 outbreak and discuss risks with their physician before stopping.

For the most part, that advice appeared to hold throughout the year. But at MS Virtual 2020, a joint meeting of ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS, registry data from the Global COVID-19 and MS Data Sharing Initiative suggested higher risk of more severe COVID-19 with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapies versus other DMTs with different mechanisms.

MS patients using anti-CD20 drugs — rituximab (Rituxan), used off-label to treat MS in the U.S., and ocrelizumab (Ocrevus), approved for MS in 2017 — were more likely to be hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, or require artificial ventilation than patients treated with other DMTs, reported Steve Simpson-Yap, PhD, MPH, of the University of Melbourne in Australia.
To read this article in its entirity click the link:  MS Year in review

Vaccine rumours debunked: Microchips, ‘altered DNA’ and more

‘Altered DNA’ claims

The fear that a vaccine will somehow change your DNA is one we’ve seen aired regularly on social media.

The BBC asked three independent scientists about this. They said that the coronavirus vaccine would not alter human DNA.

Some of the newly created vaccines, including the one now approved in the UK developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, use a fragment of the virus’s genetic material – or messenger RNA.

“Injecting RNA into a person doesn’t do anything to the DNA of a human cell,” says Prof Jeffrey Almond of Oxford University.

It works by giving the body instructions to produce a protein which is present on the surface of the coronavirus.

The immune system then learns to recognise and produce antibodies against the protein.

This isn’t the first time we’ve looked into claims that a coronavirus vaccine will supposedly alter DNA. We investigated a popular video spreading the theory back in May.

Posts have noted that messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology “has never been tested or approved before”.

It is true that no mRNA vaccine has been approved before now, but multiple studies of mRNA vaccines in humans have taken place over the last few years. And, since the pandemic started, the vaccine has been tested on tens of thousands of people around the world and has gone through a rigorous safety approval process.

Like all new vaccines, it has to undergo rigorous safety checks before it can be recommended for widespread use.

In Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, vaccines are tested in small numbers of volunteers to check they are safe and to determine the right dose.

In Phase 3 trials they are tested in thousands of people to see how effective they are. The group who received the vaccine and a control group who have received a placebo are closely monitored for any adverse reactions – side-effects. Safety monitoring continues after a vaccine has been approved for use.
To read this article in its entirity Click on this link: Alter DNA

Signs and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis in Women

Multiple Sclerosis, often referred to as MS, is an autoimmune neurological condition that can impact patients in various ways and in some rare cases, even be fatal due to complications. This disabling disease causes the immune system to attack the myelin protecting the nerve fibers which impacts communication between the brain and the rest of the body. While the condition is progressive, it can have varying symptoms in women as compared to men, and women are more commonly diagnosed with the condition (about 4 to 1, according to ScienceDaily.com). Let’s take a look at 12 signs and symptoms of MS that are common among female patients.
To read this article in its entirety Click here: MS Symptoms for Woman

Hot Cocoa and Other Chocolate During The Holiday Is It right for you

Cocoa flavonoids protect humans against vascular disease, as evidenced by improvements in peripheral
endothelial function, likely through nitric oxide signaling. Emerging evidence also suggests that
flavanol-rich diets protect against cognitive aging, but mechanisms remain elusive. In a randomized
double-blind within-subject acute study in healthy young adults, we link these two lines of research
by showing, for the first time, that flavanol intake leads to faster and greater brain oxygenation
responses to hypercapnia, as well as higher performance only when cognitive demand is high.
Individual difference analyses further show that participants who benefit from flavanols intake during
hypercapnia are also those who do so in the cognitive challenge. These data support the hypothesis
that similar vascular mechanisms underlie both the peripheral and cerebral effects of flavanols. They
further show the importance of studies combining physiological and graded cognitive challenges in
young adults to investigate the actions of dietary flavonoids on brain function.

Lifespan wear and tear of the vascular system due to poor nutrition and lack of fitness, among other factors, can
accelerate cognitive aging and lead to dementia. There is epidemiological evidence suggesting that flavonoids, a
group of small molecules present in fruits and vegetables, can protect against vascular disease and cardiovascular related mortality.
In particular, cocoa flavanols, a sub-group of flavonoids (also present in berries, grapes,
apples and tea) have been shown to improve endothelial function in humans quite rapidly (within 1–2 h) by
enhancing vasodilatory properties of peripheral arteries. Acute benefits translate effectively into short-term
(2–8 weeks) clinically relevant improvements in blood pressure and endothelial function (as measured by brachial
flow-mediated dilatation, FMD), comparable to those of drugs, such as statins. Mechanistically, the beneficial effects of cocoa flavanols on endothelial function have been linked to increases in bioavailability of nitric
oxide (NO), which is known to be affected in the earliest stages of vascular disease. While the acute effects of
flavanols have been mainly attributed to phase I/II-derived (−)-epicatechin metabolites, the short to long term
benefits may be also driven by gut-derived metabolites, although this remains to be established. Another
emerging line of research further suggests that this class of plant-derived compounds may protect against cognitive decline in aging14–16 and cognitive resilience to neuropsychiatric disorders and stress. Yet, the extent to which increases in circulatory levels of flavanols can translate into benefits in the brain vasculature, and effectively influence cognitive performance in humans, is poorly understood. Cerebral blood flow is controlled by neuronal activity but also by levels of arterial blood gases, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2). Relevant to our hypothesis is the fact that it is known to contribute to CO2-dependent
increases in cerebral blood flow in humans (hypercapnia). Furthermore, cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2
is widely accepted as a key biomarker of cerebrovascular health and has been strongly associated with cognitive function in health and disease states. Hence, hypercapnia represents a robust model to test whether flavanol-mediated increases in endothelial function (as assessed by gold-standard FMD) mediate benefits in
cerebrovascular and cognitive function.
Only a handful of studies have previously reported effects of flavanols on the human cerebral vasculature, both
in a resting state and in response to cognitive challenges, albeit in opposite directions
(increase/decrease in blood flow/velocity). Further, modulation of cerebral physiological outcomes by flavanols in the context of neuronal/cognitive challenges frequently and surprisingly fail to translate into cognitive benefits. A possibility is that the benefits of flavanols may only be visible at high levels of task difficulty. This highlights that, while some of these studies could provide ecological validity (as they target aging adults with cognitive and/or vascular problems), they were not designed in a manner that allows for an evaluation of the underlying physiological effects of these compounds in the human brain. This leaves some uncertainty about whether flavanols’ benefits in peripheral vascular function are reflected by similar effects on cerebrovascular reactivity, and whether the cognitive and vascular benefits are related.
So during this stressful Holiday season you decide, Is a hot cup of cocoa right for you or that chocolate treat?

 

 

 

 

How to Not Let Pandemic Fatigue Turn Into Pandemic Burnout

COVID-19 has been part of our everyday reality for most of 2020. If you’re over it — and feeling less up for coping with the many challenges the pandemic has created — you’re not alone.

When we thought this health crisis might last just a few months, we psyched ourselves up to cope with it, says Paul Nestadt, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Now that we understand there’s no definitive end, that is causing widespread ‘pandemic fatigue.’”

By “pandemic fatigue,” Dr. Nestadt is referring to the exhaustion you may be feeling after months of spending extra time and energy dealing with our new pandemic lifestyle and all the struggles it’s brought on.

You may have lost loved ones or jobs. You may have missed out on experiences and life milestones, like graduations, weddings, and funerals. You may be feeling cooped up or cut off from usual hobbies or ways of socializing. You may be tired of the safety protocols that take extra time. You may be feeling tired of trying to make “good use” of this time.

“If I hear one more time that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine during a pandemic, I’m going to lose it,” he says. It’s more likely you’re feeling worn out given the big and small strains we’re all facing.

Being mentally and physically exhausted tends to lower resilience and boost feelings of dread and helplessness. But because you’re exhausted and your ability to cope may be lowered, you’re less motivated to do anything about those negative feelings. So you end up feeling more on edge, anxious, and exhausted by all of those feelings. (It’s one of the well-known consequences of chronic stress). It’s a vicious cycle, Nestadt says.

It doesn’t help that there’s no defined endpoint for these problems. If we knew of one, we might be better able to pace our stress, he explains. “Without that, it’s just much harder.”
Continue reading this article in its entirity: Pandemic Burnout

What You Need to Know About Remdesivir, the First FDA-Approved Treatment for COVID-19

Studies have shown that the antiviral medication can reduce recovery times for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19, but questions persist about how effective it may be.

On October 22, Veklury (remdesivir) became the first medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.

The FDA gave emergency use authorization (EUA) for remdesivir back in May, a step that allowed physicians to utilize the drug before researchers had completed rigorous testing. According to the National Institutes of Health, EUAs are issued when there is a reasonable belief that a medical product is going to be effective in treating a life-threatening illness.

After three major studies demonstrated that remdesivir was both safe and effective in shortening recovery time for people hospitalized with COVID-19, the FDA issued its approval.

“The drug can now be openly prescribed by healthcare providers for patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 infection, so I think that’s definitely a step forward,” says Susan Kline, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases and international medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and a principal investigator for one of the studies.

Here’s what you need to know about why the FDA approved remdesivir, who should take it, how it’s administered, and what patients can expect in terms of results and potential side effects.
To read this story in its entirety click here :Remdesivir

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:

Kroger
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 Amazon.com, 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.

 

Can Essential Oils Help Manage Multiple Sclerosis?

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are collected from the source plants through several processes, including distillation (using steam) or cold pressing. Once extracted from the plant, the oils are combined with a “carrier” oil to create the final product.

It’s important to note that essential oils aren’t intended to be taken orally. In fact, swallowing them may be dangerous.

Instead, they are designed to be inhaled or, in some cases, applied to your skin.

It’s believed that inhaling the aromas of essential oils can stimulate areas of your limbic system, the part of your brain that helps determine mood as well as control breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.

The effect of essential oils on the limbic system is what gives them their medicinal qualities.

How Essential Oils Might Help Symptoms Related to MS

To date, the use of essential oils in the treatment of MS hasn’t been well studied, according to Vijayshree Yadav, MD, a neurologist and Tykeson Family Term Professor in wellness research and the director of the MS center at Oregon Health and Science University.

Research does suggest the compounds may be of use in managing some of the condition’s symptoms. They may also help treat other health problems often linked with MS.

For example, anxiety and depression are behavioral health conditions that are common in people with MS. Several essential oils — including chamomile, jasmine, lavender, rose, and sandalwood — are often used to help calm nerves, relieve stress, and boost mood.

Although none of these oils have been studied in MS specifically, a study of aromatherapy using lavender published in the March 2017 issue of the journal Nursing in Critical Care found that the essential oil improved sleep quality and reduced anxiety in people with coronary artery disease.

In addition, a review published in May 2017 in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience suggests that aromatherapy with essential oils — including lavender and rosemary — may help improve cognitive function and slow the progression of memory loss in people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cognitive function problems and memory loss are both symptoms of MS, although the underlying causes are not the same as in Alzheimer’s disease.

Pain, another common symptom of MS, may also be alleviated by essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, frankincense, and vanilla, among others. A review of existing research published in December 2017 in International Journal of Molecular Sciences suggests these oils and others have “therapeutic potential” for a variety of pain conditions.

But most of the studies included in the review involved their use in animal models as opposed to human participants.

“It’s a big leap to say that these oils work well in mice so they must work just as well in humans,” Dr. Yadav cautions.

What Are the Potential Downsides of Using Essential Oils?

Yadav emphasizes that “natural doesn’t always mean safe.” Essential oils are products of an unregulated industry, so the quality and composition of different brands and essences may vary, she adds.

In general, it’s best to find an essential oil product that contains only the aromatic plant compound, with no additives or synthetic fragrances. Also, do your research and try to purchase products from a manufacturer with a reputation for quality and safety.

Although aromatherapy is generally safe for people, it may not be for pets. In addition, inhaling certain oils may be harmful for pregnant women and young children.

Finally, essentially oils applied directly to the skin have been known to cause allergic reactions, including rashesbreathing problems, and headaches.

“Don’t overdo it with essential oils, or any other natural remedy,” Ciganovich notes. “It’s important to use these products as directed and not use more, even if it’s working really well. These products, just like prescription meds, can have side effects, so begin slowly to see if they work for you. Also, don’t discontinue your other MS meds without consulting your doctor.”

Is It Safe to Get a Flu Shot While Taking MS Drugs?

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, getting vaccinated against the flu has arguably never been more important — but is the shot safe for people undergoing treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS)?

In general, the answer to that question is “yes,” but there are some considerations for people with the condition, according to Amit Bar-Or, MD, chief of the multiple sclerosis division at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and president of the International Society for Neuroimmunology.

“There’s no reason to consider the flu shot as riskier for people with MS,” he says. “Just having MS does not increase risk for adverse outcomes with the vaccine.”

In fact, in guidelines published in September 2019 in the journal Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) recommends that people with MS get vaccinated against the flu annually, unless there’s a specific reason they can’t get it, such as an allergy to the vaccine.

However, certain types of flu vaccine — there are more than a dozen formulated each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — aren’t recommended for people on specific MS treatments, according to the National MS Society. This is because the vaccines may not be as effective at preventing the flu in people taking these drugs, the society says.

Still, because there are many different flu vaccines available, you can find one that offers protection against the seasonal virus, Dr. Bar-Or notes. Here’s an overview of the types of flu vaccines and which ones may be impacted by your MS treatment.
To read this article in its entirity clink on the link:MS and the Flu Shot?

 

Can Turmeric Help Manage Multiple Sclerosis?

Variety may be the spice of life, but is turmeric the spice for people with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

More and more people with MS are using complementary and alternative approaches like herbs and supplements to augment prescription medication treatments for symptoms like pain, spasticity, memory loss, and fatigue — even though scientific evidence supporting their use is limited. One of the most popular herbal remedies is turmeric, a spice that is used commonly in cooking, particularly in Asian cuisines.

Turmeric has properties similar to ginger, another popular flavoring ingredient.

Although turmeric has been used to treat the symptoms of a variety of health conditions — including everything from Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and prostate and colon cancer to heart disease and type 2 diabetes — its use in MS hasn’t been well studied, at least to date. Still, what’s known about its possible benefits is promising.
To continue reading this article in its entirity, Click on this link: Can Turmeric Help Manage your MS

Medications to Treat Multiple Sclerosis-Related Fatigue

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you might feel very fatigued from time to time. It’s different than normal tiredness, and it doesn’t get better with sleep.

The best way to ease fatigue is to treat what’s causing it. That’s hard to do when you have MS. But you don’t need to manage your symptoms alone. Your doctor can help you figure out what triggers your fatigue. They’ll suggest some lifestyle changes that may help. You might need to treat other issues like sleep problems or depression. If that’s not enough to ease your fatigue, medication can be an option.

There isn’t an FDA-approved drug to treat MS-related fatigue. But your doctor can give you certain kinds of medicine if they think they’ll help. That’s called an “off-label” use.
If you would like to read this article in its entirety click this link: Treatment Option for MS Fatigue

Multiple Sclerosis and Sleep

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys myelin, a membrane that covers axons in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin serves both to protect axons and to speed the conduction of electrical impulses along nerve fibers. The destruction of myelin results in scarring and loss of nerve cells and can lead to a whole host of symptoms for MS patients, including paralysis, depression, loss of memory, fatigue and problems with vision, balance, bladder and bowel control. However, because it is a disease that progresses slowly, MS can be very mild for some patients and many people with MS are able to lead full and active lives.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health, MS is more common in women than men and is more than twice as likely to affect white people than people of other races. Also, the prevalence of MS among people in the more northerly climate zone is five times higher than for people in the tropics. The cause of MS is unknown but environmental, viral and genetic causes may play a role. MS is not fatal or contagious, although severe symptoms may lead to a shortened or decreased quality of life for some people.

Fatigue, one of the most common symptoms of MS, can be profoundly disabling. The cause of fatigue in MS is not well understood but some researchers believe that the degree of fatigue felt by MS patients is an indication of how far along the disease has progressed. However, a recent study conducted by researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that depression and sleep disturbance were stronger predictors of fatigue in MS patients than disease severity. Specifically, the results of this study showed that all three contribute to fatigue in MS, but that sleep disturbance is the biggest contributor.

MS is also associated with a number of sleep disorders. According to a study led by W. Elon Fleming, MD, at the Sleep Disorders Center at Island Hospital in Anacortes, Washington, the most common sleep disorders in MS patients are insomnia, nocturnal leg spasms, narcolepsy, REM sleep behavior disorder, and sleep disordered breathing. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is also highly prevalent among MS patients. One study revealed that among 156 MS patients, 51% met the criteria for RLS based on neurological examination and medical interview and that RLS was associated with higher MS-related disability. Medications used to treat MS may also cause or worsen these problems. The study also showed that pain, medications and frequent nighttime urination influenced sleep among MS patients.

Reducing fatigue and improving sleep is critical to improving the lives of people with MS. There are many options for improving sleep, including both behavioral and pharmaceutical remedies. It is very important that physicians screen for sleep problems among their MS patients and that they are aware of the options to treat them.

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Can Tau Predict Early MS Disability?

Tau predicted early disability and worse prognosis in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients independently of age, a longitudinal prospective study showed.

MS patients with higher cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau levels at diagnosis developed higher MS Severity Scores (MSSS) and Age-Related MS Severity Scores (ARMSS) over 4 years than those with lower tau levels, reported Eleonora Virgilio, MD, of University of Piemonte Orientale in Italy, at MSVirtual 2020, the joint ACTRIMS-ECTRIMS meeting. No significant relationship was seen for beta amyloid.

Neurodegeneration occurs early in MS, Virgilio noted. “Neurofilament light chain has been investigated as an axonal damage biomarker in MS, but it is not routinely used in clinical practice,” she said. “On the other hand, CSF tau and beta amyloid proteins are currently used in other neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease.”

“Although CSF levels of tau protein have not been directly compared with neurofilament in individuals with MS, this study suggests CSF tau as an alternative prognostic marker that predicts the development of higher disability in newly diagnosed patients,” noted Benjamin Segal, MD, of The Ohio State University in Columbus, who wasn’t involved with the research.

“The relationship was highly significant and it was independent of age,” Segal told MedPage Today. “The investigators also found a trend of higher tau level and brain MRI lesion burden and spinal cord lesion. If these data are reproduced in larger studies, these data indicate that CSF tau might complement neurofilament in predicting the future clinical course.”
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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.”
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