“Video games will rot your brain,” is something I used to hear as a child. It’s not true, and in fact a newly published study claims that some video games may actually be helpful for the more than 2 million people around the world with Multiple Sclerosis.The study, published in the Journal Radiology by researchers from Sapienza University in Rome, looked at the effect of so-called “brain-training” games on the cognitive abilities of MS patients, and found that these games can strengthen players’ neural connections.
Three-year results from a clinical trial suggest that depleting and then re-establishing the immune system can alleviate a type of early-stage multiple sclerosis.
MS is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system. It results in damage to nerve fibers, disrupting communication between the brain and the body. The disease’s widely varying symptoms can include tingling or numbness in extremities, motor and speech difficulties, weakness, fatigue, chronic pain, vision loss, and depression.
The most common form of MS is relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), in which periods of mild or no symptoms are interspersed with periods of more severe symptoms, called relapses. RRMS can change into a progressive form where symptoms worsen over time without any symptom-free periods. RRMS can be treated with medications that suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. However, these drugs can cause serious side effects.
In this episode, the story of an epic, four-year battle between a man and a health insurer. Typically, these stories end with the same score: Health Insurer 1, Patient 0.This story is different.It started in 2006, when at the age of 37, Dave Bexfield of Albuquerque learned that he had multiple sclerosis, or M.S. Three years later, the disease ramped up and he was forced to quit his job as managing editor of a car magazine, in part because he could not type. He qualified for a clinical trial, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He spent three months there getting a stem cell transplant. His total bill was just under $200,000. Yes, though sponsored by the N.I.H., the treatment came with a price tag.
For decades, women with multiple sclerosis have noticed that they tend to do better while they are pregnant. That has led to an experimental drug for the disease that’s based on a hormone associated with pregnancy.The hormone is a form of estrogen called estriol. It’s abundant in a woman’s body only when she is pregnant. Adding estriol to treatment with an existing MS drug cut relapses by 47 percent in a of 158 women presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April.
HealthDay News — Researchers report that they think they have figured out why patients who take the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri face a high risk of developing a rare, and sometimes fatal, brain infection.A common virus that can cause the brain disease progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML likes to infect and hide in certain blood cells that are triggered to mobilize by Tysabri, the study authors explained. Even more troubling, the researchers discovered that current tests may be missing some who harbor the virus.
As Cambridge biotech Genzyme awaits an upcoming US regulatory decision on its experimental multiple sclerosis drug, the medicine has won approval for sale in Canada.
Genzyme said Friday that the regulatory agency Health Canada signed off on its Lemtrada therapy as a treatment for adults with relapsing remitting MS who did not respond to drugs already on the market north of the border. More than 2.3 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system, including about 100,000 in Canada.
(HealthDay News) — Measuring the walking speed of multiple sclerosis patients can help doctors assess progression of the disease and the severity of disability, a new study suggests.
In people with multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system damages the protective myelin sheath around the body’s nerves.
“We already know that the timed 25-foot walk test is a meaningful way to measure disability in MS,” study author Dr. Myla Goldman, of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. “Our study builds on that research by providing a clearer idea of how walk time can provide information about how a person’s disease progression and disability impacts their everyday activities and real-world function.”
(HealthDay News) — A theory claiming that multiple sclerosis (MS) is caused by the narrowing of veins in the neck appears to be unfounded, Canadian researchers report.
Called “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” (CCSVI), Dr. Paolo Zamboni, from the University of Ferrara, in Italy, first proposed the idea in 2009. It soon caught the attention of many MS sufferers in search of a cure.
(HealthDay News) — A new drug called Tecfidera has been approved to treat adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
The approval is based on the results of two clinical trials showing that patients who took Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) capsules had fewer MS relapses than those who took an inactive placebo. One of the trials also showed that a worsening of MS-related disability occurred less often in patients who took the drug than in those who took the placebo.
HealthDay News — Overweight or obese children, particularly adolescent girls, may face a higher risk for developing multiple sclerosis, new research suggests.And the heavier they are, the greater the risk, the study authors added.The findings are preliminary, but other health risks of being overweight or obese include increased risk for high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease — even in children.