I intend this blog to be a mixture of my personal experiences with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and news related to MS. Hopefully, I can shed an optimistic light on MS even though it is difficult to be an optimist living with MS.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Brain Damage and Teleconferences

A new study, published in Brain, suggests that damage to the locus coeruleus (an area of the brain) may be associated with MS.  Apparently, damage to the locus coeruleus (LC) results in a decrease in noradrenaline (the neurotransmitter involved in responsiveness and fear) production, which can result in inflammation similar to that seen in MS patients. 

From an article on dailyrx.com
Decreases in noradrenaline, the neurotransmitter involved in responsiveness and fear, has been well documented in cases of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, but this study marks the first time the hormone has been linked to MS. Noradrenaline also acts as an immunosuppressant in the brain, safeguarding against inflammation and stress to neurons while also preserving the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.
Researchers discovered damage to the locus coeruleus (a part of the brain stem involved with physiological responses to stress and panic) and reduced levels of noradrenaline in a mouse model of MS and similar changes in the brains of MS patients.
Paul Polak, research specialist in the health sciences in anesthesiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lead author of the study, said drugs designed to increase noradrenaline in the brain may serve as a therapeutic intervention for multiple sclerosis patients based on the study, which suggests locus coeruleus damage may be a common feature of neurological diseases.

The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation recently sponsored a teleconference entitled "Emerging Therapies" featuring speaker Dr. Aaron Boster, Assistant Clinical Professor of Neurology, Ohio State University.  I was able to listen in on Wednesday evening and, although, Dr. Boster did not discuss any therapies that differed from those discussed during the 2/14/11 teleconference that I have previously blogged about, Dr. Boster sounded very knowledgeable and I would really like to have the chance to hear him speak again.  Dr. Boster fielded questions for about 30 minutes and I was disappointed that I did not get to ask a question (I apparently, accidentally and unknowingly, cancelled my question out).  He did not discuss CCSVI, Estriol, or Vitamin D, but I really would have liked to have heard his views/opinion on these topics.  Hopefully, I will get another chance to hear Dr. Boster speak and field questions.

The MS Foundation will be sponsoring another teleconference later this month, for anyone interested, here is the information:  The name of the teleconference is Strategies to Improve Walking, Balance, Strength, and Flexibility with Herbert Karpatkin, PT, DSc, NCS, MSCS.  You can catch it on Monday, March 21st from 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EST or Tuesday, March 22nd from 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. PST.  To attend the teleconference(s), call up to 10 minutes before the starting time: 888-550-5602, and enter 2344 1168. 

I am not sure yet whether I will be tuning into this teleconference, but if I do, I will be sure to report back on what I learn.

1 comment:

  1. Write Dr. Boster a letter or try to contact him through the University's Neurology Department:
    395 W. 12th Ave., 7th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43210

    The Ohio State University
    Department of Neurology
    395 W. 12th Ave, 7th Floor
    Columbus, OH 43210
    Phone: 614.293.4969 Fax: 614.293.4688